Voices of volunteers

MAFGA stays alive with the help of many volunteers cooperating beyond nationality, sex and generation.  What is required to be a volunteer is the attitude toward learning from and sharing with others rather than skills and experience, together with a passion for the better society.  Why don’t you be the one?

Comments from volunteers

* Kazuki-san (a former university student, currently a middle school teacher)  Volunteer activity group: Kodomo Hotto

“The best reward I earned from the activity of “KODOMO HOTTO” is the expanded human network.  The activity was sometimes fun but sometimes tiresome.  Whatever it was, we stay connected with strong bond because of this “whatever.”  MAFGA is the only place that offers me an opportunity to face people from different ages and background.  In my current work, I sure use the expanded horizon and ability to take actions I acquired at MAFGA.”

* Suwa-san (a baby boomer)
Volunteer activity group: Volunteer activity information publication “Melon”/Japanese language exchange “Himawari”

“When I was active in my professional carrier, I was married to the work.  I didn’t even pass the neighborhood circulation board to my next door neighbor.  I am now a retired baby boomer and jumped into the local community by joining the volunteer activities.

In the “Melon” activity, I interview, edit Japanese language expressions and article contents and exchange opinions with other volunteer members of different ages, occupations, etc.  In the Japanese language exchange activity “Himawari”, I truly enjoy the on-site activity with other volunteers and foreign residents who are learning Japanese.  In theory, I understand “subtle delicacy” is the key for volunteer activities.  However, alas! my poor nature that had kept me going through the gung-ho corporate time drives me to enthusiastically propose improvement ideas just like I was back to my professional days.  I always reflect such an attitude and try to change for better.  The most important asset I have gained from the activity is “the people I have met”.  While enjoying meeting people, I hope to play a role for passing volunteer activities onto the next generation from now on.”

* Masami-san (Mom-on-the-go)
Activity group: Multilingual information publication “THE MINOH POST”

“When I first joined MAFGA as a volunteer, my sons were 3 and 5.  It’s been already four years since they taught me that the language barrier and fixed idea are nothing to be afraid of.  With my sons having been growing up, I do “what I can when I can”, which can support someone in need.  There is nothing more fulfilling than that.  I have children to take care of, but this is what I can still do.  Or rather, I can do this because I have my own children.  There is something here my children cannot learn from ordinary play dates.  “Mom, what is “chigai (being different)”?   How am I different from my friend?”  These questions my eldest son asked touched me with tears, feeling “I am glad that I did this.”

* Wakasa-san (a former university student, currently a first-year worker) Activity group: Kodomo Hotto

Through routine activities of “Kodomo Hotto”, I learnt how to bring out the potential of a child and how to work together with others.  You never understand, unless involved, how touching it is when children finally smile and show differences.  This is the volunteer activity you can learn so much of important values from children.”