Thursday, 31 January 2013

Adventure hats, Communication, & the Future

Well I have failed at my promise to write every week. Therefor I will write two posts this week so stay tuned.
Now on to our regular scheduled program…

Last weekend, we had a general consultation for Non-Japanese of the Tohoku region. Throughout the weekend they discussed problems that come from being a foreigner living in Japan. The language, lack of jobs because they are not Japanese, the inability to fully communicate with their husband, abusive spouses, government , and not being able to understand the Japanese that is on official documents...just to mention a few. In groups they wrote down all the problems they have faced as individuals and then tried to figure out the core of those problems. Then the next step was to find a way to resolve those issues. Some of the ideas we will submit to the local government like having translations of all documents, having translators available to answer legal questions, and having exchange cultural events so that an understanding of one anothers' cultures can be appreciated.  Three of the groups represented would even like to build migrant support centers.

While the meetings were going on my fellow coworker, Shota, and I took care of thirteen kids. It was a long weekend for everyone. With the kids we played lots of games and made various crafts. One of those crafts was an adventure hat. I had them make a hat out of newspaper and then they were told to write down where they wanted to go in the world. Some of the kids were too young to understand that there is a world outside of Japan so they wrote down Tokyo. One kid wrote down Italy and then drew a Brazilian flag. I had to prompt some of the others with various country names but eventually everyone had a place they were going to in their adventure hats. Love seeing what kids will come up with.

 Now that weekend is over with we have to focus on the next steps for foreigners in Japan. This means writing proposals to governments, defining what it is they need, and figuring out ways to start their migrant support centers. It’s going to be exciting to see these discussions become more than just talk.  

Thanks for tuning in,

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a productive meeting! And your adventure hats are super kawaii :)