Be a Peacebuilder Be In APS!

In retrospect, I am who I am now because of APS. I was able to gain valuable learning and rich experience.


Born in Aomori Prefecture (1983), Miki Yoshida spent her childhood hearing her grandfather’s anecdotes of war. Touched by these stories, she became interested in peacebuilding and media work focused on conflict and social issues. Miki then became interested in pursuing peacebuilding, with the United Nations as her ultimate goal.
Miki pursued a degree in communications at the University of California in Los Angeles. After graduation, she became a Japan Overseas Cooperation Agency (JICA) volunteer for community development in Burkina Faso and Senegal. She also worked at an international non-governmental organization assisting in the post-2010 earthquake recovery program in Haiti.
To further her career development, Miki decided to pursue her graduate studies under the Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship (APS) Cohort 7. She considered APS as an ideal academic programme for people who are passionate about peacebuilding but have limited international experience and/or financial means to study abroad. She did not hesitate to apply!
True enough, the APS program proved useful and exciting. Miki particularly enjoyed in-depth discussions about peace and conflict issues. She was able to openly discuss sensitive issues and to enrich her understanding and opinions of the world. “I think it is one of the greatest assets of APS, [that is,] to be able to make friends from all over the world and see the world through their eyes,” she said. In 2015, Miki finally obtained her M.A. in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies at University for Peace (UPEACE) and M.A. in Political Science-Global Politics at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).
Miki’s peacebuilding career developed further after her APS graduation. Following her dreams, she joined the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in 2016. Miki was initially dispatched as a Junior Professional Officer (JPO) by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign of Affairs. As a JPO, she was involved in all aspects of management in a wide range of projects on emergency assistance, education, health, and gender. She was eventually absorbed by UNRWA and was given expanded tasks in project and grant administration.
For Miki, APS made her career goal in peacebuilding possible. Her academic experience and interactions in a multi-cultural environment at UPEACE and ADMU greatly contributed to her work at the UN. She developed empathy and deep understanding of people affected by conflict, among others, which are very important in her career. “In retrospect, I am who I am now because of APS. I was able to gain valuable learning and rich experience,” Miki pronounced.

By: Gelie Erika Esteban

This is based on an interview by Chihiro Masuho (APS Cohort 5), and English translations by Mario Takahashi (APS Cohort 5) and Miki Yoshida.