Shafiq ur REHMAN


I came to Japan on 24th August 2001. It was raining. This is my first visit to Japan. I could not speak Japanese at all and was worried that I could not communicate with people. Akiko met me at the airport. And so my training began. I get the impression that Japan is a good country because its people are diligent.

First Three Months

Osada-san and Yamazaki-san taught us Japanese. I did not study very well, but Masako-san encouraged me and taught me how to study. I really enjoyed these three months. We got up early to have breakfast together at the restaurant at Toyama Sunrise Hotel. I got sick of having the same food everyday, but it was not a big problem. Sometimes I went out for dinner with people from Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities(JSRPD). I enjoyed dining with them. After three months, the Japanese lesson ended. But I was still not good at Japanese.

Individual Training 1

Then my individual training started. I went to Mainstream Association in Nishinomiya to learn about independent living. As it was my first experience to live alone, sometimes it was very hard. I had to cook, wash and clean all by myself. But thanks to that experience, I have gained confidence and also a sense of responsibility. I think I am more empowered to live independently. People at Mainstream Association were very helpful.

Skiing and Homestay

We went skiing in December. Though I had seen many mountains before, I had never skied. I had dreamed of skiing but never thought I ever could. My dream came true and there I was, on the soft snow!It was fun. It is hard to explain my
feelings. Anyway, that was the best time for me. I took a bath in a hot spring, which was also a first experience for me. I was embarrassed to be with others but it was fun. During mealtimes, the Japanese traditional dishes were excellent.

After that, I went to Toyama to stay with the Yojima family. I went to see how Japanese people behave at a shrine. I am glad that I could visit a temple and see a great statue of Buddha.

Individual Training 2

After finishing the homestay, I went back to Mainstream Association in Nisinomiya. It was busier than on the previous visit. Kadota-san, Sato-san, Tamaki-san and I talked about disabled people at various schools and universities. I went to Nara and Kyoto to visit Japanese traditional places. I found Japanese lifestyle very neat and attractive. I studied the Kansai dialect as well.

Then I went to the DPI office in Tokyo to learn how to pressure the government to enact a law in favor of the disabled. I studied a lot with Misawa-san, Kim, Miyamoto-san, Hirukawa-san and Sai. They were very helpful to me when I was learning new things. I could learn much from intellectually disabled people during the course of this training.

After that, I learned how to build a homepage for two weeks. I enjoyed having lunch with people from JSRPD. I built a homepage for my organization.

I went to Oita to learn about a project for wheelchairs. While there, I saw hot springs. I also studied about wheelchair sport with Aso.

From April, I went to Human Care. When I first arrived in Japan, I was very impressed by Nakanishi-san and had asked Wayama if I could study with Nakanishi-san. That dream came true when I went to Human Care in April.

Nakanishi-san told me how to manage a center of independent living. Then I leraned about peer couseling and the independence support program. All the instructors were helpful. My idea of running a center for independent living in Pakistan became clearer when I finished the training at Human Care. The center will start this year and it will be the first center for independent living not only in Pakistan but also in South Asia.

On 7th May, I went to Sapporo to prepare for the world assembly. Miyamoto-san Keiko-san taught me many things. Sapporo is a beautiful city.

Then I went to Nagoya, where I talked with Yamada-san and learned how to open a center for independent living in Pakistan. It was just a one-day trip but was full of learning opportunity for me.

When I returned to Mainstream, I talked with Kadota-san about my future plan, establishing a center for independent living, and their relation.

I also learned DAISY at Shinju Information Center. Kawamura’s DAISY system is incredible. I feel that this technology will change society. With this technology, those with visual difficulty, hearing difficulty and serve difficulty will be able to learn various things. I would like to introduce this technology in Pakistan and develop an information and technology I also took driving lessons and gained confidence in this area.

At the end of the individual training training period, I went to Human Care once again and got information and instruction from Nakanishi-san.

Then the group training started. I learned a lot of things not only from the lessons but also from the members of JSRPD.


My training at Duskin is finally ending. While writing this report, I think about what I have lost and what I have gained. I spent a whole year away from my home country, my family and friends. It was a wonderful experience. In addition, I worked on the idea for my future, to operate a center for independent living, and how to change my country and myself from the training I received. The Japanese people are wonderful. They are friendly and they cherish the traditional way of thinking. I learned the philosophy of Duskin invented by Seiichi Suzuki. I love the people in the Duskin group of companies. People at Duskin are very kind. I appreciate their support for this wonderful program in the form of money and cooperation. People from JSRPD loved me like familiy. They became a part of my family. I shall never forget respectable Masako-san, cheerful Wayama-san, elegant Akiko-san, beautiful Nasu-san who is severe in demanding phone charges and Mari-san who is in charge of finance. The Yojima and the Murakamis are also unforgettable people.

I would like to conclude this report with this. If the business of Duskin continues to prosper, the world will soon change in favor of disabled people.

I fell in love with Japan. I shall never forget my year in Japan.