Second mini meeting in 2023.*

  On January 29, we had the second mini meeting this year with Sagami Women’s University group and Vietnamese group. To our relief, the new infection of Covid-19 in Tokyo has been declining. Still, we limited the number of participants and took full measure for Covid-19. To read more,,,

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   Wheelchairs for Ukraine.

  Our first wheelchairs for Ukraine were 12 units through a Ukranian resident in Japan(detail from here), Tokar Lesya. Though they left Tokyo port in October 2022, we have not yet received any information about the recipient children. It would be hard to deliver those wheelchairs to children, still more to contact us, in wartime.

  This time we got an enthusiastic request to provide wheelchairs from Journalists living in London, Mr. and Mrs. Kimura. The desire to support those suffering from the war led to a project in which three organizations donating wheelchairs, a shipping company, and a transportation company cooperated with each other. The organizations are “Wheelchairs of Hope,” “Go! Fly! Wheelchairs,” and our NGO. We have worked together in sending wheelchairs before, and this time Mr. Tani, representative of Wheelchairs of Hope, took trouble over the work.

The wheelchairs which three organizations prepared were as follows.
    Wheelchairs of Hope —110 wheelchairs mainly for grown-ups
    Go! Fly! Wheelchairs —  30 wheelchairs mainly for grown-ups
    Our NGO —  10 wheelchairs for children
     150 units in total

  Although the number of units from our NGO was small, only 10 units were ready due to the time required to refurbish them.

  The recipient is Future for Ukraine (FFU), humanitarian relief foundation for Ukrainians in Poland. The wheelchairs are to be delivered to hospitals and rehabilitation centers in the west of Ukraine in March.

  Loading was done at Sankyo-Ohi sales office during the morning of January 26. The ship is scheduled to leave Tokyo port on February 7, and arrive in Poland around March 14.

  We got strong support of ‘free of charge’ from Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. and SANKYO Co., Ltd. for this project. Also, seven media outlets gathered for the loading of the wheelchairs.

  We pray that the wheelchairs will reach people and children in need as soon as possible.

January 30, 2023     Hirokazu Morita

(Left) The container was separated into three sections. Our wheelchairs were put in the bottom.
(Right) Those engaged in loading.

(Left) The container leaving for Tokyo port.
(Right) Mr. Tani, giving interviews at Nippon Television Network Corporation News.
        Photo from Nittele news site. Click to jump to the news site.

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 First meeting in 2023.*

  On January 15, we had the first meeting in 2023. We had wondered whether we’d be able to hold a meeting as Tokyo’s new infection on previous Friday was 11,241. To read more,,,

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   A Happy New Year!

  Twenty years have passed since we established our NGO. Thanks to the support of many people, the number of wheelchairs sent to children overseas is nearly 10,000. However, the spread of corona infection and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have become a big damage to our activities.

 The number of participants in the wheelchair refurbishing activities was limited, or the meetings themselves were suspended, resulting in significant delays in the progress of whole activities, and the wheelchairs had to be shipped out unmaintained. The four countries we sent out wheelchairs without maintenance were Mongolia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Malaysia. This has somehow avoided overstock of wheelchairs. On the other hand, the conflict has increased financial problems due to container arrangements and rising transportation costs.

 Despite such a terrible situation, the biggest news in 2022 was that we were able to send wheelchairs to Ukraine. The first 12 units were sent in response to an urgent request from Ukrainians living in Japan. The next 10 units were in cooperation with another NGO that sends adult wheelchairs. We immediately responded to requests from the local people who desperately needed wheelchairs for children. Now we are preparing for the third round of requests.

 We will respond immediately to any requests from conflict areas, even if we do not proceed as originally planned. Since we launched this activity with determination, we will continue to do our utmost attempting to do as much as possible.

 We look forward to working with you again this year.

January 1, 2023      Hirokazu  Morita

Mt. Fuji from Izunokuni city.

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 Final meeting in 2022.*

  On December 25, 2022, we had this year’s final meeting with Vietnamese group. The new infection in Tokyo was 15,403 as of Dec. 23, which was large enough for us to think of cancelling the meeting, applying it to our criteria so far.
To

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 Report from Paraguay.*

  The ship loaded with 90 wheelchairs for Paraguay departed the port of Tokyo in March 2022 and reached Asuncion Villa Mora Lions Club on August 11. It was a six-month long journey. We’ve just received a report from Lions Club that they provided all the donation along with wheelchairs for children, hospitals, and facilities. The following items were presented this time.
  1) 90 units of children’s wheelchairs
  2) 30 sketchbooks
  3) 24 boxes of crayons
  4) 48 cushions
  5) 30 pairs of woolen gloves
  6) 30 woolen caps
  7) 18 neck-pillows
The above items, other than wheelchairs, were donated with the support of Ocean Network Express Japan, ONE Japan.

  We’ve also got the following documents from Lions Club.
  1) Certificate of commendation (both in Spanish and Japanese)
  2) Letter of thanks (both in Spanish and Japanese)
  3) Report (both in Spanish and Japanese)
  4) Newspaper article
  5) List of recipients (not listed due to personal information)
  6) Photos of the children and the presentation (see below)

<Summary of the Report>
-A press conference was held inviting children with disabilities and their parents,
  hospital administrators, Lions club officials, and members of the media,
  including newspapers and television.
-All the donated items were displayed at the press conference. The decision to
  provide the wheelchair was based on the doctor’s diagnosis and the family’s
  financial situation. They also asked the recipients to submit a copy of their ID.
-Lions club members were instructed to seek out children from low-income
  families in need of wheelchairs in their communities, and many requests
  were found.
-Wheelchairs were provided for not only for children at home but also for
  hospitals and welfare facilities, which expanded the distribution to all of
-The crayons and other items received before Children’s Day on August 16 were
  given to children being treated at hospitals. They were greatly appreciated.
-They would like to thank our NGO, Tokyo Akishima Chuo Club, ONE Japan
  and the embassy of Paraguay in Japan for the cooperation and support
  in making this donation.

