Social and Pastoral BulletinNo. 91 Aug. 15, 1999




Committee for Welfare Education

Shotoku girls' school, in accordance with an educational orientation based on Christian values, attaches importance to welfare as well as to international education. It aims at the accumulation of rich welfare experiences and at the formation of women able to make social contributions. The basis for welfare education is to be found in the educational chart of its mother organization, the Daughters of Jesus Sisters that states: "Our goals are to build a more human society imbued with a world vision that has the courage to take a critical attitude towards situations of injustice, from the stand point of the weakest, and endeavors to build up a spirit of service towards all persons based on global action that serves the welfare of the local communities."

Welfare Education and Volunteer Activities

1.Curriculum guidance

1) Formation of such values through all academic compulsory subjects, not only by learning social subjects, and in particular, in the study of Christian ethics.
2) Guidance and research on volunteer studies that should be directly systematic as well as professional, concerning the study of optional subjects, like

  • +Volunteer Training (second grade of high school)
  • +Social Welfare (third grade of high school)
  • +Emergency Care

Through the study of Social Welfare the students can obtain diplomas as third grade "home helpers." And in the field of emergency care, certificates recognized by the Japan Red Cross as "emergency personnel".
In the class on Justice, Peace and Global Education the students study modern social issues affecting the youth in the world, using multimedia tools, together with other students (from 6 to 10) sent by our sister schools of the Philippines, Taiwan, Spain and Central / South American countries.

2.Volunteer Activities

1) The welfare day
Our School attaches special importance to yearly exposure programs planned in such a way that, in a period of 6 years, all middle and high school students go through such experience. The program includes a wide range of welfare activities to provide opportunities for students to come in contact with persons of sight and hearing disabilities as well as bodily and mental. Such exposure program are not limited to the welfare of the disabled, but, based on a wider vision, try to foster a volunteer spirit.
[Middle School]
* First year: exchange programs with disable people; wheel chair experiences.
* Second year: visit of the Light House Library and attending lectures about visual handicaps, and the study of braille.
* Third year: lectures and study of dactylology.
[High School]
* First year: lectures on welfare, the Community Chest Drive.
* Second year: exposure to volunteer seminars at 10 welfare institutions (old folks' homes, facilities for the disabled, hospitals, etc.)
* Third year: exchange programs with Mizuumi (Lake) Red Cross Volunteer Corps.

2) Blood donation day (The Red Cross bus comes to the School once a year.)

3) Activities of the Students' Association
a) Scholarships for very poor students of Maasin St James Catholic High School, a sister school in the Philippines.
Each class tries to assist financially one student. The Filipino counterpart-school calls such activity "The Shotoku Scholarship." Customary visits of our students to the Philippines and exchanges of letters and photos strengthen the mutual links.

b) Activities of the Social Welfare Club
+Since the foundation of the school, about 40 years ago, we continue our exchange programs with the old folks institution "Koseiryo" and "Soju Gakuin", a children's welfare institution. The main activities consist of periodic visits, inviting the people of those institutions to our School Festival and Xmas Feasts, singing Xmas carols, exchanging New Year greetings, etc.
+ Collaboration with the Red Feather Community Chest Drive
+ Selling goods made by disable people
+ Collecting empty cans and bottles
+ Making cakes to obtain funds for assistance
+ Financial aid to Kamagasaki

c) Shotoku Volunteer Center (SVC) is one of the free clubs founded in 1996.

+The concept is to collect and send out information for those who would like to do some volunteer work or make research on those matters.
+ Registration of volunteers to guide them or to provide them various information.
+ Self-activities of the students themselves.
+ Answering needs of emergency activities

The number of cases covered regarding volunteer activities or training courses reached 20, a year. About 200 students have been participating in them.

d) The members of the health education club are also members of the Japan Red Cross.
This club supports sales, several times a year, of bread made by "Maru (round) Berry," a workshop run by disabled people.

e) Club of safe traffic
Participation in funding campaigns for the support of children of families victims of traffic accidents.

4) Ambassadors of Peace
We organize visits to our sister school in the Philippines. (all students of middle third year and volunteers from high third year)
The sixth year cycle of the overall welfare program ended in 1993 for the first time.

a) To widen our horizons by knowing better our Asian brothers and sisters and by strengthening the links with our sister schools.
b) To become aware of different kinds of values, regarding family, love, life, economic and development issues; to learn about the priority of the human person, about being committed to others and about love of neighbor.
c) To become persons who bring peace to the world.

5) The relationship among teachers, parents and graduates. Public relations
a) Programs for the teaching staff to deepen the understanding of welfare activities. Living- in exposure programs in welfare institutions; seminars conducted in the school on social welfare issues; organized visits to the Philippines for teachers.

b) Groups of graduates are also actively involved in welfare programs. Cooperation in funding campaigns for the Philippines, donations of wheel chairs from the profits earned in bazaars, organizing lectures for the whole school given by former graduates of our school who have spent one or two years doing volunteer work in Calcutta (India) or in Africa.
c) Allocation of a fixed space for "Welfare News" in the School's Newsletter to provide information to the parents. The cooperation of the parents in school bazaars is great.

6) Strengthening links with the local community
In order to deepen our links with the local community, the local administration and other related institutions, with regard to the welfare activities of our high school students, a special organization was established in 1995. It is called "The Federation for Welfare and Volunteer Activities of High Schools located in the district of Matsue and Yasugi Cities (Shimane prefecture)." Since its establishment our school acts as the liaison office.
21 high schools are members of the said Federation. The main activities are the meetings of the Federation, and the planning and implementation of "The Volunteer Congress" for all the participant high school members.
The theme of the third ('98) Congress was "Realities seen from the eyes, the experiences and reflections of high school students, as citizens"

The theme for the Fourth ('99) one is "Discussion with the mayor of Matsue City: Aiming at rebuilding the lives of our towns with better welfare"
The Congress consists of a symposium, speech, report of experiences and sharing, planned and executed by the students themselves.


We are now in times when people cry for the need of a volunteer mind, not only locally, but also internationally. We, as a community of Shotoku School, commit ourselves to welfare education, which is one of our educational characteristics. Besides that, on the basis of our past executions (implementations) within the signs of the times, we widen our vision, by building up links with churches and other Catholic schools.

It is my hope that the volunteer spirit fructifies in each one of the students, thus answering social needs, and that the students develop, individually, as women who will make future social contributions, each one according to her own position.