I was featured in one of the biggest Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, which sells 7.7 million copies. Isn't is astonishing to know that the number of prints is about 11 times of Bhutanese population (700,000)?
Here is the translation in English as requested by my friends in Bhutan and abroad.
"Changing his career from a businessman to Bhutan's Prime Minister's Fellow"
"I won't live a life that I would have regretted when I die."
This is the conviction Takao Takahashi acquired through his experience to work in Bhutan as Prime Minister's Fellow.
After receiving the bachelor degree of Law from Kyoto University, Takao worked like crazy for a management consulting company, McKinsey, for 4 and a half years. He focused on financial sector projects in countries such as Libya and Egypt. The work was interesting, but he was questioning the business world without much contribution to the social impact.
He quit the company and went to the US to study Development through Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. When his savings were evaporating by tuition, he got to know the opportunity to work in Bhutan. The term is for 1 year with the salary of USD 250 a month (12,500 Bhutanese Ngultrum). His father worried about his financial situation and he himself debated for a week. However, he couldn't resit the opportunity to work for a country he has been interested in for its goal of GNH (Gross National Happiness).
Takao goes to work in the Bhutanese traditional cloth, Gho, every day. He is working for RMA (Royal Monetary Authority), the Central Bank of Bhutan, to promote Financial Inclusion for the poor people through various interventions such as Microfinance, Mobile phone Banking, and Financial Literacy Program. Bhutanese people are very kind and caring to others, but when it comes to money, they tend to go for an expensive car and luxury items without much care for their income level. To teach the importance of financial planning, he is developing a TV serial to raise awareness of people especially among the youth.
When he was 10 years old, he lived in Manila, the Philippines, because of his father's job in import/export promotion. Takao was shocked to see children his age were selling flowers on the street without going to a school. That's when he started pursuing his dream in poverty alleviation.
"Gross National Happiness is how to balance between material and spiritual well-being. I want to spread the philosophy of GNH to the world." With such an aspiration in his heart, he will start working for IFC in the World Bank Group from September.
The trigger for the article was a Japanese magazine called Courrier Japon.
I liked one of the interviews of a Japanese woman my age, Eriko Yamaguchi, who started her social enterprise ("Mother House") to manufacture bags and clothes in Bangladesh and Nepal with the purpose of poverty alleviation.
In Twitter, I tweeted "I wish if Mother House considered setting up a factory in Bhutan."
Then I got a reply immediately from Courrier Japon, saying "The editor who interviewed Eriko Yamaguchi will visit Bhutan tomorrow."
Wow, what a coincidence!
The editor was visiting Bhutan to cover the visit of Dr. Agnes Chan, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador who supports the Japan Committee for UNICEF.
There were several reporters accompanying Dr. Agnes. One of them was the reporter from the newspaper, Asahi Shimbun.
The reporter got interested in not only my work in Bhutan but also my life and career. That's why she proposed to cover me in the article.
It was such an honor to be covered by the well-known newspaper. A lot of friend and relatives told me that the article inspired them.
I will continue doing my best to contribute to Bhutan and the world.
If you are interested in applying to the Prime Minister's Fellowship, check:
You can also follow me in Twitter. (Facebook page below is only in Japanese)
- 2012/05/25(金) 08:15:39 |