Information session for participants
At the end of June, we rented the meeting room of Ashinaga Sendai Rainbow House, which cooperates and sponsors this project, and held a briefing session for participants and their parents, Kijima, the representative of the Japan Secretariat. Had time for presentations and dialogue with participants.
At this homestay, as a result of the examination of submitting an essay about future dreams, 6 boys and 4 girls from the 1st grade of junior high school to the 3rd grade of high school will finally participate. It was. All are new to overseas travel. So at first I was very nervous.
At the briefing session, we introduced photos of last year’s homestay participants and videos broadcast on TBS TV and the news program of the Australian public broadcaster SBS.
We were also able to connect with the Sydney office via a Skype video conference and talk in real time while looking at each other in Sendai and Sydney. The kids were very nervous because it was their first time abroad, but when I show them the pictures of last year’s kids playing in Sydney’s beautiful sea (Bondai Beach), I want to swim! (It’s midwinter in the Southern Hemisphere …) But swim! I was shining my eyes.
The host family on the Sydney side has also been decided, and advance exchanges will gradually begin from now on. Mothers are invited to stay in Japanese families so that children do not suddenly become homestays in an English-only environment.
During my stay in Sydney, it has been decided that two local schools will hold exchange classes, and I plan to visit sponsor organizations and NSW state government agencies.
At each venue, we asked the children to give a thank-you speech in English (even if it was short). Well, will you challenge me?
Sydney Recreation Homestay
For the first time this year, we had a special tour and lunch inside the NSW Parliament House by Minister Ajaka of the Ministry of Multiculturalism. At the parliamentary seat, the children gave a speech prepared in advance in English.
Five years have passed since the earthquake, with not only Minister Ajaka but also Mayor Willoughby coming to see the children this year, and the Australian trade union “CFMEU” donating donations. Nevertheless, I was surprised and happy to receive the support of many Australians.
In addition, there were many other events such as a local school exchange event, Aboriginal traditional ritual experience, Taronga Zoo sightseeing, Sydney Bay cruise, Blue Mountain, and camping.
At first, there were some children who had few words due to tension and their facial expressions were dark, but from the few days after their stay in Sydney, their facial expressions became lively and their original childish facial expressions returned, and all the staff were relieved.
At the farewell party on the final day, each one will talk about their dreams for the future, save money and return to Sydney again! Some children cried.
The state of this stay was broadcast on the national net at the news corner of TBS’s morning information program Vivid. Interviews with children were also broadcast throughout Australia on the local Australian public broadcaster SBS Radio Japanese Broadcasting.
Return home report session
At the end of September, the 2015 Sydney Recreation Homestay Return Report Meeting was held at Ashinaga Sendai Rainbow House.
On the day of the event, I was able to meet all the children I led and their parents again, and it was a little reunion. The children I met for the first time in a month seemed more confident and a little sharper than before.
At the debriefing session, I looked back on the video of my stay and explained it. We asked the children to tell us about their most memorable experience and their dreams for the future.
All agreed that “I want to go to Sydney again!” He also commented that he wanted to work in Australia on a working holiday in the future, met people from various countries, wanted to go to many countries in the future, and decided to attend an English conversation class. There is also a nice report that the score of the English test increased after returning to Japan and that he won the Excellence Award in the English speech contest!
We received words of appreciation from children and parents for the fact that this program is made up of donations and volunteers from many people. We haven’t decided on the next fiscal year yet, but we are starting to consider it little by little after receiving a thank-you voice from the Ashinaga Ikueikai, saying, “Let’s do it again next year!”
On behalf of the project members, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who supported this recreational homestay program and to everyone who gave their thoughts. We hope that you will continue to watch over our activities and give us guidance.
JCS Rainbow Project Japan Secretariat
5th outline and schedule
|Implementation period||August 12th (Wednesday) -August 23rd (Sunday), 2015|
|Where to stay||Volunteer Homestay Homes in Sydney|
|Participants||Two junior high school students from Miyagi prefecture through “Ashinaga Ikueikai”
4 junior and senior high school students in areas where it is difficult to return to Fukushima Prefecture
|Activity content||Sydney city tour (Bondai Beach, Opera House, Harbor Bridge, Darling Harbor, Circular Quay, etc.), local school cultural exchange, indigenous Aboriginal traditional performing arts experience, zoo, etc.
* Please see Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for details.
This year, we did not open the public recruitment on our website, but conducted recruitment and careful selection under the following conditions by providing guidance to the government and introductions from organizations.
- The person or family member must hold the certificate of damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
- At the time of application, submit an essay about your future dreams.
- After returning to Japan, submit an impression of the Sydney recreation homestay.
- Limited to those who have no experience of traveling abroad.
Handling of personal information
Personal information (name, email address, address, etc.) received from inquiries will be used only for this activity. In addition, photos and videos taken during the stay may be used for homepages, SNS, mass media, etc., but if there is a problem with posting, we will respond individually.
About local staff
All homestay families and local staff are volunteers who agree with the purpose of the JCS Rainbow Project and participate in the activities voluntarily. During my stay, I am doing my best to accept children from Japan with the help of my family, despite the time constraints of Australian schools during the semester.
About the planning and management organization
The JCS Rembo Project is sponsored and run by the Sydney Japan Club (JCS).
The Sydney Japan Club (JCS) was founded in 1983 and is a group of Japanese settlers. We operate as a non-profit organization that is not influenced by any particular religion or politics.
The club is run by volunteers and conducts various social activities, public relations activities, and cultural education activities with the aim of promoting friendship between Japanese families, inheriting Japanese culture, and improving mutual understanding with other people living in the club.