The Charity movement has always received the support of many persons related
to the school since its very beginning, and has been developing in many
ways. At its very start a Jesuit Father together with students and some
parents visited welfare institutions in many different regions. About 6
years ago, Fr. Inoue Kiyoshi trying to create activities spontaneously
selected by the students themselves, re-structured it under the name of
committee of the Charity Movement. As a result, a teacher from
the school provides the directions to plan the social services which all
students are invited to perform.
|Since one of the basic principles of the school is to be at the service
of others, this is also the main motive for this movement. The Charity
movement can be divided in 5 fields.
The first one is to pay visits to welfare institutions. Students go to the
institutions on feast days and stay there for half a day. Usually they
play with the children there and help to clean the facilities. It has been
customary for the last 8 years to visit Misono Children's Home. Each time
20 students participate in this very important experience. Since the institution
has asked us to help the children with their studies, a group has been
organized to teach primary school children arithmetic drills.
A second activity is the holding of a big event for Misono children. The
school organizes a Christmas Party for all the children of Misono's Home.
The children are invited to spend a whole day at the school. The event
has continued to be held for 20 years, and about 100 Eiko students participate
in it under the leadership of an executive committee organized by the Charity
committee. They enjoy the day playing in the Gym or in the play grounds,
listening to the Brass Band and playing bingo games.
A third activity that takes place during the summer is called the "service
camp at Fukusei Hospital". Started by Fr. Nakamura Takumi with one-day
visits with the students to the hospital, the plan developed to a 3-day
camp about 5 years ago. Every year now about 20 students participate in
this program. Through it the students are able to listen to precious experiences
of the senior patients affected by the Hansen disease, and each time they
make reports with their personal experiences. In November the students
attend the cultural festivals held in the hospital.
The fourth activity consists in fund raising campaigns. Many students help
in the community chest drive on the streets. On the other hand, the profits
obtained from selling goods during the school festival are offered to the
Charity Movement. Adding to this, other funds collected from parents, groups
of mothers connected to the school, from graduates, etc., substantial amounts
of money are given to welfare institutions and volunteer groups.
||Last year, the offerings at the funeral of Fr. Horton, who had been living
in the Jesuit house by the school, were donated to the Charity Movement
and that made possible to distribute 1,250,000 yen to 20 institutions and
organizations. Besides this, the movement sells in the school postcards
made by Hansen disease Filipino patients of the Culion island. (At the
school festival this year, a group of High School students translated into
Japanese a highly well accepted English handbook made in that island that
explains the activities of Jesuits with the Hansen patients).
Finally, under the proposal of Fr. Shimizu Hiroshi a new group, called tanpopo
no kai, was established 4 years ago by a group of mother volunteers
in order to give support to the Charity movement. They not only prepare
the food for the participants at the big event in the school for the Misono
children and during the Camp at Fukusei hospital, but at present they perform
continuous service activities in nearby welfare institutions.
Participation in the Charity Movement is always free and several teachers
take turns to make contacts with outside organizations. Nevertheless, the
movement's committee discusses ongoing programs once a week at its ordinary
meetings, and during the academic term it publishes a monthly newsletter
called "News from the Charity movement's committee". Often at
the morning gathering of the whole school, school authorities invite everybody
to participate in the activities of the Charity Movement. Although teachers
organizing Bible study groups and those teaching Ethics are invited to
cooperate in the movement, participant students are often the same and
it is pitiful that those who not even once have ever participated in volunteer
activities are on the increase. During the summer vacations a number of
students have visited Fr. Oki in Nepal and others participate in volunteer
activities with groups outside the school. Such activities are spreading
little by little. It is desirable that students come in contact with people
living in environments different from their own, and by working and cooperating
with others in various welfare institutions, to accumulate more experiences.