For the past month, Peace Boat has been accepting musical instrument donations on behalf of the African Youth Ensemble (AYE) based in Cape Town, South Africa. The number of people who opened their hearts to give the gift of music to the AYE was phenomenal, and with these donations the talented youth will be able to create an amazing sound for years to come.
Rachel Clark, volunteer at the Peace Boat US office, worked hard to solicit donations from various organizations, and was delighted to receive a flute from Jason Curry, the Chair of the Music Department at Riverdale Country School in Riverdale, NY. Rachel and Peace Boat extend many thanks to Jason, who is an enthusiastic music teacher who used to play for Blue Note Jazz in Tokyo.
These instruments will travel from Tokyo to South Africa on Peace Boat’s 81st Voyage. Rose Welsch, International Coordinator, will visit Cape Town to deliver the instruments to the ensemble.
Emilie McGlone, director of Peace Boat US, sat down with Rose to get more information on her work with Peace Boat, as well as her work aboard.
Emilie McGlone: Hi Rose! Thank you for all of your hard work as International Coordinator. Could you tell us how you first got involved with Peace Boat ?
Rose Welsch: I am originally from California in the United States, and I moved to Japan to participate in the JET program. My first voyage on the Peace Boat was the 55th Global voyage, where I volunteered as a web reporter.
EM: So what would you say has been your most memorable experience on the Peace Boat?
RW: Participating in a homestay program in a Kenyan village. We spent two days and one night in the village and it was great to share time with the families and local children.
EM: After having worked for Peace Boat for many years as the coordinator onboard for the guest educators, who has inspired you the most onboard and why?
RW: Donisha Prendergrast, the granddaughter of Bob Marley. Donisha came onboard and gave workshops and lectures to the participants onboard about the local culture in Jamaica and inspired people to “Be the Change.” Many participants later went on to create their own projects in Japan after they were inspired by her work. For more information about Donisha’s programs onboard, click here: http://www.peaceboat.org/english/index.php?page=view&nr=228&type=20&menu=64
EM: Amazing. So, you are going to travel around the world on the 81st Global Voyage of Peace Boat, what is the country you are most looking forward to during the voyage ?
RW: I am looking forward to visiting Cape Town in South Africa because I studied there when I was in University as an exchange student. My first time there was actually right after high school, before starting university and it was the first time I was able to experience another country, spending time with local community members and immersing myself in the culture. That experience is what made me want to travel again as an adult and I am looking forward to visiting my host family while we are in Cape Town. You can see the full itinerary of the 81st voyage here: http://www.peaceboat.org/english/?page=view&nr=106&type=4&menu=64
EM: As a Spanish speaker, you have also worked in Latin America and there are many guests from the region who have come onboard to give lectures and workshops. Who has inspired you the most among the speakers you have worked with?
RW: Lisa Sullivan has inspired me as a guest speaker who has lived in Latin America for more than 30 years and is working to promote peace and nonviolence in the region. You can see more about her time onboard here: http://www.peaceboat.org/english/index.php?page=view&nr=139&type=20&menu=64
EM: Do you have any last comments for any youth reading this interview?
RW: I would encourage all of the young people out there to get involved with Peace Boat as a volunteer onboard or an international participant. It’s important for each one of us to be positively and actively engaged with people from different countries and cultures. We can learn so much from the world and by doing so, we can also give back to the communities we visit.
Peace Boat extends our warmest thanks to Rose, Rachel, and all of the contributors to the African Youth Ensemble.
For more information on the African Youth Ensemble visit:
By Sarah Halford (Intern at Peace Boat US Intern)