Where does continual education happen? Why is it important for us, as a community and as educators, to support others reach their full potential?
Just recently, Zaw Zaw Oo, the first Myanmar professional sports player in Japan, was invited to a dinner with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Prime Minister Abe’s official dinner-- a guest amongst diplomats and ambassadors. During the dinner, he was personally introduced to Daw Suu from the Prime Minister, jovially and with pride. In that moment and many before, Zaw Zaw represents the dream of becoming a professional baseball athlete in Japan; and the ability to transcend international borders through sports. There was a deep understanding of the hard work that Zaw Zaw put into his dreams and into the betterment of baseball in his own country. Furthermore, as a pitcher in the Tokushima Indigo Socks team from the Shikoku Island League, he campaigns to solve human rights problems.
Zaw Zaw met Mr. and Mrs. Iwasaki years ago, when he was 11-years-old. He was educated in baseball and its related techniques; but he learned more than just sports. Through the youth baseball program at Khayay, he also learned about resilience and self-management; and how to integrate sports, health, and education for personal success. Through the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Iwasaki’s program, he was able to access emotional development lessons and programs that did not exist elsewhere in Myanmar-- especially for youth and young adults. He stated that through the support from Khayay and the Iwasakis’, he could come this far, all the way to Japan to play baseball; and that he is even more determined to try his hardest, so that he can continue strengthening baseball and education for youth in Myanmar.
When we think of education, we think of teaching. But education is so much more. It is reaching the depth, the potential of every single human being; and letting them explore, embrace and embody the tools that will help them make their dreams a possibility. Education happens beyond the classroom. It happens when we play sports, when we collaborate, and when we meet people and have conversations with them. Education happens everywhere, because as humans, we are continuously learning.