2018 CFP Children’s GoodwillAmbassadors
-Philippine and Thai Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors visited Japan, deepened learning and pledged promoting CFP activities
From June 4 to 13, OISCA invited
to Japan a total of 6 persons, 2 school children and a coordinator each from Abra Province, the Philippines and Khon Kaen Province, Thailand under the Children’s Forest Program (CFP). They visited Japanese supporting companies for exchange activities and observed various efforts for environmental conservation in Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture, Hokkaido and Miyagi Prefecture.
In Tokyo, the visitors were divided into two groups and visited the private corporations which are supporting the respective countries. They came to know how their activities are supported by the Japanese supporters and were highly motivated for further promoting activities after returning home.
Moving to Hokkaido, the Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors and coordinators visited “Ecorin Village” located in Eniwa City and
participated in the Green Wave activity. They first received a lecture on the present situation of forests in Hokkaido and the role of forests supporting biodiversity in order to deepen understanding on sustainable forest development. Afterwards, they did such field works as carrying out thinning trees and firewood splitting under the guidance of the Hokkaido Forest Volunteers Association. Although it was a chilly day, they enjoyed the exchangesession with about 50 high school and university students coming from various parts of Hokkaido.
The visiting group commented: “we are surprised to find how different the forests here are from the ones in our country” and “we now understand that it is important, not only to plant trees, but also to take care and maintain them by thinning and replanting.” It turned out a useful opportunity to learn that steady maintenance activities would lead to the conservation of forests rich in diversity.
In Miyagi Prefecture, they had an opportunity to observe the site of the “Coastal Forest Restoration Project” which is now underway on the coastal area of Natori City. Mr. Rap Rodriguez, one of the Filipino children, who has experienced mangrove planting in his own country, said: “I now understand that we can protect many
lives from natural disasters by raising coastal forests. After going back home,
I would like to try my best with friends in carrying out CFP activities.”In the future, the OISCA Headquarters intends to make a follow-up, so that the Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors who have deepened learning in the various parts of Japan would be able to lead activities at school and community after returning to their home country.
On October 1 and 2, OISCA participated in “Global Festa 2016” held at the Odaiba, area in Tokyo. It is an annual event in which governmental agencies, private organizations and
groups dealing with international cooperation present their activities and celebrities perform on the stage.
This year, OISCA exhibited at its booth photo panels on the worsening environmental problems and natural disasters in foreign countries where OISCA is operating, organized a quiz program on these topics and photo-taking sessions with “Kurocchi”, huge-sized doll of stray cat which is the mascot of the Children’s Forest Program (CFP).
Moreover, some students belonging to the Asia-Africa Study Group of Tokyo University of Agriculture who visited the project sites of OISCA Fiji this summer reported on their on-site
As the Odaiba area is a sightseeing spot, not only those who are interested in international cooperation, but also many shoppers and tourists visited the OISCA booth. A few visitors commented: “we just dropped in, but it’s worth the time because we have been able to learn a lot about overseas environmental problems and NGO’s activities.”
Through the various programs, OISCA could widely disseminate information on its activities in Japan and foreign countries
Visit to Japan by Myanmar and Mongolian children as “Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors” under the Children’s Forest Program
From September 14 to 24, OISCA invited to Japan a total of 7 school children and coordinators from Myanmar and Mongolia under the Children’s Forest Program (CFP) and carried out various exchange activities in Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka and Nara.
On September 20, they visited Okazaki Plant of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in Aichi Prefecture, and in front of the company officials and workers, delivered presentations on the respective forestation activities carried out while facing the serious water shortage in Myanmar and the severe natural disasters and climate change in Myanmar.
In Tokyo, the group participated in a work shop at Nerima Art Museum and underwent studies at NPO Medakanogakkou. While in the Kansai Region, they observed the Kasugayama Virgin Forest located in Nara Prefecture and had an exchange session at Yoshikawa Elementary School in Toyono, Osaka Prefecture.
OISCA intends to promote infrastructural development so that children would be able to think and act together across national borders toward solving global issues in the future.
