There are countless ways JETs give back to the community, but here are the three regular events. Aside from these, get out there in your community and spend time doing something you love while also helping your neighbors!
Circle Time is a long-standing volunteer organization created and run by Saga JETs as a way to give back to the Saga community. Our goal is to expose participants not just to English but also to other cultures as a way to build multicultural understanding. Events are held approximately six times a year in Saga City and occasionally other locations in the prefecture, where JETs (and friends of JETs) read English books, sing songs and do craft activities for about an hour with young local children and their families. For the families, participation is entirely free and no reservations required!
If interested, please join the volunteers Facebook group or contact one of the leaders!
Group Leaders: Jamel, Hannah, Amber J., Rob
Started by Penny in 2011, a group of Saga JETs and friends tries to bring some joy to disadvantaged Japanese Children at orphanages in Saga City and Karatsu by going there to play games and do arts and crafts once a month (rotating between orphanages). The two orphanages with whom we currently have relationships are:
Saga Seikoen (佐賀清光園) – in Saga city
Jikoen (慈孝園) – in Karatsu
Saga Charity Christmas Party
Every year since 1989 “The Party Project” has organised a Charity Christmas Party. “The Party Project” is a group of Japanese and foreign volunteers who want to help the Saga community. All aspects of preparation for the party and the running the party itself are done by volunteers, so that all the profit can be given to charity. There are several levels of volunteer involvement:
- The Board of Directors which make decisions about the party and lead the General Volunteer meetings.
- General Volunteers attend meetings about once every two weeks in November and December to help in preparations for the party, as well as helping on the day of the party.
- On the night volunteers help to make the party run smoothly.
The party needs volunteers to work in variety of areas including food, drinks, entertainment, attractions, decorations and donations/sponsorship. Your Japanese level does not matter as everything is done in both English and Japanese including the meetings and the party itself.
The Charity Christmas Party is held at the Saga Bunkakaikan (Cultural Hall) in Saga City. It has two aims: to raise money for charity and to promote international relations. The empty hall space is transformed by volunteers into a Christmas landscape, through the use of decorations, preparing to host approximately 500 people. There is a cash bar, all you can eat buffet, games, Santa’s corner, live entertainment, and a chance to meet Japanese and foreign people living in and around Saga. It really is an event not to be missed, especially when all the money is going to charity.
Over the past ten years the money raised from the party has gone to various orphanages, homes for the handicapped and homes for the elderly, etc. The Charity Christmas Party has already made about 15million yen for local charities in the Saga area. Preparations begin in October and the party is usually held in the first or second weekend of December.
Person in charge: Koichi Araki
If you have a passion for something and think your community could benefit from some volunteering or charity projects, why not consider starting up a regular initiative of your own, like some other Saga JETs did to originally launch the initiatives above?