Opportunities to Volunteer

日本語
There are many ways to volunteer in Japan, whether in your communities or helping with disaster relief. If you are looking for something close to where you live, we recommend you first contact your local AJET chapter and JETs. Second, internet searches are amazing, but there are few sites in English. Grab a friend who can read Japanese or check with your supervisor or coworkers for help. The following are some of the domestic and international volunteer opportunities available. To search for volunteer opportunities by prefecture, visit this page: Opportunities to Volunteer by Prefecture. If you would like more information or want to suggest a project, please email neetha.mony@ajet.net.

2013 National JET Volunteer Week

logo From April 13-21, 2013, JETs across Japan will give their time to volunteer efforts in the first annual National JET Volunteer Week. Whether you’re looking to volunteer within your community, for a specific cause, or help with disaster relief in Tohoku, National AJET is here to help with ideas and publicity. This is an opportunity for JETs to work together in their communities, join a community organization, initiate a project, or even incorporate and encourage volunteering in lesson plans. http://ajet.net/2013-national-jet-volunteer-week/

Smiles and Dreams: The Tohoku Kids Project

SKJ After beginning monthly orphanage visits in his area, former Fukui JET Michael Maher-King had a vision to spread the goal across Japan. Now with active volunteers in 27 prefectures, Smile Kids Japan is one of the easiest ways to volunteer in your communities. If your prefecture doesn’t have a group yet, the SKJ website walks you through the process of searching for and beginning orphanage visits. They also supply game ideas and can offer you support and advice if needed. You can find more information about current Smile Kids groups across Japan here. http://www.smilekidsjapan.org/lang/en/our-progress/

Habitat For Humanity

Habitat for Humanity’s Japan branch began in 2002, and they focus primarily on raising funds and building houses for people who need decent places to live. After the devastation of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Habitat Japan also organized disaster response teams in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, dedicated to supporting those affected. Throughout the year they lead volunteer projects to help rebuild the hardest hit communities. You can learn more at http://www.habitatjp.org/contents_e/involved/index.html.

Peace Boat

Peace Boat Since the March 11 disasters, Peace Boat has been actively recruiting volunteers for work in the affected areas and Tokyo. They offer a variety of volunteer activities so you can find the one that best suits your skills. Many JETs have volunteered with them in the past and we have a great relationship with them. Please look at http://peaceboat.jp/relief/volunteer/ for more information.

T-shirt Sales

shirt If you really want to help but it’s too difficult to get out to Tohoku, buy a Fukushima t-shirt! Fukushima AJET began selling these colorful t-shirts to raise money for Fukushima disaster relief. Now the money collected goes to Eyes for Fukushima(E4F), a charity created by Fukushima JETs that runs events to promote the recovery of Fukushima. For a mere 2000 yen, you can get your own t-shirt (I love my purple one!) and also support the Fukushima community. You can learn more about the project and ordering your own t-shirt at their blog, http://fukushimatshirt.blogspot.com/The JETs in Fukushima-ken have created our own charity called Eyes for Fukushima(E4F) and are working to attain NPO status. Our purpose behind creating E4F is to fund events and projects promoting the recovery of Fukushima. We hope to empower the eager JET community in Fukushima to help actualize their volunteer ideas. The money from the shirts sold will go to our charity. Here is our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/EyesForFukushima!

The latest Volunteering News…

  • JETs Rally for Tohoku: Deadline Extended Global Giving has generously extended the donation-matching campaign to benefit Tohoku! Donations will continue to be matched yen for yen and dollar for dollar. If you weren’t able to give on 3.11 this is your big second chance to make a big difference!
  • JETs Rally for Tohoku Support the Taylor Anderson Memorial Foundation by donating during a 24-hour donation drive that starts when the clock strikes midnight in Japan on March 11. Global Giving has offered to match these donations. This is a great opportunity to show your ongoing support for Tohoku by going to the Global Giving website on March 11th ...
  • Volunteer Interpreters Needed: Ishigaki ITU World Cup Triathlon Every year, Ishigaki City, Okinawa hosts the Ishigaki ITU Triathlon World Cup and Ishigaki Island Triathlon. This year’s races will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2013, and the athletes and organizers need your help! If you have advanced Japanese ability and are interested in volunteering as an interpreter for the event, please read over the following documents. Event Overview ...
  • Annual PEPY Ride Fundraiser 2012 Dear PEPY Supporters, PEPY Tours is busy getting ready for the annual PEPY Ride and we’d love for you to join! The PEPY Ride is PEPY Tours’ biggest yearly fundraising event, and will take place from December 24th 2012 – January 12th 2013. This cycling adventure offers a unique opportunity to explore, learn, and cycle across Cambodia, ...
  • Tips for Volunteering in Tohoku Originally written for the October 2012 issue of Connect In July, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Japan in Miyagi- ken. It was an amazing experience and one I’d definitely recommend. Before you jump in, however, here are some important pointers to consider when planning your own volunteering stint in the Tohoku ...