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  • History of our activities


Support Kenya Project

In the wake of the results of the presidential elections in Kenya on 27th December 2007, there was a massive civil unrest and ethnic violence. The number of victims as of January 2008 was estimated to have exceeded 350,000 people in what was a very sad set of circumstances. In response to this crisis situation in cooperation with Kenyan members of the SWYAA Kenya, IYEO discussed the feasibility of a support program and begin the Support Kenya Project.

In April 2008, US $2,000 of emergency relief was provided in the form of food supplies and blankets to the refugee camp in Nakuru. Since then campaigning and fundraising have been carried out in order to raise awareness amongst Japanese youth. In August 2009 there was a second campaign to support a refugee camp in Naivasha.

In the second part of the campaign, IYEO organized something named “Five thousand people’s pinpricks project.” People were requested to sew sequins on a flag to be sent to Kenya, and for each sequin, donate 100 yen to the Kenyan crisis. IYEO members all over Japan cooperated to realize this project, which also included songs and a picture-book show through which the situation in Kenya was illustrated. The donations that were collected were used in particular to buy useful materials for the education of young people.


International support project for children’s education in Sri Lanka
“One More Child Goes To School”

This is a project to support for those elementary school children in Sri Lanka who find it difficult to go to school. Formed by ‘Project Team’, from 2008 they begun two kinds of supporting activities.

1.Offers of school materials
Profits from charity events such as lunch parties, a Sri Lankan tea room etc., were used to purchase stationary, original notebooks, and other school materials to donate to the children.

2.Scholarship fund (“Foster Parents”)
Members and affiliates of IYEO were broadly appealed for the collection of donations and the organization/distribution of scholarships to the selected children.


Donations to the reconstruction efforts following the Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami

IYEO took the lead in collecting money for areas devastated by the Asian tsunami, especially for Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka where many participants of SSEAYP and SWY are from. Donations were given not just by IYEO members but also participants of the 17th Ship for World Youth program and members of the SWYAA Mexico and SWYAA USA. They were given to the Thai government and Lao’s Morgan family through Association of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth of Thailand (ASSEAY) for a water tank project. Meanwhile donations to Sri Lanka were used to make a contribution to the Sri Lankan government’s reconstruction efforts through the SWYAA Sri Lanka. Coordination of donations for the Indonesian fund is in progress. The part of the donation went towards the IYEO Kyoto activity that approximately 900 picture books with the translation stickers were sent to children in devastated area, Banda Aceh, Indonesia.


Global Photo Contest

On the occasion of the Tokyo Conference for the Ex-Participating Youth of the SWY program in March 2004, attendees came up with the idea of introducing “art events.” The Japanese committee members brought the idea into shape thereby beginning the Global Photo Contest as a collaborative project of SWYAA. IYEO cooperated with the SWYAA to put together overseas publicity and select the photographs for the successful implementation of the project.

The theme of the first Global Photo Contest was “International Food for Thought”, the second “Street Market”, the third “Smile and Laughter” and the fourth was “A Treasure for Future Generations.” The top thirty photographs have been compiled as the “Global Photo Panel” a portfolio that is used at events, exhibitions and orientations by IYEO local chapters and Alumni Associations all over the world.

Furthermore, on the 20th anniversary of IYEO’s foundation, this project was recognized as one of the organization’s flagship activities.


Essay contest in celebration of the 25th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP)

In celebration of the 25th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program, IYEO participated in the SSEAYP International essay contest. The common theme was “Leadership in Asia in the 21st Century” and was set up with participants divided into an older age range (university students up to adults aged 30 years) and a younger group (including junior high and high school students). IYEO encouraged members all over Japan to join the contest. The number of applicants was very high in both older and younger categories, and from each category, one winner and one highly commended work was chosen.


Volunteers in aid of the Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake Disasters

IYEO’s members in Osaka played a central role in supporting victims of this natural disaster by providing a shelter for one month. IYEO recruited volunteers from throughout the country to be dispatched to shelters, and in addition to coordinating the schedule IYEO members’ were very pleased with the continuous support they were able to provide.


Exhibition of Drawings by Asia’s Children

On the occasion of the opening of the Seventh International General Assembly of SSEAYP in celebration of the “International Year of the Family”, the exhibition of Drawings by Asia’s Children was held it was Japan’s turn to be the hosting country and to hold a celebration of “The year of the International Family.” The first exhibition was held in Tokyo and then toured the entire country. Its aim was to introduce ASEAN countries in educational and cultural terms that are easy to relate to. The pictures were gathered by participants of SSEAYP and included drawings by street children in the Philippines.


Australia (Collection for Cowra)

Contributions towards the maintenance and administration of the Japanese Gardens in Cowra, Australia (established as a symbol of Japan-Australia cultural exchange) were started by the 17th Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise Program. This support was continued until the 19th Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise Program, and beyond, with the cooperation of IYEO.


Music exchange with West Samoa and Tonga

The 17th Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise Program included a request from West Samoa and Tonga for an electric organ to be brought on the ship as a gift when they made their port of call in those two countries. After the request for an organ, we started to transport more instruments by ship. During the port-of-call activities at Tonga, the harmonica was introduced as the main instrument. Seeing the Japanese participating youth playing the harmonica alongside Tongan local youth in their national stadium created a lasting and deep memory on all the participating youth.


The campaign to support the Mother Teresa Institute

The catalyst for this project came from an institutional visit made by members of the 14th Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise Program to the Mother Teresa Institute in Calcutta (formerly Culcutta) in India. The aim of the campaign was not to provide simple handouts, but to think about and learn what “volunteer spirit” is, by observing the social service activities of the sisters and their helpers at the Mother Teresa Institute.

There was a continuation of the same concrete support three years running on the 18th until the 20th Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise Program. However following the reorganization of the program under the new name of the “Ship for World Youth,” the practice was discontinued. After this, in necessary recognition of the circumstances, IYEO made arrangements for transporting humanitarian support goods to an institute in Tondo, the Philippines instead, on request from the Japan Mother Teresa Institute.


The opening of “Voice Forum”

Voice Forum is a meeting for young foreigners living in Japan where they can give speeches in Japanese as part of a general exchange meeting. In 1981 there was an opportunity to hold such a forum in each prefecture. The forums have continued to this day in Iwate prefecture.


Giving pencils as gifts to Burmese children

This campaign started with the aim of providing every one of Burma’s (now known as Myanmar) 1,000,000 children in primary education with a pencil by collecting those that lay unused inside desks. The campaign was introduced on the NHK television channel programme “Studio 102.” Not just ex-participating youth but also ordinary citizens including former soldiers who had participated in war in Burma added their participation so that in the end the target number was exceeded and 1,120,000 pencils were sent as gifts to Burmese children.


The “One Plot Goodwill Campaign” in support of the Korean Institute for the Physically Challenged,

Our first project was the ‘One Plot Goodwill Campaign’. Some Japanese ex-participating youth became aware of an institute for the physically challenged in Korea whose members were under threat of eviction. In order to purchase the full 1,000 tsubo (equivalent to 3,300 ㎡) of land valuing \6,000.000 in total, each individual raised enough money to pay for one plot of land and help to keep the institution running. At a time when there was strong anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea, this campaign in which some Japanese tried to help Korean people aroused a lot of controversy. This project allowed the institution to survive.