Volunteers from Japan and abroad bring the energy of young people to Yona, Kunigami
November 12, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo
Seven youth volunteers visited Yona and Kunigami from Japan and abroad. On November 6, they made amidaki (bamboo fences) and participated in mowing the grass on roads, harvesting crops, and community sports festival with the local residents of Yona and Kunigami.
Mikiko Yasui from Osaka and Natsue Yoshida from Kanagawa participated in the volunteer program called Inaka-de-Hatarakitai (I want to work in the country) and will stay from this September until March 2013.
Mikiko Yasui said, “Local people bring food and other things to me. It makes me happy and I feel that they are pleased with what we do.”
On November 1, five volunteers from the International Work Camp by NPO NICE in Tokyo participated in a sports festival for elderly women and helped to pick mandarin oranges for two weeks.
Oscal Carbasse from Switzerland commented, “The place is really beautiful and quite distinct from Tokyo.”
Because the number of young people is decreasing, the Yunamun dakuma community group founded by the head of the Tsuha district is striving to revitalize the Yona community.
Group member Yasushi Oshiro is hoping that these youth volunteers will contribute to this. He said, “We want the residents of Yona to be proud of their community by experiencing local activities with young volunteers from all over the world.”
Inaka-de-Hatarakitai is a program coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to encourage the movement of manpower from big cities to rural regions in order to secure and develop human resources in agricultural regions.
NPO NICE, Never-ending International work Camps Exchange is undertaking the program for the ministry.
(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato and Mark Ealey)
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