We have an important update regarding the carnival. We are happy to announce that we will be working with a group of Japanese university students who are from the Rikuzentakata area. They ran an event last year called “Wakodosai”. Here is their website:
The city encouraged our two groups to work together to organize a super fantastic carnival this year. With their experience and our international can-do spirit, we hope we can make the vision of our carnival a complete success.
Due to our two groups working together, the city has moved the carnival to:
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
We think this is actually a better date and doesn’t conflict with as many events. We hope the new date still works for everyone.
Other information about the carnival:
-The carnival will be held at Takata Elementary school. The principal has graciously allowed us the use of the grounds and the gym!
-We have some confirmed musical acts for the carnival, including some local talent from Akita!
-Monty Dickson’s sister has offered her full support and hopes to attend the carnival as well!
-We have a Facebook Page! “Carnival in Rikuzentakata” Please join and use it as a forum to discuss booths and ideas for the carnival!
As always, you can find up-to-date information on the website and Facebook page, Carnival in Rikuzentakata.
Mark your calenders, we can’t wait to bring you more information soon!
Jon and KK
For our upcoming carnival event, you might be wondering how you can volunteer. We want to run a variety of booths and activities. We’ve sent out a brainstorming call for ideas, so here is a compiled list of them all. This list is not finalized, if you have any other ideas for the carnival, please get in touch with us. If you see something on the list you really want to be a part of, let us know!
-Water bucket drop
-Ateji for “Carnival” to be used in following Rikuzentakata carnivals.
-Magic and balloon animals
-Water Balloon toss/Egg Toss
-Fishing over curtain for a prize
Anyone can participate races
- three legged
- wheel barrow
- tray race
- egg spoon race
Anyone can participate events/field games
- scavenger hunt
- penalty kick shoot out
- Easter egg hunt
We also would like to have food stalls with items that are commonly found/served in our home countries.
- Sugar cookie decorating/no bake cookies
- English tea time
- Candy apples
- (cup)Cake walk
We’d love to provide live entertainment on a stage at the carnival, further details to follow.
There is so much we can do with this event, keep thinking about it, and volunteerAKITA hopes you will be there with us in August!
VolunteerAKITA is proud to announce a joint event with the city of Rikuzentakata!
With the immediate dangers past, the needs of the survivors have changed. While many people feel that they have to start supporting themselves financially, it doesn’t mean we cannot still give them support to continue moving forward. We need to remind the people that have survived the March 11 disaster that they are not forgotten and that we still care about their situation.
With this in mind, we have partnered with Rikuzentakata, Iwate in cooperation with the mayor, city hall and the citizens, to organize a carnival style event where everyone can get together and enjoy themselves. We want booths and stalls with events ranging from carnival games to balloon animals, face painting to face stuffing. The individual booth ideas are up to us, the volunteers.
This is a chance to give back to the community, to get back to the coastal cities and volunteer our time and show them support.
Time and location-
The event will take place in Rikuzentakata city on August 31, 2013 (Saturday). The location within the city hasn’t been determined yet, as they need to know the number of participants in order to reserve a big enough location.
What we need right now-
We need volunteers who are willing to commit their time to this event. We know it is far in the future, but in order to make the event a success this time and for many times to come, we have to start planning now.
If you are interested but don’t know if you can commit yet, please let us know as we need to tell the city our numbers ASAP, and would rather overestimate than underestimate.
Even if you can’t make it to the event, we can still use your help! Please send in your ideas for booths. The more ideas we have the more memorable we can make the day.
We can also use donations, be it monetary or supplies. Donation details have yet to be finalized but please stay tuned for more information.
How you can donate-
Please donate your time and ideas to our cause. Send us an email with your contact information if you want to participate and/or any ideas you have for the event.
While the event date is August 31, 2013, there is much to do right now. We need a head count of participating volunteers so the city can reserve an appropriate size space. We also need to include ideas for booths/stalls in a report to the city so they can determine what resources they will need to provide. We want to send them this report as soon as we can, so please contact us now!
If you are interested in more information about the city of Rikuzentakata, the mayor, or this project, please look at the following links.
As always, you can look here for the latest information Rikuzentakata Carnival Event
Thank you very much!!
Jon and KK
Co-directors of volunteerAKITA
Akita welcomed 30 new JETs to the prefecture and held the annual Welcome Party to celebrate their arrival. Sanboen Cabin broke its previous attendance record, with the highest number now topping at 87 fantastic people. Individual performers, DJs, and the ALT Super Band played an assortment of music that kept everyone dancing late into the night. Of course, the taco rice was also a highlight, with rice cookers decorating the cabin with their pearlescent glow. We raised ￥170,000, another new record for the vA events!
