Social and Pastoral BulletinNo. 86Oct. 15, 1998
Kegawa Naomi (Jesuit teacher in charge of volunteer activities)

Volunteer activities were conducted in many different ways since the foundation of the school, like working camps in Saijo's “Taiyo no Machi” (Sun town) and exchange programs with the children of the protective institution Yawata Gakuen. At present there are appointed teachers taking responsibility for some volunteer activities, but many of those activities are usually done by class grades or by the students' association and even by private individuals.
1. Programs Organized by the Whole School or by Different Classes

  1. Since last year we have started a 2-week study program in the Philippines. Fifteen students from our school visited 2 Jesuit schools in Manila and Naga. During that time they paid visits to different institutions and held exchange programs with various people. The students visited children institutions, old folks homes, mental hospitals, refugee communities, Hamsen patients and slum dwellers. Such experiences with suffering people were powerful.
  2. Participation in a program sponsored by the city of Hiroshima called, “Disabled and healthy children living together camp”. This is a two-day program with 60 disabled children. About 20 students of our Junior Middle school take part as healthy boys, while 30 High school students help in the organization of the program.
  3. Project of 1st year High school students. Together with High school girls of Seishin Notre Dame they invite on Xmas Day about 60 children of the Yawata Gakuen institution to celebrate Xmas in our school. The students themselves make fund raising in the school, ahead of time, to pay for the expenses of lunches and presents for the children on that day. They enjoy playing games and sports with them on that occasion.
  4. Program of 3rd year Junior school. This consists in a 3-day fund raising campaign in the streets of Hiroshima at the end of the year. Citizens cooperate generously and the funds collected go to support the productive activities of the “Taiyo no Machi” welfare institution in Saijo, the institution for disabled children built in Nepal by Fr. Oki, and scholarships for poor Filipino children.
  5. We also use the “home room” time to start other activities, like experiencing riding in wheel chairs and learning dactilology. From now on we plan to expand such home room activities.
2. Activities Organized by the Students Association

The services committee of the association makes simple appeals for action to all the students. For instance,
  1. for blood donations in the school. About 150 students are blood donors
  2. for participation in the bazaar of the children' institution, “Hikari no Sono”. They help in the selling of games and old books. During the culture festival of our school students also sell old books and donate the profits to "Hikari no Sono".
  3. Groups of volunteer students do fund raising inside and outside the school for UNICEF, for the long-legged (Ashinaga) association and the green feather association. Last autumn they also collected rice in answer to demands from Kamagasaki (Osaka) and sent it to the homeless workers there.
  4. the Junior students' association sweeps and cleans twice a month the surroundings of the bus stop nearby.
3. The Gakuin Service Society

This is a group of 15 volunteer students established after the Great Hanshin earthquake. They continue their activities in a spirit of cooperation whenever needs arise.
  1. for blood donations in the school. About 150 students are blood donors
  2. They participate in most events of nearby Furuta children's center. This is an opportunity for them to play with the children of the town in the haunted house, with the stamp relay courses, during Xmas celebrations and graduation parties.
  3. participation in drawing and painting classes of children with down syndrome, visits to the children's home “Hachiman Gakuen” and helping the disabled of the institution in the summer camp by the beach.
4. Activities of the soapbox group "Jug Ranger" (5 members)

This small group was born to bring joy to children. They practice daily whenever they have free time and they perform in the places already mentioned above every time they find an opportunity. Recently, the Commission for Social Welfare of the city and several other groups ask often them to perform.

5. Other Activities

There are also some high school students who go to Nepal to visit Fr. Oki and contact the disabled children there. Others take courses during the summer organized by the Commission for Social Welfare on children's education and experiences in pre-kindergarten. Some classes also collect old stamps and used prepaid-cards.
Many students participate in volunteer activities organized for the whole school or by small groups. There are many students with good hearts and the teachers are also very cooperative in such volunteer activities, but people are usually busy with other student and club activities. In fact, the interest in volunteer activities of most students is still low.