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Summer Volunteer Weeks in Japan!

By Haruka Maruno August 31, 2012

by Haruka Maruno, Community Engagement Coordinator Japan staff from the Tokyo and Osaka office have had a great time getting involved in the Summer Volunteer Weeks 2012 throughout July and August.  Employees dedicated their time to a variety of causes including skill based volunteering and disaster relief support following the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. In total more than 1,700 volunteer hours were recorded, supporting the following programs;


PC class for people with disabilities (NPO Palette)Image

Earlier in the summer, the PC class was held in the Tokyo office inviting people with disabilities in conjunction with NPO Palette. This event helped support the personal growth of these people by spending time working and playing together. This year, the group created colorful summer greeting cards and all had a great time.

We had a fantastic time with Palette members, helping them design and create their summer greeting cards. They made us all happy with their smiles! I felt they really enjoyed searching for their favorite pictures on the Internet, as this was the first time for most of attendees. I would like them to feel more BIG surprises in the future through further use of IT. (Volunteering leader, Tetsuya Kawasaki)

NPOぱれっと  夏のパソコン教室開催



Making Food Parcels for disaster-affected areas  (Second Harvest Japan)Image

Second Harvest Japan has been working in the disaster area of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami since the beginning. Throughout that time they have delivered countless food parcels and temporary housing.  They also provide resources and support to the refugees and single mothers affected by the events. To support their efforts, 21 employees volunteered to produce food parcels over 3 days.

Participating in this volunteering event was an important experience for me because I was able to find out that even though it has been almost a year and a half since the tragic disaster, the people in the Tohoku area are still in need of foodstuffs. I felt that we need to continue finding ways to support them.(Volunteering leader, Reina Oishi)

セカンドハーベスト・ジャパン 被災地向け食品パッケージ



Beach cleaning  Image

On a good, sunny day, a volunteer team visited the seaside and spent the day beach cleaning.

We had a great time cleaning up the beach!  The weather was perfect, the water was clear, and we all got lots of exercise walking up and down the “half-mile beach”.  We collected more than 20 bags of garbage, including everything from cigarette butts and fireworks to umbrellas and flip-flops.  We also picked up a large number of plastic bags and balls of fishing line, which pose dangers to the local wildlife. Many local people stopped to say thank you, and we really felt good about helping to keep such a beautiful place beautiful!(Volunteering leader, Eric Anderson)



 大変素晴らしい海岸清掃となりました!晴天に恵まれ、800メートルの海岸を歩きながら、ゴミを拾っていきました。花火のゴミやたばこの吸い殻、傘、また、 環境汚染につながるビニール袋や釣り糸のくずなど、合計で20袋以上のゴミを集めました。清掃活動中、たくさんの地元の方に「ありがとう」と声をかけてい ただき、少しでも逗子海岸の美化に貢献できたことを嬉しく思います。(Eric Anderson)

Book AID for children in developing countries and disaster relief (Shanti Volunteer Association)Image Japan employees participated in a voluntary activity with Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA), which delivers picture books to developing countries including Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan and Myanmar Refugee camps in Thailand. We put translation stickers on each page of the books so that children in developing countries can enjoy reading them at schools. We have been supporting this campaign since 2004 and will deliver 800 books this year. Recently Shanti have grown their model to support the mobile library project in Iwate in response to the 2011 Tsunami. We are helping them deliver 150 large printed books for elderly people and eco-bags to carry borrowed books. Employees went out and bought large-print books using Grant money from, they then helped out by fitting book jackets to the books and ironing the SVA logo on to the eco-bags.

シャンティ国際ボランティア会 心をこめて、本を途上国と被災地へ


The Japan employees also took part in plenty of other events, including ;Image


1stBirthday present packages for babies in the disaster area (JOICFP) 被災地で1歳の誕生日を迎えるこどもたちへのバースデープレゼント梱包(JOICFP)

Summer festival leisure support for elderly people in the care center(Welfare Plaza Sakuragawa)デイケアサービス利用する高齢者のための納涼祭運営のお手伝い(福祉プラザさくら川)

Agricultural volunteering (NPO Tsukuba Agri Challenge)障がい者支援に取り組むごきげんファームで農作業のお手伝い(つくばアグリチャレンジ)Image

Exhibition and Sale of delicious sweets made by people with disabilities in training center in the disaster area, Miyagi and Iwate.(AAR Japan)被災地の障がい者施設で作られたお菓子の社内販売会(難民を助ける会)

Art Volunteering(KidsEarthFund)こどものアートワークショップで使われた画材や絵の整理(子供地球基金)

Street Cleaning(GreenBird) 表参道での清掃活動(GreenBird)Image

Cleaning at infant home(Futaba baby home)庭の清掃とおもちゃ拭き(二葉乳児院)

Agricultural support by mowing in paddy fields(Shanti Volunteer Association)田んぼの草刈のお手伝い(シャンティ国際ボランティア会)