Iris Gakuen International Day

by David Tacoronte

Iris Gakuen in Fukushima has over 30 to 40 orphaned children who they house, feed, and provide basic services, education, and activities for on a daily basis. On November 17th, “Eyes for Fukushima”, along with several ALTs, hosted a cultural festival at the local orphanage.

Different countries and activities were displayed along with games and crafts that the children could participate in. Countries that were represented included: Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.  Activities included: school yard hand ball, face painting, Aboriginal dot art boomerang painting, hockey shooting, quizzes, and Maori traditional stick games.

After all the international activities were over, a delicious Japanese nabe style lunch was had! ALTs were set at different tables to help cook, and to speak with all the children at the orphanage.

The second half of the day was filled with a Christmas themed arts and craft time, where the children created either laminated ornaments or Christmas-theme cards. Lots of Christmas fun was had by all!

Finally, everyone lent in a helping hand into creating a custom Christmas-theme purikura background. Costumed up, pictures were taken in front of the background and smiles were present everywhere.

“Eyes for Fukushima” continues to invite ALTs and friends from all around the Tohoku area to come to events hosted by the organization and to help those around the prefecture.  E4F will continue to work closely with local orphanages to provide activities and close interactions between the international community and the children in need.

Volunteering in Fukushima- July 2013

by David Tacoronte

Playground of Hope

On June 22 and 23, the Playground of Hope team led by Michael Anop and a group of 12 Fukushima ALTs came together on a 2 day endeavour to brighten the days of the Shinchi town daycare children. The new playground, sponsored by Eyes for Fukushima, was built over the weekend and stands over 3 meters tall! In addition, the existing jungle gym, bar sets, and slides were all sanded, cleaned and re-painted. Check out the completed project and photos here. Make sure to like their page, and check to see if they will be sponsoring any builds close to you!


Want to listen to live music? Want to help a great cause that supports volunteering organizations all over the prefecture? Like all you can drink hard and soft drinks? Them come out to FUKU ROCK 13! Eyes for Fukushima is hosting the live music event at “Club Neo” on July 6. All types of music will be played including acoustic rock, hard rock, electronica, dance, etc. All proceeds will benefit the ON THE ROAD charity who are doing great work around the disaster affected areas. It will definitely be a great time, and for a great cause. Check out the event page here.

Odaka Volunteering Center

Odaka, the southern ward of Minamisoma city, was badly affected by the Tsunami and Earthquake disaster, and still remains mostly evacuated till this day. Fortunately, the city has organized a volunteer and clean up center aiming to restore Odaka by creating projects to clean up, maintain, and rebuild the necessary parts of the town, along with the houses of currently evacuated victims. This volunteer center runs everyday, morning through afternoon, 10:00AM until 6:00PM. If you are interested in volunteering, you may reach the center at 0244-26-8934 (JAPANESE ONLY) between the previously mentioned hours. They offer room board for overnighters, and bus service from Haramachi station when requested (though self transportation is preferred if possible). Groups are also welcomed! Check out the webpage here (JAPANESE).

FuJET ‘Casino Night’ Leavers Party Raises over 30,000 yen for Charity!

FuJET ‘Casino Night’ Leavers Party Raises over 30,000 yen for Charity!
Over 3man was raised for charity at the Casino Night Leavers Party
Over 3man was raised for charity at the Casino Night Leavers Party

This past Friday, July 5, 2013, was the JET Leavers Orientation in FukushimaCity.  Non-recontracting ALTs met with Fukushima’s governor, and listened to seminars about returning home.

However, the Leavers Orientation was only the precursor to the day’s grand event—the FuJET Casino Night Leavers Party!  This year, the FuJET council decided to take a different approach with the leavers party theme and made a few changes, one of which being a venue change from the Big Apple to Agato. The biggest change was a focus on using our combined ALT-powers to turn this party into something more—into a charity event to help Jimmy’s Village School, an English-school for poor and underprivileged children in Cambodia. With a plan spearheaded by FuJET’s co-presidents, Joshua ‘Rokan’ Tweedy and Erika Ehren, the Leavers party incorporated casino games and a silent auction in the evening’s festivities.

The casino games, staffed by FuJET and Eyes for Fukushima members, included: Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, black jack, and roulette.  Some people won big, some people had a streak of bad luck.  The most important thing is that the casino games raised 16,000 yen (1.6 man) for charity!

The silent auction featured baked goods, wine, art commissions, guided tours, Eyes for Fukushima merchandise, and Japanese translation services.  All auction items were donated by local Fukushima ALTs.  At the end of the night, the auction brought in 15,000 yen (1.5 man) for Jimmy’s VillageSchool!

Overall, the night was a great success! FuJET raised a grand total of 31,000 yen (3.1 man) for Jimmy’s Village School.  It was a night of sequins, cards, and high stakes.  Not only did people get to dance, be merry, and say their good-byes to dear friends, but we all got together to show the love and strength of the Fukushima community will continue to reach out to help people not only around Fukushima prefecture but around the globe.

FuJET would like to extend a HUGE thank-you to everyone who helped donate their time, goods, services, and dealer skills to help make this event possible. FuJET would also like to thank Hannah and Karina for their dedication to Jimmy’s Village School.

Stay tuned for more pictures and a full write-up on the event soon!

Read more of Jimmy’s VillageSchool here.