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Mr Kazumasa Okao awarded an APS Scholarship to study in Costa Rica!

Kazumasa Okao

Mr. Kazumasa Okao, affectionately known as Kazu, has been granted the 8thCohort of the Asian Peace builders Scholarship (APS) funded by the Nippon Foundation in Japan. Kazu has been at FOSST Discovery Centre as a JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer) since July 2012. He is the fourth JOCV to be at Fort Hare since the collaboration between UFH and JICA (Japanese International Corporation Agency) was forged. Kazu is leaving South Africa in February 2014 to study in Costa Rica, for his MA in International Peace Studies with the United Nations mandated by University for Peace.

While at FOSST DC, Kazu has done creative spells with the Eastern Cape community, to mention but a few, he implemented outreach programmes and workshops for many rural-based outreach programmes, he also began the FOSST DC/JICA Newsletter series in which he wrote articles in English and Japanese languages on current activities at FOSST  DC and many others. His achievement during the 18months he at FOSST has added value not only to FOSST DC, but also for the Eastern Cape Province communities at large. In the next stage of his life Kazu says “ I am very happy for this achievement as it has been something I’ve been longing for” He went on to explain that his name Kazumasa means “peace”, he was hence happy that he will do studies that will bring peace over the world.


“When I was a medical representative, I was always wondering if I could contribute my knowledge for patients who took medicines I had introduced via doctors. After resigning, I worked at an old age home in Philippine and the Mother Theresa’s House in India as a volunteer and dedicated my time to assist the disadvantaged people in the world who really need help. That’s when I realized that my calling was to make a difference in the world” said Kazu. “In fact, these experiences have brought me to South Africa. Now it’s time to move on to the next phase. I must thank all of those I met in South Africa who supported me”, said Kazu

In conclusion, the University of Fort Hare community congratulates Kazu on his achievements! We wish him all the best for his endeavors.

NB:The Nippon (means Japan in Japanese) Foundation is aiming to achieve a society where all people support one another, reduce burdens and challenges they face together through social innovations. They are providing grants and scholarships to organizations and individuals worldwide.