  The following is the comment at the end of the report.
“We consider that we have achieved the goal of extending our hands to people who need help most, especially those who live far away from cities and are forgotten by associations which support children with disabilities. For us, this activity was a new experience with a lot of emotions. We believe that we have lived up to the expectations and trust placed in the members of the Asunción Villa Mora Lions Club.”

 The letter of commendation and report we received was a very thorough and contented document. We were able to learn more about what has been going on at the site since the wheelchairs were received. Despite being on the other side of the world, we can clearly see the children and the activities of Lions club.
 The support of the Tokyo Akishima Chuo Rotary Club and ONE Japan was essential to the realization of this activity. It is also our pleasure that the local community understands this.

 We have also received support for this project from the Paraguayan Ambassador to Japan and embassy personnel. In particular, Ambassador Raul Alberto Florentin Antola, Paraguayan Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan, came out of his way to load the wheelchairs into a container and politely thanked President Morita for his assistance(click here for details). Since this project was made possible by the support we received from various sources, knowing how carefully the wheelchairs were handled after they were received, we hope to get similar support the next time and send wheelchairs to the Lions Club of Paraguay again!

December 15, 2022      Secretariat

Photos from Paraguay
Click on the photos to enlarge them and view them consecutively.

Wheelchairs unloaded from containers and lined up inside the Lions Club facility.

Press Conference.

(Left) A piece of paper with the name of the child to be received is attached to the wheelchair.
(Right) Recipient child, mother, and Lions Club staff.

(Left) Recipient child and her parents.
(Right) Wheelchair with flags of our NGO, the Tokyo Akishima Chuo Rotary Club, ONE Japan and Embassy of Paraguay in Japan.

Children on their wheelchairs. A new life begins today.

(Left) Memorial ceremony at Itacurubí del Rosario. San Pedro
(Right) Recipient family going home.

(Left) Delivering wheelchairs to each child at home.
(Right) Sany Mabel Ramos, enjoying her wheelchair.

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 Mini-meeting in the eighth wave.*

  On December 11, 2022, we had a regular mini-meeting with Sagami Women’s University group and Vietnamese group.   To read more,,,

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 Mini-meeting only with staff members.*

  We have been holding small meetings with around ten participants on the second and fourth Sunday since the corona crisis. We have also limited to regular members, Sagami Women’s University group and Vietnamese group.   To read more,,,

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  “BIKE&CAMP KANTOU 22” is an event chaired by Mr. Yamashita, one of our voluntary members. “BIKE&CAMP is Japan’s only bicycle and camping themed ‘travel event.’ It is not a bicycle event nor a camping event. It is a travel event for travelers.”(from the website of BIKE&CAMP) The event was held on the shores of Lake Kasumigaura in Ibaraki Prefecture over two days on November 19 and 20.

  Many visitors enjoyed biking and camping in the spacious grounds of the venue. Mr. Yamashita invited our staff to join the event and set up a booth. We placed a wheelchair for children, panels, and a donation box next to the event headquarters. There were visitors and exhibitors who were interested in seeing the panels and receiving materials. Although we do not usually put a donation box for fundraising, we were grateful every time someone put in a small amount of money, even if it was a small donation.

  In the evening, the biggest event, the “Auction Competition,” was held. Manufacturers and distributors of stalls at the event donated various bicycle and camping-related goods to the Executive Committee, which auctioned them off. The goods are coveted by all participants. All of the money raised at the auction was then donated to our NGO by the Executive Committee. The amount is several hundred thousand yen. We are truly grateful not only for the opportunity to have a booth, but also for the donation of the auction money.

  Thank you to all the visitors, exhibitors, Mr. Yamashita and all the committee members. We hope to use your donations to send as many wheelchairs as possible to children overseas!

November 24, 2022  Secretariat

You can see the details about BIKE&CAMP KANTOU 22.
〇Event venue

(Left) This is a general view of the BIKE&CAMP headquarters. Our exhibition booth is on the left side of the tent.
(Right) A wheelchair, panels, and a donation box were placed to the left of the headquarters booth. Our mission at the event is to be in charge of the “Helmet Rental” located on the left side of the table. We will rent helmets to visitors who wish to try out the bicycles and do not have one, for a small donation. The money from these volunteers was also given as a donation to our NGO.

(Left)Mr. Yamashita greets exhibitors and staff prior to the opening of the event.
(Right)As the event opened, visitors gathered one after another in front of the headquarters to complete the admission procedures.

(Left) Tents are pitched against the backdrop of Dutch-style windmills on the shore of Lake Kasumigaura.
(Right) A group of tents by the lakeside, where the autumn leaves are also changing color.

There were many stalls selling food and goods.

(Left) Visitors enjoy a bicycle test ride with their parents and children.
(Right) Mr. Yamashita shares his passion at the evening event. He also introduced our NGO. Thank you very much.

The auction started. It was so hot and exciting that it blew away the cold.

  Photo of all parties involved. It was a fun two days. Thank you all for such a good opportunity.

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 Second meeting with Bloomberg L.P. employees.*

  On Tuesday November 22, we had a second meeting with Bloomberg L.P. employees. Eleven people participated in the event. They came to our warehouse at 1 pm after working in the morning at their office in Tokyo and having lunch in the microbus.  To read more,,,

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