ブログ

Aug 2019 – English Summer Fes in Rikuzentakata

English Summer Festival in Rikuzentakata

This is the recap of the 2019 English Summer Festival in Rikuzentakata.

This is 4th and the last summer festival in this format. Thanks to all the past learnings and the supports by many of you including local residents, we successfully complete the 3 days program.

English summer festival is a joint program with SCOA (Sports Camp of America) and Let’s Talk Foundation and was held in Rikuzentakata city. we have remained committed to our basic objective to provide a cross cultural platform to anybody who can participate as well as the students from Komo’s English@Sanriku and Kesen area (east coast of north Japan) residents. We wanted the festival to provide opportunities for people to be motivated to communicate and experience diversity. Project leaders started planning back in spring. We had the largest participants this year and think we have accomplished the aforementioned objectives through the feedback from them.

Let’s Talk Foundation started aiming for helping the residents in tsunami-affected area develop international communication skill to extend their network and introduce their charm to the world. In this respect, hitting the largest participants is exactly what we aimed for. At the same time, funding a big event like this is always challenging in many means. in addition to our long-term regular individual donators, Run for Let’s Talk community and Komo’s English class in Tokyo, individuals and organizations that support the “summer fes” concept contributed the funding to realize this event.

Our project leader visited the camp in Kiyosato to introduce concepts with SCOA counselors (camp counselors) about the English summer festival and our work in Rikuzentakata.

August 16, the day before the festival: Activities to introduce Japan and Rikuzentakata to SOCA members

After the greeting at Ms. Osaka’s house, we toured the quake affected areas guided in English by Ms. Kayo Oikawa who is a student at Komo’s English@Rikuzentakata. This is the fourth tour of its kind and we updated the contents since the area keeps transforming. She got SCOA counselors hooked by her warm humor.

Ms. Keiko Araki from Gassan shrine is another regular tour guide for her third time English tour. She made a presentation about her experience with Komo’s English class in Sanriku, Shinto (Japanese traditional religion) and Gassan shrine. Based on the feedback from last year, she used the contents with animation and charts to make the presentation more foreigners friendly. By the end, all the counselors learnt the way of Shinto prayers.

The first time tour guide was Ms. Ito Emi. She works at a fabrication laboratory “Oil factory Camelia path” in Rikuzentakata run by Nepali Bazaro Ltd, a fair trade company. SCOA counselors were very excited to see the Camelia field from which we can see the sea and showed the production line of Camelia oil, and other goods e.g. cosmetics and cacao products in the laboratory.

After the tour, Ms. Fumiko Osaka gave a lecture on the use of chopsticks and the making rice balls over the lunch of rice balls and miso soup. Ms. Osaka took them around her property while sharing experiences from the earthquake. It started raining but all of them stopped to pray at the cenotaph. Ms. Osaka prepared a memorial Camelia tree and SCOA counselors added messages and names on the wooden board by the tree.

Ms. Oikawa, Ms. Araki, Ms. Ito and Ms. Osaka made a great effort to prepare for this tour. We believe the experience of communicating what they are learning to the native English speakers had been invaluable and build their confidence in communication. They expressed happiness and sense of accomplishment. As for the counselors who are also college students, this tour day made an impression on them by listening to the locals’ real experiences.

August 17 – 18: “English Summer Festival in Rikuzentakata”

Like last year’s festival, we welcomed support from the Rikuzentakata City Board of Education and the Rikuzentakata International Association. At the four-part festival we had roughly 269 participants from the pre-school child to the old.

It was clear sky and the temperature rose from early morning. SCOA counselors facilitated the activities, taking extra care for safety, there was no major injury or sickness. Many of the participants were multi-year repeaters to us. The people’s energy in the gym was super high from the opening.

Every participant from young to old and SOCA counselors enjoyed sports and games together. We had a heart warming re-union too. Ms Yuki Yoshida who used to study at Komo’s English class in Rikuzentakata since she was aa elementary school and was sent to SCOA camps now joined us as a SCOA junior counselor.

We held the evening BBQ party inside the gym. In the free time till BBQ, one by one, people joined dance groove led by SCOA counselors and finally occupied the whole gym space. How could we possibly start BBQ:) !   The party was full of fun activities; we enjoyed a talent show by the counselors. Mr. Teichi Sato of Sato, seed shop owner played wonderful guitar, a SCOA counselor sang a song for Ms. Osaka, all of us danced Takata Bon Odori as we’ve done every year. It was literary the “summer festival” night.

There were 54 people lodging with us, increased from last year. On Sunday morning, we hosted a group breakfast to include all participants. The SOCA counselors showed us “the right way to make PB&J” and we all had a taste of America! We started the day with full of energy!

Along with other activities and much more excitement, we concluded the part 4 of the festival. Two SCOA counselors made a special song for us. The message of “we are friends and we will come back to Rikuzentakata” was moving.  

After we saw off everybody, Ms. Osaka gave a speech and hand-made gifts. In her speech, Ms. Osaka told SCOA members please come back to see the memorial tree. Until then, she will stay fit to welcome you back. 

 

There were 25 volunteers on the event from far or near who supported the operations side. Some were regulars to Komo’s English@Sanriku, some came to the area after a year, and some were truly new to our group. Thank you to all the people who contributed – summer festival leaders and volunteers, pre-festival tour supports, drivers, doctors (Mr. Yoshizawa for Sat, Mr. Takahashi for Sun), and many people incl. residents without a name of “volunteer” who offered a helping hand throughout the event.      

Beside those individuals, there were organizations that supported this year’s festival. Thank you to EY Japan and Global Education and Training Consultants KK for special donation. Thank you to Rikuzentakata City Board of Education and the Rikuzentakata International Association for endorsement. 

THANK YOU!

(Team English summer festival)

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加

関連記事

アーカイブ

ページ上部へ戻る