New student project: Refugees International Japan Classrooms

This spring, the Refugees International Japan Student Leadership Program is introducing a sub-group called RIJ Classrooms.

RIJ Classrooms will increase opportunities for students to learn about refugee issues and take action by having student volunteers represent the organization and hold workshops. It is an exchange between schools and RIJ that happens in the classroom, where RIJ offers workshops on Human Rights and displaced people in fun, unique teaching formats, in exchange for fundraising support from schools.

To ensure that RIJ Classrooms is a sustainable initiative that supports RIJ’s main activity–fundraising, the group is developing a business model. Although the idea is not yet settled, RIJ Classrooms plans to charge a workshop fee or contract for future fundraising efforts by the host school to support RIJ’s fundraising efforts. In addition, it will be looking for corporate sponsors to support RIJ Classroom’s operational costs and pro-bono workshops at public schools and community centers in Japan.

While RIJ Classroom’s primary objectives are education and fundraising, positive side-effects include the introduction of new and active teaching methods in Japanese school classrooms, as well as opportunities for university students to gain career, teamwork, andleadership experiences.

RIJ Classrooms’ initial strategy for this spring and summer will be to expand and build credibility by holding workshops at International and Japanese schools within RIJ’s schools network. Once preliminary workshops are proven to be successful, RIJ will then seek host schools beyond its pre-established networks and actively recruit sponsors for the project.

Children at Nishimachi International School are busy drawing their single most treasured item they would take if they were placed in a situation, similar to refugees, where they needed to pack up and leave their homes immediately. Photo courtesy of Jane Best. 西町インターナショナルスクール の子どもたちが、もし自分たちが避難のように家からすぐ避難しなければいけない ときに何を持っていくか考え、自分の宝ものの絵を描いている様子。写真:ジェーン・ベストより。

Japanese translation by Kei







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s