Learning Program to Solve Social Issues by Cooperating with Overseas Studies for the Well-being of Local Children and Families

  • Principle 6: Encouraging global citizenship through education
  • Principle 8: : Addressing issues of poverty through education

Since 2017 fiscal year, Professor of the Faculty of Social Welfare has been trying out a learning program in which students can learn independently and through hand-on experience about social actions (activities to create new support). This program aims at solving welfare issues that threaten children’s growth, such as poverty and social exclusion. Students’ learning goals through this program are to be able to consider issues from a comprehensive and multifaceted perspective, to be able to dialogue and collaborate with diverse partners and to be able to practice social actions.

In 2019, seven students planned and practiced social activities in the following learning programs: (1) Student-led pre-study (July 2018 to February 2019); (2) Fieldwork in Christchurch, New Zealand (March 2019); (3) Practical activities for supporting children in Takizawa City which is the location of Iwate Prefectural University (July 2019))

Fieldwork in Christchurch, New Zealand

Visiting welfare and educational sites: learning early childhood education, families and children welfare, and support for special needs

 Students learned Te Whariki (Education Curriculum in New Zealand) in an early childhood education facility, and conducted fieldworks at companies where people with disabilities work, facilities for children with disabilities established by their parents and government agencies. In addition, they worked hard to interview parents, exchange opinions with host families, and debate among students.

Fundraising at Japan Day event in NZ for activities

Students played a ninja target game at the Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Support Event (Japan Day) in Christchurch, NZ. On the spot, they introduced the intention of holding the “Kodomo Shokudou : Children’s cafeteria”, collected well-meaning donations from visitors, and carried out fundraising for activities.

(Fieldwork in Christchurch, New Zealand)

The Children’s cafeteria “Kiwi Cafeteria” in Iwate prefecture: Holding inclusive support events for children with various difficulties

Although the Children’s Cafeteria is named “cafeteria”, it is not just a place to serve meals. “Kiwi Cafeteria” was held as a cafeteria to support children with the aim of social inclusion. Naming “Kiwi” originates from what students learned in New Zealand. In order to support single-parent families and children with disabilities, it is planned in cooperation with local NPOs, and held based on fundraising funds in NZ. The cafeteria invited parents and children from single-parent families using the NPO Inkle Iwate, children with disabilities who attend the day service “Airship” after school and students from Morioka Minami Special Needs School. More than 30 participants enjoyed playing sports and games together, making desserts with recipes learned from NZ host families, and smiling. We convince that the joint activities for such diverse people will create the power of the local community. This activity was published in the newspaper.

(Children’s “Kiwi Cafeteria”)

(Academic Impact Annual Report 2019)