慶應SFC 2008年 環境情報学部 英語 大問2 全文(正答済み)

 The humanitarian response to the 2004 Asian tsunami was swift and global. But compared to the tasks that outside relief agencies and foreign soldiers undertook, those assigned to local Indonesian volunteers in Banda Aceh were far more grim. Their mission: to clear the provincial capital of corpses, both in order to preserve the dignity of the tens of thousands of victims and also to prevent epidemics among survivors. For weeks, they gradually went district by district through the wrecked city, freeing decomposing remains from the rubble for burial in mass graves. “It was very, very surprising,” says Hezbollah M. Saad, an Indonesian human rights commissioner. “We never imagined that people would come spontaneously.”

 The volunteers’ sacrifices were symbolic of an underappreciated force in modern Asia: that of groups formed to address social and economic issues. Time and again, the region’s youth are portrayed as money grubbing “me-firsters”― that is, the 21st century’s version of Americas post World War II “baby boomers.” In Japan, leaders criticize “parasite singles,” people over age 25 who live at home with their parents in suspended adolescence; in Singapore, they fret about the younger generation’s tendency to avoid the costs and cares of childrearing. Everywhere the premise that an Asian “me generation” has emerged is seldom if ever challenged. After all, study after study has plotted the rise of millions of new consumers across the region, noting that global economic growth is increasingly driven by the buying power of affluent households in places like Shanghai, Jakarta and Mumbai. One would think that all they want to do – and all the world wants them to do – is spend, spend, spend.

 Such observations aren’t so much wrong as one dimensional. History shows that industrializing societies evolve – often radically – with each successive generation. So in light of Asia’s breakneck modernization, it is little wonder that values are changing fast. But alongside the spread of capitalism and conspicuous consumption, the region is also experiencing a profusion of new nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), a religious resurgence and rising nationalism. There are an estimated 2 million NGOs in India, and China now has 2,000 registered “green” groups – up from zero in the early 1990s. In Indonesia, students from the top three universities in the country were surveyed on their career plans in 2004. An astonishing 73 percent said they would prefer to work for an NGO rather than for the government, and about the same number said civic organizations could do more than the government to improve the country. In these Asian countries and others, the operative pronoun is “we” – the power of groups to enhance the common good.

 In fact, the interplay between individualism and collective action forms the background of much of Asia’s dynamism. One example is modern day Bangladesh. Infamous for bad governance and incessant civil unrest, the country of 145 million has, nevertheless, become an overachiever among developing nations. Its gravity―defying economy was expected to grow by 6.7 percent in 2006, and the country is on track to meet its development goals on poverty reduction, gender equality, literacy and rural development.

 But how? One growth driver is the millions of small scale enterprises funded by loans extended without conditions to poor households. The other: a vibrant, youth oriented NGO community that bolsters educational and health services. “The government is wobbly and ineffective,” says Muhammad Yuns, founder of the microcredit project called the Graeme Bank and winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. “But our NGOs are strong and getting stronger, and they focus on the issues we need them to.”

 Disorienting change can inspire what looks like selfish behavior, to be sure, as rapid economic growth destroys traditional social structures faster than new ones can be built. One example is the magnetic pull that boomtowns like Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City or Bangalore exert on the best and brightest young talent in their respective countries. Often, the rural migrants who make good in the city find themselves disconnected and alone. “Initially, a lot of their riches go to satisfying selfish demands,” says Shelagh Sanai, a 30-year-old resident of Mumbai, India, who received his M.B.A from the Indian Institute of Rural Development.

 But, Sahai goes on to note, “as the number of these people increases and they get more experience, many begin to say ‘I should do something more.’” That was his thinking when he joined two classmates to form the nonprofit group volunteers back in 2002. The group, which has 9,000 active members in four cities, seeks to  encourage young elites with suitable needy causes. Since its inception, the “matchmaking” service has arranged for thousands of volunteers – mostly IT professionals or bankers aged 25 to 35 – to mentor orphans, take slum kids on nature walks, visit eldercare facilities, or advise grassroots environmental groups.

 “We have a lot of young people who are extremely intelligent and earn big salaries,” says 27­year old Mishap Bhatt, who heads the group’s Mumbai operation. “They meet others, brainstorm solutions to pro The feel-good factor is extremely high.” iVolunteers, which is expanding its services through links with companies also looking to do good, reflects a change in India: The tradition of village level charitable giving is being replaced by corporate and individual giving, coming from cities and the new rich.

 Different countries in the region are naturally at different stages. In China, for example, grassroots activism dealing with anything other than environmental issues has yet to emerge as a major presence in society. Another challenge is to foster a sense of community within the workplace, now that many of the so-called “little emperors” born under China’s one child policy are starting their careers. Some employers report that raised voices, crying, and other unprofessional behavior can occur among newly hired employees. Some of these employees may “come with a sense that the rules don’t apply to them,” says William Dodson, CEO of Silk Road Advisors, a Chin abased management consultancy.

 On the other hand, less individualism is not always a good thing. In Malaysia, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Bidaai recently warned that religious and ethnic tensions could cause the country “to fail as a multiracial and multireligious nation.” His comments followed recent clashes between Malay Muslims and ethnic Chinese.  On Internet bulletin boards in Japan, South Korea and China, young nationalists trade insults over everything from Japan’s 20th-century imperialism to North Korea’s recent nuclear test ― suggesting that economic integration does not necessarily lead to warm diplomatic relations.

 But at least the passion shows that Asians have more on their minds than just making money. Take the Muslim Student Association at the University of the Philippines in Manila, an elite training ground for future business and political leaders. Its members, many of them from impoverished Mindanao province, are  eager to serve their home communities. Association President Abdel Jamal Disangcopan, 22, is the son of two doctors. He attends law school but doesn’t dream of becoming a highly paid corporate lawyer. “Money is just a plus. Fulfillment is first,” he says. “I don’t want to be stuck in a life where… I’m not helping anybody.” He aims to return to Mindanao and become a much needed public attorney for low-income residents. Another student in the Muslim Student Association says she wants to return to Mindanao to practice medicine after she earns her degrees, and a third plans to return to become a teacher. All are likely to make good on their pledges making small but invaluable contributions to the societies in which they live.




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