Edson A. Kodama (right), secretary general of Junior Chamber International, shown here with the Dali Lama, will speak on Feb. 14 at UMSL.

How does a relief organization based in Missouri mobilize to help a stricken country more than 6,000 miles away? Last March, when a powerful earthquake and tsunami struck northeast Japan, Junior Chamber International, an international disaster relief and recovery organization based in Chesterfield, Mo., immediately began working to aid people in the disaster zones. Through its JCI Operation Hope the organization sent more than 80 tons of supplies to the areas affected.

Edson A. Kodama, Secretary General of JCI, will give a speech about “JCI Operation Hope,” at 2 p.m., Feb. 14 in 331 Social Sciences & Business Building at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Kodama will discuss how JCI operates, how the group sends volunteer workers to disaster zones at a moment’s notice, and how the group recruits and trains volunteers. During his talk Kodama will give an update on JCI’s current efforts around the world.

JCI is a worldwide membership-based nonprofit organization of young active citizens ages 18 to 40 dedicated to creating positive change. Kodama joined JCI in 1988 and was named secretary general in 2004. He is responsible for the overall management of the organization. He oversees JCIʼs relations with United Nations agencies and other partners such as UNICEF, UNESCO, the UN Foundation, and the International Chamber of Commerce.

The Social Sciences & Business Building is located on UMSL’s North Campus at 1 University Blvd., St. Louis (63121).

The speech is sponsored by Japan America Society of St. Louis, Japan America Society Women’s Association, Japan America Student Association at UMSL and International Studies and Programs at UMSL.

The event is free and open to the public. Visitors to the UMSL campus must have a parking permit. To register for this program and request your parking permit, please umsl.edu/cis and click on “REGISTER” or call 314-516-7299.

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Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez

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