Keiko Izushi was honoured by Passion Vista as an international leader who transcending barriers
Passion Vista always strives to present the virtuous careers of the most influential personalities whose long list of accomplishments has been a stepping stone for the rest. This time also, Passion Vista has successfully showcased such individuals whose alacrity, amelioration, and affability will be remembered for years to come. The “Global Icons 2022” issue is one of the most noteworthy editions that features the profiles of their professional journeys, highlighting the challenges they faced and the perseverance and passion that led them to their current positions of prominence.
Everything that Keiko Izushi has done in life has had one purpose – Healing the World – be it as a senior staff member for the UN World Food Programme (UNWFP), bestselling author, certified coach, or entrepreneur of a retreat centre in Bali.
Healing comes naturally to the compassionate Keiko. She was born as the second of three daughters to striving parents who experienced the poverty and hardship of post-WWII Japan. Her grandmother helped raise her and told her stories of hardships during the war, kimono sewing schools, and old times in Japan. These became her lullabies at bedtime, and later, her first Japanese book.
From 1988-92, Keiko completed her Masters in Economics in Mexico, following which she joined the UN. Speaking about the passion that drove her to be a part of the UNWFP from 1993-2020, she says, “In my teen years during the 70s and 80s – the Band Aid ‘We are the world’ age – this sensitive teenager reacted deeply to the skeleton-like starving children in Ethiopia. I wanted to send these horrible images to a Hunger Museum, just like Auschwitz, so kids in the future go to the museum and ask how humans could be so cruel. I wanted to bury the image in the past and make future generations happy that the bad old days were gone. That was, and is still, my passion.”
Keiko received the 25 years of service award (Golden Pin/ Longest service award) by the UNWFP which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020. In her three-decade long UN career, she was a witness to much human suffering, especially vulnerable populations and children in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Rohingya camps (in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh), amongst others. “I appreciate what my UN career gifted me, the countries I visited and worked in, and the wonderful colleagues I met while journeying towards a common goal,” she reflects.
After working in the UN for almost 30 years, Keiko decided on an early retirement in 2020, first becoming a certified RTT (rapid transformative therapy) hypnotherapist (July 2021), Effective Results Coach (Oct 2021), and ICF certified coach (Sept 2022). She was also a TEDx Speaker in July (both 2021 and 2022).
The beginning of the pandemic also saw her pen her second book: What Grandma Taught Me – A Worldwide Tribute to Grandmothers and Their Legacies. Published on 13 October 2020 (US Grandparents Day), the book became an international bestseller in no time, which led Keiko to her next adventure.
“In 2004-2005, I was a UN staff member working for emergency operation in Aceh, Indonesia, where everything had been destroyed by the giant Tsunami. I was in a tent working day and night attending to VIPs visiting the sites, looking after others, not taking care of myself. That is when my friends asked me to go to Ubud, Bali, for a healing week – to stop and find myself and my passion by doing yoga, meditation, fasting and drinking plenty of water.
The two years of the pandemic were actually a blessing for her; showing the way for Keiko’s new journey after experiencing the world with the UN. Resilient in her endeavour to alleviate people’s stress and anxiety, she tells us all that she hopes to accomplish in the near future: “What COVID revealed was that we are very similar at the level of human anatomy. I want to heal all human suffering, bringing people to their fundamental humanity that is filled with love. My RTT hypnotherapy techniques and coaching skills can help people be aware of their limiting beliefs, created over a lifetime, and know the power within to remove unnecessary blocks to rewrite their life script to be more fulfilling and rewarding.” To know more about Keiko, check www.passionvista.com or to nominate email, [email protected]