Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship

As invited partner by the BC Ministry of Education in the development of the teaching resource, "Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship", BC ALPHA has organized the annual Peace and Reconciliation Study Tour for Canadian Teachers since 2004 in order to facilitate the effective use of the resource. This Study Tour is supported by many organizations including the BC Social Studies Teachers' Association and Vancouver School Board.

You are invited to apply for the
2010 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour
to China for B.C. Teachers (July 1-13, 2010)
A heavily subsidized professional development opportunity for Educators

This is an excellent professional development opportunity supported by BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association. The Study Tour is organized to facilitate teachers using “Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” - a teachers’ guide developed by the BC Ministry of Education to support aspects of senior Social Studies Curriculum. The Study Tour facilitates selected teachers to have better understanding of the cultural and historical background of China during the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945) through meeting survivors and historians, as well as visiting museums and historical sites in Beijing, Zhejiang area, Nanjing and Shanghai. The Study Tour organizer, B.C. ALPHA covers all ground costs inside China while teachers basically need only to take care of their own international travel costs between Canada and China. For application details and highlights of the Study Tours in previous years, visit or contact Thekla Lit at 604-313-6000 or

Visiting the home of Mr. Liu Qian (first from left) who was captured and shipped to Japan in 1944 as forced labourer for Mitsui-Miike Mining

Court yard of the former "comfort station". Tour participants listen to Professor Su of the Shanghai Normal University talking about the history of this and other “comfort houses” in Shanghai

Listening to the heart wrenching testimonials from the Nanking Massacre victims, the Military Sex Slaves and the Chemical Warfare victims was a complete assault on the senses. I have the utmost respect for their courage and strength and for sharing their heartfelt lived experiences. In spite of all the atrocities against them, the victims and survivors shared a consistent message of hope and unity. Their positive energy, strong sense of self and desire for healing were palpable. They have taught me that even in the darkest of moments, one’s spirit cannot be broken. Their stories were emotionally, mentally and spiritually moving, creating a deep sense of empathy. These sentiments would not have been clearly understood had I not had the opportunity to be in their powerful presence. – Angela Brown, Anti-Racism & Diversity Consultant, Vancouver Board of Education, 2008 participant

Words cannot adequately convey the tremendous impact of this experience and how much I learned, saw, and felt about the historical events that occurred in Asia during WWII. My knowledge has increased a hundredfold, and this period in history has created an incredible personal desire to delve more deeply and to learn more. - Adrienne Gnidec, Education Officer, BC Ministry of Education, 2007 participant

The ALPHA Study Tour is a remarkable opportunity to learn more about what happened in China during World War II. It provides teachers with background knowledge, teaching by experts and the powerful voices of the survivors. It will encourage you to think critically about what and how you are teaching and why as well as inspire you to be even more thoughtful in your praxis. It is incredibly important to move beyond the Eurocentric view of history and this journey provides you with a lens from which you can examine these issues more fully and richly. You will have a chance to meet and work with passionate teachers who care about their work and their students; their spirit is contagious. - Karin Dhar, York House School, 2006 participant

This study tour has surpassed my expectations in terms of its impact on me. I thought I’d learn about history and I did. But I learned so much more. I learned about the strength of the human spirit, the power of determination, and the grace of forgiveness. There is a serenity to these survivors that moves me deeply. I came here to improve as a teacher and I leave here, instead, improved as a human being. I will bring what I’ve learned to the classroom certainly, but what I’ve learned will also colour all aspects of my life from now on. - Daniel Royer, Argyle Secondary School, 2005 participant