Class IX (2011-2012)

9. Maki Mizono-Shaw

Sponsor Club: Tsushima, Japan, District 2760

Maki is from Tsushima, a small historical town in Japan. She was brought up in a family where education was the family business. Both of Maki’s parents are teachers, so she spent a lot of weekends and holidays at their schools during her childhood. Maki has a strong passion for helping children through education. She is a qualified teacher and taught early childhood, primary and secondary students in both formal and informal settings. Maki holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in educational development. During her master’s studies, she met people from developing countries who were studying to advance the quality of education in their home countries. She became interested in issues around education in developing countries and worked as a volunteer at the Centre for UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID), which was attached to her graduate school in Hiroshima.

After graduating with her master’s degree, she worked with a Non-Governmental Organization that provided in-service training to teachers and developed science curriculum for basic education students in Jamaica. She then worked with UNESCO to strengthen the capacity of the education sector to respond to the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean. Maki also worked with the Japanese Government, managing their human security funding programme for Jamaica and Belize.

While she was working in Jamaica, she met her husband Hal and they had two daughters, Kiko and Ahane. The family moved to Bhutan in 2008 when Maki was assigned to a United Nations Volunteer posting with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She facilitated the participation of ordinary citizens through volunteerism in development projects in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With updated knowledge and a new skill set acquired during her study at the University of Queensland, Maki wishes to contribute to building peaceful societies through education. During her applied field experience, she worked with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Indonesia. She assisted refugees in finding a durable solution to their situation, including an opportunity to resettle in a third country. The time with the UNHCR enriched Maki’s awareness of refugee issues and the problems refugees experienced, especially the lack of opportunities in receiving education or skill training. Maki hopes to work in the future to ensure refugees have access to quality education while they are in refugee camps or in the country of asylum.