Our biggest thanks to Alex, Clarissa, and the kitchen crew for working so hard on the amazing taco rice, Todd for another outstanding evening of alcohol and bartender services, and to Wil for planning another amazing event. Also, a huge thanks to our excellent performers and DJs!
The next event will be hosted by AAJ, another volunteer group in Akita that is raising money to build a library in Laos. We look forward to seeing you all there!
- KK and Jon
In the beginning of July, vA held a farewell party at the Sanboen Cabin in Honjo. A record number of people attended the amazing event (over 80!!), and enjoyed a night of live performances, fantastic decorations, and the most delicious taco rice.
We at vA would like to send many, many thanks to all the everyone who contributed and attended!! Our thanks to Anne for the delicious taco rice, Todd for the ALT bar and Wil, who organized such a wonderful event. We were able to raise ￥145,190 and all proceeds went directly into the vA scholarship fund. We are already looking forward to the next event, which will be a welcome party for all the new ALTs to Akita. Can’t wait to see you all there!!
- KK and Jon
After over a year of volunteering and relief efforts with support from people all around the world, volunteerAKITA, under the outstanding leadership and direction of Paul and Minami, is pleased to welcome two new directors, Jon and KK. They hope to drive volunteerAKITA to the next level building upon the ideas and foundations achieved by Paul and Minami. Jon has been working in the background for volunteerAKITA, responsible for the website and media logistics. KK joined immediately after beginning work in Japan and has not stopped in her endeavors to make volunteerAKITA even greater. Under their direction, volunteerAKITA will continue to provide both volunteer opportunities and donations to affected areas of the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011 as well as creating new projects to foster greater internationalism between Japan and the world. All of us at volunteerAKITA would like to thank Paul and Minami for setting the right tone and energy when starting volunteerAKITA and for the absolutely amazing things they have done for anyone affected by the disasters. We wish them the very best, and hope that their new adventures are the most fantastic yet.
Now a word from the two new directors, Jon and KK.
From the beginning volunteerAKITA has seen an amazing amount of support, volunteering and donations from the people in Akita and also from people living around the world. With the conclusion of the Fruit Tree Project and non-specialized volunteer opportunities dwindling, volunteerAKITA looked to provided a scholarship to an orphan living in Sendai, Japan. With the generous donations from people around the world, we successfully raised enough money to support this orphan in going to university. Again, to everyone who has helped us thus far, we send to you a heart-felt and greatly deserved thank you!
Now, volunteerAKITA is pleased to announce its newest project for the future. The first is to create a permanent scholarship fund for orphans in Tohoku wishing to attend university. The scholarship would be of varying amounts from as low as ￥100,000 with the potential for renewal of the scholarship upon successful completion of the previous academic year. We will be looking to reach out to more orphanages in the Tohoku area to spread the word of a bursary they can apply for. Look for our proposal in the near future.
VolunteerAKITA was born from the desire to “get out and volunteer”. In order to continue these goals our second project is to establish a routine, monthly visitation opportunity to orphanages in Akita. We, along with other JETs in Akita, spent a fantastic morning making crafts and capes for a dozen children at an orphanage in early July. The director’s eyes sparkled when we asked if we could come again and happily suggested that maybe next time we could sing English songs. More detailed information about the date of the next visit will be made shortly.
Again, thank you to everyone who has helped volunteerAKITA thus far and we look forward to all our opportunities together in the future!
- Jon and KK
All of us at volunteerAKITA would like to thank all the supporters who helped us reach our goal for the Scholarship Fund! It was truly amazing seeing support coming in from all over the world, and we really couldn’t have done it without you all. I realize this update is long overdue, but a few weeks ago we heard some unfortunate news about Masaya, regarding his mental health. While meeting with the orphanage director to share the news that we had reached our goal for Masaya, she explained to Minami and I that he had been battling with some personal issues and was not doing so well at the time. Although we were excited to share the news with him about the Scholarship Fund, we were more concerned about his health. Since then, we have heard directly from the orphanage director that Masaya is doing much better, and has decided to defer for a year and attend university at the start of the next school year. Fortunately, the university has been extremely supportive of Masaya, and look forward to him attending. In the meantime, Masaya will continue to reside at the orphanage, and will also start searching for jobs so he can gain some work experience. He has since learned about the scholarship fund we set up for him and is extremely grateful for everyone’s support. Through further discussion with the orphanage director, we have decided it is best to continue with the plans of supporting Masaya, but ALSO including the other high school orphans at their facility who plan to attend university as well. From this point forward, we would like to continue raising money for this scholarship fund, so we can help future orphans who want to attend university like Masaya at this particular orphanage. In the bigger picture, it would be amazing for other groups to set up scholarship funds like this with other orphanages throughout Japan, so we can make sure every orphan who wants to attend university has some financial support.