On November 26, the coldest day of the year, we had a regular meeting with Sagami Women’s University group, Vietnamese group, Tama Technical High School teachers, voluntary members; 23 participants in total. To read more,,,
Under a crisp autumn sky, the annual Blues Concert was held on November 5. The venue for this year’s event was the large parking lot of Maru Fuji supermarket near Higashi Fussa Station on the JR Hachiko Line.
The Fussa Blues Festival was established in 2006 by Yahachiro Ishikawa, the owner of the Ishikawa Brewery, who called on musicians to support the activities of our NGO. This is the 16th time the event has been held, with well-known professional musicians participating in blues performances.
More than 30 musicians performed a few songs each in support of the festival’s objectives, and the audience of more than 200 people was unified and very excited.
In between performances, Yahachiro Ishikawa, executive committee chairperson Chicco Soma, and Morita spoke about the reality of children with disabilities overseas and the importance of support from Japan. With a wheelchair, a child can go outside, breathe in good air, and lead a healthier life despite his or her disability.
The Festival Executive Committee greatly enlivened the atmosphere at the venue by producing and selling original T-shirts. They also passed around a donation box for our NGO to all visitors. It was a day of seeing, hearing, drinking, and fun.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved. See you next year.
November 17, 2023 Hirokazu Morita
On November 12, 2023, the container ship loaded with 90 wheelchairs departed Tokyo Port for Ethiopia. Ethiopia does not have access to the sea, so unloading takes place at the Port of Djibouti, a neighboring country. From Djibouti to Addis Ababa is by truck. The container is scheduled to arrive at Djibouti on December 21, and it will take two to four more weeks to get to Addis Ababa.
For this Ethiopia project, we have received support from Tokyo Akishima Chuo Rotary Club. We had 15 members from the Rotary Club coming to join in our activity on September 10. We have also received a large donation that we hope will be used for the Ethiopia project.
In addition, a presentation ceremony is going to be held in Ethiopia in February, 2024. If the ceremony is held, several members of the Rotary Club will participate in the local presentation ceremony. They say they’d like to meet the children in Ethiopia who are actually using the wheelchairs they cleaned and refurbished.
We have not had a presentation ceremony in Ethiopia since July 2018. Although it is a distant country in Africa, we are happy to be able to send the wheelchairs and to attend the presentation ceremony as well.
This shipment of 90 units to Ethiopia brings the total number of units donated to the country to 680. Please refer to the graph here for donation results.
November 16, 2023 Secretariat
Loading in Hamura City prior to the departure.
(How to see the photos) Click on the photos to enlarge them and see them consecutively.
Forklift loading pallets with packed wheelchairs into the container.
(Left) The wheelchair is carried in by hand from the pallet.
(Right) A wooden lid has been installed to prevent the wheelchair from falling when the door is opened. The work is done by raising the forks high.
(Left)Members of Tokyo Akishima Chuo Rotary Club helped load wheelchairs onto pallets.
(Right) All the wheelchairs were loaded. The container was about 75% full. Whenever we load wheelchairs, we are always worried that they might overflow. There was plenty of room this time.
November 12 was a cold day. We’ve been working in the heat rather than the cold so far, fighting for the heat in various ways. On this day, however, we had to endure the cold! To read more,,,
On October 29, we held a meeting with MFS Investment Management people. It was the third meeting in October. Our NGO has received long-time support from them, both in finance and activity. To read more,,,
“BIKE&CAMP KANTOU23”, organized by
Mr. Yamashita, a volunteer who has been participating in our activities, was held on October 28 and 29 along the shores of Lake Kasumigaura.
« “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 where travelers gather. It is a festival and event for bicycle campers, who are still in the minority in Japan, and people who love to travel regardless of their bicycles. Please enjoy the free and CHILL atmosphere of a festival like the one on the West Coast of the United States »
(From the event’s website. They also introduce our meeting in the “GUEST & EVENT” section).
This is the third time for our NGO to join the event, following last year. It’s Yamashita who invited us to the event. He not only offered us an opportunity to introduce our activities but also made donation from the takings of the Charity Auction, one of the features of the event. We’ve got sufficient donations this year, too. We really appreciate it.
From our NGO, a director and a volunteer took part in the event. We did not have bicycles or a tent, so we stayed at a hotel, but we brought a wheelchair for children, an introductory panel, pamphlets, and a donation box to the venue.
There were test-ride experiences provided by exhibiting bicycle manufacturers. Helmets owned by the sponsoring organization were rented to those who did not have their own. Our members were in charge of the reception and rental management for the event.
The evening events, talk shows and a charity auction of free items donated by exhibitors, were a great success. It seems to be the greatest pleasure for the overnight participants. After the talk shows, we did a short introduction about the activities of our NGO. The staff later told us, “Many people have learned about the children’s wheelchairs and the activities of the NGO.”
Unfortunately, the weather was unfavorable with occasional light rain for both days, but many participants, exhibitors, and staff seemed to really enjoy themselves. Although our members were only there to watch, we were envious of the activities of Bike & Camp. We were so grateful for the event, for listening sincerely to the introduction of our NGO and for the auction donations.
November 15, 2023 Secretariat
See the fun atmosphere of the event!
(Left) Mr. Yamashita, welcoming the participants.
(Right)We placed a wheelchair, a panel, a banner, and a donation box in the headquarters tent and were in charge of helmet rentals.
(Left) A lot of exhibitors and tents for lodging. The site is very spacious.
(Right) Selling firewood, which is indispensable for camping. Everyone was desperate to get as much firewood as they could carry for 1,000 yen each.
(Left) The theme of the talk show was “Rinko.” “Rinko” means to disassemble a bicycle, store it in a special bag, and transport it by public transportation.
(Right) Charity auction. Both photos are too dark to be clear, but the event was a lot of fun.
Malaysia is the first country to which our NGO sent children’s wheelchairs in 2004. Mr. Syed, former president of ALEPS, the receiving organization, is now in charge of receiving and distributes wheelchairs.
Mr. Syed contacted us urgently, asking us to send him wheelchairs for those who have outgrown the first wheelchairs.
Children with disabilities, like other children, grow fast and they need to exchange their wheelchairs with bigger ones in two or three years. We immediately chose a certain number of wheelchairs from the warehouse and packed them up. We sent them unrefurbished, as Mr. Syed is able to manufacture and refurbish wheelchairs on his own.
After we loaded them into the container on October 18, the container ship departed Tokyo port on October 21. We expect it to reach the Port Klang, Malaysia, on November 5. This brings the total number of wheelchairs sent to Malaysia from our NGO to 1,658, which is the highest among all the countries to which we have sent our wheelchairs.
Please refer to the graph here for donation results.
November 10, 2023 Secretariat
On October 22, we had ONE Japan coming to join our meeting besides the regular Sagami Women’s University group, the Vietnamese group, the Ethiopian group, voluntary members, and the staff, 35 in total. To read more,,,
On October 8, we had a meeting in the autumnal atmosphere. Light rain around noon didn’t disturb our activity. To read more,,,
On September 24, we started a meeting without tarps or tents, since there was a little less heat. The particpants were the big Vietnamese group, regular Sagami Women’s University group, Tama Technical High School group, the Ethiopian group, and general volunteers. To read more,,,