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English summer festival in Rikuzentakata (Aug 2016)

Here is the report for the “English summer festival in Rikuzentakata”.
Here’s somebackground story why we held this “English summer festival in Rikuzentakata”.

Our nine members of Let’s Talk Foundation have participated in ‘The High school student summit between Japan and America’ conducted in Rikuzentakata as facilitators have been planning and considering creating an international exchange opportunity as a replacement for the summit which was to end in 2015.

We wanted to provide a cross cultural communication occasion that any age group and gender nearby could join including our reading club members at Komo’s.  We want them to experience being able to communicate more in English so that they could understand that there are a lot of wonderful people in the world to open up their world, that was our pleasure to provide and the concept for holding this event.
The cost of the event was contributed to by the members of Let’s Talk Foundation, a charity run by the Run for Let’s Talk Foundation and crowd funding (CAMPFIRE).  Thank you so much for everyone’s support in making this happen.

 

A guide tour for US students (August 19, 2016)

The day before ‘the summer festival’ on the 19th of August, we took the university students visiting from America as SCOA camp counselors around in order to tell them about the disaster and Japan.  The tour guide was one of our own Komo’s English Reading club’s Rikuzentakata participants, Oikawa.  She prepared for the tour together with our coach Fujishima for a few months and guided in English.  It was a great heart moving experience for those university students to be told about the earthquake and the revival by the locals including the story of the miracle single standing pine tree.

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English summer festival in Rikuzentakata (20-21 August)

There were a total of 40 participants from elementary students to elderly interacting with 13 university students visiting from America as SCOA camp counsellors through sport and games in the afternoon on the 20th and the morning on the 21st. The fantastic thing about this program was joining this occasion with gestures and so on even though you don’t understand English, you do get used to it and enjoy the situation.

14079496_1642649376049967_1294051281341715003_n14051760_1073389079406128_3058363600254009729_nAt the BBQ on Saturday night, there were 70 people participating including the locals, SCOA members, our club volunteer coaches and operators, so it was crowded and great fun! We danced Bon dance together with the university students while teaching them how and played games, so that was an authentic ‘summer festival’. We could not do campfires as it rained unfortunately, but we could use the Futamata revival interacting center, so we were comfortable inside.

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The leadership camp targeted for the third year of junior high school students to university students was conducted at the same time as the general program. They learnt eye contact approach (to communicate after making eye contact) through games and practiced. Also, the next day of staying at Futamata revival interaction center, they shared their each personal story and participated deeper content program aggressively. The counselors gave the participants a message as a little ancestor and a few campers had talked about what they experienced and learnt in this camp.

13988044_1642686909379547_7721347298045564635_o13932887_1643228405992064_6348530825779114360_nAt the end, we had a goodbye ceremony. We signed each other’s T-shirt with friends and counselors who spent time together.

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I’m happy how both Yomiuri (national newspaper) and Tokai Shinpo (local newspaper) published the article about us straight away. Here is some feedbacks from our participants, family, SCOA camp counselors and volunteers sequentially.

A family: He was boasting that it was so fun to other sibling who didn’t go. Also, he/she made me surprised saying hello to me in the morning when woke up. It’s a great program.

A volunteer: I was so exhausted after the three days of program including driving, but it really was a satisfaction three days and I was so happy to be there at that night. I would love to participate again next year!

There were a lot of interactions this time and were countless. So many opportunities beyond sea and community were encountered, expanded and deepened. Thank you so much for everyone’s support on planning, funding, attracting people, preparation, operation and tidying up. I’ll organize another reporting for Let’s Talk Foundation members and crowdfunding’s patrons.

Again, thank you so much for a number of support and help.

Project members of English Summer camp in Rikuzentakata 2016

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