Mirai no Mori Update #2

Dear Supporters,

We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. While we are still unable to resume our regular programs, we have been in touch with the care homes and supporting them in any way we can, and we wanted to update you on our latest activities. 
It has been 2 months since children in care homes across Japan began to spend most of their time within the walls of the facilities they live in. And now that some schools have begun to reopen with staggered attendance, they face new challenges of adjusting to a new situation, again. Care workers are working harder than ever to secure a safe living environment for the children on top of their regular duties, such as attending meetings and office work. One care worker told us that they needed to make masks for every child in the home by hand. It was perfect timing then that our partner KEEN has approached us with a donation of washable masks that they made in their factory. We were able to coordinate and deliver masks to the homes, for both children and care workers. 
We have also sent out the third edition of our Activity Kit to the homes last week. These kits were created from a concern that spending all of their time indoors with same people, not only increases stress for the children but, reduces the variations in activities and loses opportunities for experiential learning. The kits include activity instructions and materials, such as English learning materials, Nature Bingo activity that encourages children to see their environment in a new perspective, and instruction videos for recreating their favorite camp recipes at homes. Our aim was to provide new stimulus and entertain the children while engaging them to think and act on their own. 
We have received some wonderful messages from the care workers and the children.

  • “While schools are still closed and we cannot go outdoors, these activities were great fun and something new for a change.” – a care worker
  • “Thank you for the great songs. I like speaking English and singing, so it was perfect. Everyone was joining in the activities and we were all having fun and talking together. Thank you so much for the wonderful challenges.” – middle school camper
  • “Watching the videos from the camp staff I haven’t seen in awhile made my day. I would love to see some more!” – elementary school camper
  • “We played a lot with the activity kit! We sang too!” – elementary school camper
  • “The Activity kit was fun. I want to see everyone again.” – elementary school camper

We also started the Camp Experience Rental Set that allows them to experience camping in their yards. The set includes a tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and a cooker set. This activity encourages children to be independent and to work together. It is also a great opportunity for Mirai no Mori repeaters to take on leadership roles. 
We would like to extend our gratitude to Coleman, KEEN, and English Adventure, as well as our volunteers who have been supporting us in so many different ways. 
We will continue our work with hopes that these will help support the well-being of the children and the care workers, and we look forward to the day when we will be able to run free in the great outdoors again. 

From all of us at Mirai no Mori, we wish you the best until then.

Kozue Oka
Executive Director
Mirai no Mori

Our supporters (in no particular order):
Coleman Japan: donations of the contents of the camp rental set
KEEN Japan: donations of masks
English Adventure: donations of English learning material produced with Berlitz
・Satoshi Aoki: pro-bono contribution in video editing