GAJET’s annual charity pot-luck dinner will be returning again. This will be the eighth annual fundraiser event. This year’s event is scheduled for May 25. 100% of proceeds from the event will be donated to Komochiyama Foster Home in Shibukawa.
We will be looking for donations and volunteers in the coming months.
Event entry is 500 yen plus a potluck dish to serve five people. Participants without potluck dishes will be asked to pay 1500 yen.
Please follow this link (click here) to sign up for the event via Google Documents.
I Can Japan began as an endeavor to support the communities affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Borrowing the kanji characters for love (愛, ‘ai’) and feelings (感, ‘kan’), I Can Japan 2019 will mark the third year of GAJET supporting Komochiyama’s cause; 100% of the proceeds raised will be donated to the foster home. Your contributions will help provide invaluable resources for the children living there.
Komochiyama is home to more than 50 children ranging from infants to teenagers. The home provides a safe, supportive, and engaging environment for these growing children.
During the visit, GAJET members took part in many fun activities with the children. The afternoon started off with self-introductions from the kids, staff, and GAJET members. After we got to know each other, we began the fun activities outside.
The first game we played was a hybrid of Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light. The goal of the game was to listen carefully and move forward only when ‘Simon says’. The kids caught on quick and it became an intense race to the finish line. The children had a great time taking large leaps towards the goal, while GAJET members struggled to keep their balance.
Afterwards, the group played Capture the Bacon. This game involved arranging the kids in numbered groups based on their size. When a number gets called out, the corresponding group would race towards the ‘bacon’ (in this case, a small bag), the first person to pick it up is the winner. This was initially confusing for some of the younger kids. It was hilarious to see some of them charging at the ‘bacon’ at every chance they got – regardless of which number was called out.
Finally, we played a fierce game of Duck-Duck-Goose. Racing around the circle of people with a 5 year old chasing after you was a challenge. It was actually quite defeating to be tagged by a kid a quarter of your size. Once tagged you would be forced to sit in the middle of the circle, and become the ‘duck soup.’ While in the circle, the slurping sounds and tiny chomping jaws begin. Some of the kids would say you are delicious while others would show disgust. The children had no restraint in telling us what they thought.
To cool down after all the excitement, we ventured back inside to make paper suns for I Can Japan. Be sure to come out on May 25 to see their beautiful creations. Suns, faces, and cartoon characters were only some of the pieces of art that were made.
Four o’clock had come and we had to say our goodbyes. Hugs and head pats were a plenty, and some kids held on to us a little longer than others. I found myself surrounded by the children, ripping off their nametags and slapping them onto my jacket.
This afternoon served as a reminder that we are easily caught up in our lives; losing sight of what is happening around the community. We are truly fortunate to be ALTs in Gunma. The time we spent at the foster home showed us that children are able to enjoy their lives despite their unfortunate experiences. It showed us the strength of these children. Furthermore, the workers at Komochiyama deserve recognition for maintaining a safe, clean and healthy place for these kids to grow. We were able to witness the love, compassion and kindness they have for these children.
It is from this strong sense of community that we can move forward and proudly say “I Can!”
Jansen Magarro is a fourth year JET in Tatebayashi. He is on this year’s GAJET committee as the Tobu representative. Come out and say “hi” to him at I Can Japan.
GAJET Art Share is back again! Featuring live music, readings, artwork, and many others, this annual event is inspired and hosted by the very creative ALTs of Gunma, showcasing local talent as we gather together in a celebration of friendship, art, and expression. Whether you have talent to share or would just like to experience the beautiful creations of other artists around you, Art Share makes the perfect laid-back night out at the start of spring!
This year’s Art Share will be on Saturday, April 13 from 5PM – 9PM. We will be gathering at the Maebashi Red Brick House (map here). Entrance to the event is 500 yen.
Those interested in attending (or performing) should sign up with the Google Docs form (click here).
Come check out Gunma’s very own Scottish Castle! Castle Lockheart, originally built in Scotland in 1829. The castle was loved so much by a Japanese actor in the 80s that he decided to ship the entire castle to Gunma (map here)!
Join us on April 6 as we visit this very castle. Beyond the magnificent views, there is a chance to dress up as royalty and eat delicious foods.
For more information, please contact your GAJET VP (Valerie) or Secretary (Alex), or check out the Facebook event page.
Entrance fee is 1000 yen per adult, time has yet to be decided.
Spring is just around the corner, and with that means, cherry blossoms! Join GAJET (and many others awaking from winter hibernation) on Saturday March 30, for the first event of the spring. Feel free to join anytime from 11:30 in the morning. We will be gathering at Kannonyama Family Park (more info can be found here).
Cost of the BBQ is 1000 yen per person (500 yen if vegetarian). Drinking is possible, but remember to BYOB.