Identify and understand an authentic need in the local community. Taking meaningful action to affect positive change :
Homelessness in Japan may not seem like a big topic. But it does not mean it doesn’t exist. in my school, there is a service group called Sanagitachi and it informs the school community about homelessness near the Kannai, Yokohama area but also we go on weekly patrols at night to give essential items such as blankets, socks, even soup to the homeless. Going to the groups meeting every week keeps my mind fresh on the issue and as someone who recognizes the problem myself, it is also good to raise awareness of this. I have been a part of this group since my freshmen year and in this year being my final year I am ‘co-leading’ the group alongside the leader.
Some examples of raising awareness in the school community were having a trivia game set up about homelessness to see if volunteers know the true facts about the issue. Having this booth helped attract kids and provided entertainment for them but also helps get the information through to the audience. Being a part of this service group has taught me about privileges, and how we can and should use our privileges to help improve someone else’s life.
In the photo above it shows some people in the service group and me on one of our night patrols. We not only go on the patrols but we also give the Sanagitachi organization the fundraised items we collected in our school. This patrol happens every week so all the homeless people will be able to live more comfortably. By physically engaging with the homeless people and seeing them face to face it can really help people understand the living condition they are in and individually makes me want to try my best to help out. I go on these patrols at least once a month. There are quite a lot of people in this service group so it is important to let everyone experience going on patrols, therefore, everyone cannot go every time including myself. However when I do go on these patrols it help me cherish the memories since it might not be so common for everyone to do but a great reminder that helping someone even a little is not hard to do and can mean more than we think