OISCA Participated in Eco-Products Exhibition 2015
OISCA took part in the “Eco-Products 2015” held at Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) from December 10 to 12, 2015. The eco-products exhibition featuring environmental technologies and environmentally-friendly products and services is held annually since 1999 and is known as one of the largest exhibitions of its kind in Japan. The visitors numbering about 169,000 persons comprised representatives from private corporations, industrial and commercial organizations, national and local government agencies, environmental NPOs and NGOs and general public with interest in environmental issues.
On December 10 and 11, OISCA carried out a workshop demonstrating “Tsumiki” (wooden blocks)which utilized thinned woods and many children came around to play with the Tsumiki.
In the booth, OISCA also exhibited various photo panels and other information materials depicting the activities such as the Children’s Forest Program (CFP) conducted in Japan and overseas. The OISCA exhibits attracted a large number of visitors including Malaysians and Vietnamese who expressed a keen interest in environment.
Visit to Japan by Indonesian and Thai Children Goodwill Ambassadors
From October 19 to 30, 2015, a group of Indonesian and Thai children came to Japan as CFP Children Goodwill Ambassadors. The children visited Osaka, Nara, Aichi, Gifu, Shizuoka and Tokyo, and learnt about Japan’s Nature and efforts for conserving the environment while carrying out exchange programs in the various areas.
They first visited Yoshikawa Elementary School in Toyonoo, Osaka Prefecture, and introduced to the Japanese children the cultures of their respective countries through presenting songs and dances and at the same time, enjoyed an exchange program through Japanese traditional plays and joint drawing of pictures.
On October 22, the CFP Children Goodwill Ambassadors visited the Osaka ATC Green Eco Plaza and observed the approaches of private companies towards the environmental problem and the exhibition of the latest technologies.
In Gifu Prefecture, the children’s group visited the Kitagata Minami Children’s Hall, learnt about the efforts made by the local public facility for supporting child rearing and experienced the Japanese traditional plays such as OTEDAMA (juggling bags game) or KENDAMA. At Kitagata Nishi Elementary School, the visiting group reported on the environmental problems and forest development in the two countries and also enjoyed a cultural program through presenting songs and eating school lunch together. At the Gifu Prefectural Agriculture and Forestry High School, following the presentation by the children’s group, they made a tour of the school facilities and then, experienced making ice cream produced and sold at school. The children were highly impressed by the activities of the high school students who are comprehensively involved in taking care of animals and crops, planning, manufacturing and marketing of products.
On October 25, the CFP Ambassadors group moved to Aichi Prefecture. They carried out an exchange program with the local children at OISCA Chubu-Nippon Training Center. After making on-site visit to a local forest, they made presentations on their activities in the home countries and exchanged opinions on the differences of their respective forests and efforts for environmental conservation.On October 26, the children’s group visited the Aichi EXPO 2005 Memorial Park, learnt about Japan’s four seasons through Nature observation and enjoyed handicraft using natural materials such as acorns available in the forest. On that day, they had home-stay program with Japanese families and experienced Japanese life and culture.
On October 27 and 28, the Thai children group visited OISCA Academy Senior High School. The school is alma mater of Ms. Samai Srilueang, the coordinator of the group. She visited there for the first time in a long time. The children experienced tea ceremony and learnt about the various activities for environmental conservation of the school such as mangrove planting along Hamana Lake, separation of waste and recycling. They were surprised at the high environmental awareness of the high school students and got a hint for their future activities.
On October 28, the Thai and Indonesian groups joined again in Tokyo. They visited the Asakusa Shrine and the old folk house and learnt about the Japanese religious beliefs and traditional architecture.
The Thai group left Japan for home on the late night of October 28. Meanwhile, the Indonesian group had a presentation meeting on October 29 at the OISCA Headquarters in Tokyo. A boy from Madura Island which suffers from perennial water problems such as floods in the rainy season and drought in the dry season appealed the importance of forest conservation and strongly urged the participants to protect the green earth. Aside from the children, the accompanying local staff also made presentations on the significance of the children’s participation and involvement of the local residents in the CFP activities.
Although their stay in Japan was for only 10 days, it seemed to be irreplaceable time with many encounters and discoveries. It is hoped that the children will bring back home their new experiences and learning, and take initiative in promoting the Children’s Forest Program.