NICE (Never-ending International workCamps Exchange) is an NGO that organizes volunteer projects in Japan. Each year, they look for international volunteers for an English Summer Camp for kids in Iwate Prefecture that you can participate in.
After the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami shook the eastern part of Japan on March 11, 2011, the majority of houses in Rikuzentakata were destroyed and many people have been living in temporary shelters for years. Their children could no longer enjoy playing in their schoolyards. To support them and bring joy back into their lives, NICE organizes this English camp for hundreds of junior high school students each year.
This is a week-long social program where volunteers can not only have fun interacting with the children in fun activities, but they can actually get to know the children pretty well and develop relationships with them by spending a significant amount together over several days.
Volunteer participants will interact with the kids in international games and other activities that highlight other cultures and introduce music and dances. Volunteers are asked to be ready to present cultural aspects of their home country to the campers. The important part is getting to know the kids through outdoor activities.
The events will take place on the southeast edge of Iwate Prefecture, near Miyagi Prefecture. This area is known for forestry, agricultural and fishing, but with the destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami, reconstruction will take several years. However, the camp will have activities including excursions, mountain biking, and trekking in a beautiful natural environment. In October 2016, the volunteers will also take part in a Halloween English program for kids.
Volunteering in the disaster area is highly appreciated. The organization asks that people interested in volunteering respect the local culture and the organization’s rules. A good command of the English language is preferred, and volunteering is open to people of all ages over 18. Volunteers will be guided by the Youth Training Accommodation organization in Iwate Prefecture.
I think that it would be a useful program for not only the participants but also the kids and organizers.