Cross-cultural Study Tours and Awareness Building:
- Volunteer Study Tours: Usually held sometime in February and March every year, for anywhere from one to five weeks, for university students, teachers, and other adults, for the purposes of 1. developing understanding and appreciation of cultural/historical similarities and differences; 2. raising awareness of the difficulties faced by people in the developing world; 3. encouraging members to broaden perspectives / expand horizons, ask questions, and better determine their outlook/direction for the future; and 4. do some good.
To do the above, we:
- ask that applicants be positive, open-minded, energetic, flexible, interested in experiencing something new and different, and at the same time, doing some good.
- make visits to a variety of world heritage sites and Non-Profit Organizations such as Maiti Nepal and Shakti Samuha — internationally known anti-human trafficking organizations, Early Childhood Education Center — an internationally known home for children whose parents are in prison and the children have nowhere else to live, and to local schools, hospitals/clinics and children’s homes
- explore the streets of the cities/towns, to better understand and get a feel for daily life
- provide opportunities for home stays
- provide opportunities to interact positively and directly with the local community in a physical, educational, and social way, such as through attending classes in a local school and share in art & craft activities, drama, dance, or songs, or other cultural exchanges, as well as games and play
- take part in some light construction work
- provide opportunities for sight-seeing or trekking
- In Japan, we take part in fund-raising handicraft exhibitions and sale of items from many of the NPOs mentioned above and try to spread the word about their goals and activities.