Volunteering at an English Camp for Children in Miyagi Prefecture

http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/photo.html
http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/photo.html

Last summer my Japanese friend invited me to join her as a volunteer at a weekend English camp for small children in Tohoku. I unfortunately missed the chance because I was occupied on most Saturdays, but I had subscribed for their next calling for volunteers. Then, they emailed me last week they are now looking for International volunteers of any origin to participate in their winter camps in Tohoku between February and March.

If you are interested in joining the camp, please check out their English page here.

http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/

http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/photo.html
http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/photo.html

In 2011, many families in Miyagi prefecture have suffered during the Great Tohoku Earthquake. People in the region are still not fully recovered from the lost since it’s still pretty recent. Last year an organisation called Ganbaro Miyagi started a weekend English camp to cheer the children from Miyagi prefecture up. International volunteers will be guiding the kids to speaking basic English and introducing different cultures to them through camp activities.

There will be four camps this winter as follow.

(1) Feb 7th (Sat) – 8th (Sun)

(2) Feb 14th (Sat) – 15th (Sun)

(3) Mar 14th (Sat) – 15th (Sun)

(4) Mar 21th (Sat) – 22th (Sun)

Volunteers don’t have to join all the camps. You can simply just choose one weekend that you are free. These camps will be held in Tohoku, so volunteers are meeting at Sendai station, and then travel with their bus to the camp venue.

http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/photo.html
http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/photo.html

The organisation will compensate your travelling cost to and from Sendai station at 3000 yen. It is unfortunately far from enough to cover the cost from Tokyo all the way to Sendai, but there are many alternatives to keep your travelling cost low.

I have signed up for the camp on the weekend of March 14 and 15. Since I have never made a stop in Sendai, I plan to spend a few more days in the area for sightseeing. On March 13, I will leave Tokyo by train with Seishun 18 Kippu.

http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/seishun18.html
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/seishun18.html

Travelling from Tokyo to Sendai at low cost can be done in less than a day with local trains, meaning that it will cost only 2,370 yen to get to Sendai. I took this route all the way to Hokkaido last summer and the trains were very reliable. After the camp, I plan to spend 2-3 more days sightseeing around before I get back to Tokyo for work and school.

http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/photo.html
http://ganbaro-miyagi.com/winter2015/en/photo.html

If any of you are free on the same weekend, please join me for this little trip. We can travel to and from Sendai together by sharing the train ticket (Seishun 18 can be used as a group as well as individually), and share a room in hostels (aside from the camp accommodation on Saturday night).

In case you are interested in volunteering, but can’t afford the time or money to travel to Sendai, they are planning Spring and Summer camps in Kanto region as well (either in Chiba or Saitama). You can email them to subscribe for a calling, or read my updates here on this blog. I will be reviewing the camp in March!

Look forward to hearing from you!

Jan

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