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“IKIGAI” is a Japanese word which means “a reason for being”

During the February school break some students from Grade 9 to 12 had the opportunity to go for the IKIGAI trip in Bangkok. The trip was initiated by the Parent and Alumni Career Exploration (PACE) team and Secondary School parent Paul Lalvani.

Elais G12 student reflects that the workshop left him feeling inspired and empowered. As the essential goals of this trip was to learn about finding one’s IKIGAI (a Japanese framework for happiness and life purpose) as well as being confronted with world issues, collecting meaningful and valuable insights from change makers, learning about what exactly the development sector is, and better grasping the missions and values of the UNITED NATIONS, as well as what it takes to work for the UN.

Rutuja G11 student from India found the IKIGAI concept fascinating, as it brought forward the idea that when you choose a career it should be something you’re passionate about.

“According to me, a career is not only about earning money, though some people may disagree and that is absolutely fine. I believe the concept of IKIGAI pushed me to think about what is it that I would love to do, something that would give me genuine happiness and at the end of the day I would be grateful for where I work.”

“Take NO as a question, not an answer”, was a statement made by Dr. Mechai Viravaidya, founder of Cabbages and Condoms that stood out to Rutuja, because it is a such a provocative statement.

“When I look back to all I have said no to, I would have thought about those instances in a negative context. However, if I change it to a question I am more likely to think about why did that person say no. It gives the space to explore the possibilities where I have had gone wrong and to fix it.”

Students roughly spent 8 hours each day for workshops and listened to public speakers present their ideas, as well as posing questions and interviewing them.

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