What we do during our meetings

Semester 1, 2013

Semester 1 was a successful school semester for our group. Within our group we have different groups working on projects led by myself, Sarah and Ms Cox. The “awareness” group have created several posters and flyers to promote what the Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF)  is about. The media group have made a video, which is being shared via Twitter, the YIS daily and now on this blog. Here is the link to the video  : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii7sPle-5fk

The fundraiser group have organised future bake sales and have come up with ways to donate money to the organisation.

There were times when the entire Somaly Mam Foundation group have had serious meetings, discussing arguments against this foundation that were published on the internet. As a group we read through this article and discussed the authenticity of the foundation. This is critical, as we need to be certain that the money we are raising is going into the right hands. Some volunteers in this group are in the process of investigating how reliable this organisation is. I had an idea that a speaker of the organisation should come to Japan in order to hold a speech and to raise awareness on human trafficking. I thought it would be a necessity, as human slavery is unfortunately still occurring even to this day. I asked for a PTSA grant, which we got and we are planning on sharing costs with Seisen International School.
– Anissa

Semester 2, 2014

Monday, January 13th 2014
For the meeting of Monday January 13th, we talked about the new blog site for GIN: Somaly Mam that we will start running and updating weekly. Moreover, we talked about the roles of each sub-group within Somaly Mam and how we could improve each task, etc. Lastly, Anissa (Leader) informed everyone in the club that she has finally contacted a representative of the Somaly Mam Foundation through Skype with Ms. Cox, and will further contact the representative to enable a visitor from the Somaly Mam Foundation to be able to give a speech/lecture about human trafficking that takes place in Cambodia.
– Claire

Monday, January 27th 2014
Since January 13th we have undertaken fundraising activities. Anissa (Leader) informed us (the GIN Group) that the representative from the Somaly Mam Foundation kindly asked us to donate money to the foundation. We thus organised several bake sales over the span of four days, which took place during the school productions. As a result we fundraised a total of 25,770 yen. This money will be donated directly to the Foundation and will hopefully give young girls a chance to live without fear.

We are now preparing to establish this blog and working towards a cohesive schedule for when the representative will come sometime in April.
– Helena

Monday, February 3rd 2014
I contacted Sylor, a representative of the SMF, to discuss possible dates for a speaker to come to Japan. Our group have decided April 25th, and I have asked several 9th and 10th graders to establish a schedule. In this meeting, we worked on our blogs and those creating the schedule continued to do so. Furthermore, the woman that would like to hold a speech at our school is Ms Vann Sina, who was a victim of human trafficking. Today the students watched the video about Ms Vann Sina that focuses on her work that won her the Frederick Douglass Award. They are excited about her visit. This award is awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at Yale University.
– Anissa

Monday, February 24th 2014
As requested by Mrs. Jungnitsch, the whole Somaly Mam group split up into their respective sub-groups and discussed their individual goals as sub-groups together. Moreover, Anissa and I went to the art room and got a couple of A3 papers to make a poster. The main intention for the poster is for the awareness of the Somaly Mam Foundation throughout the school. As many people in YIS does not know what Somaly Mam is and what kind of organization it is, we have made posters multiple times to explain the Somaly Mam Foundation and what they do. In the respective sub-groups, everyone wrote down their main goals for Somaly Mam regarding what they want to achieve. Also, Anissa gave the group more updates on the speaker coming to YIS in April representing the Somaly Mam Foundation. Lastly, Jun made an announcement to the class letting everyone know how much he made from selling oatmeal during recess at the foyer (All proceeds go to Somaly Mam). Eva and Helena helped him out, which was useful as they made a lot of money. Next week he will continue with the oatmeal selling.
– Claire

The week of February 24th – 28th 2014
photo 2.JPG
We are still waiting for a response from the foundation, whether they are confirming if it is possible to send a speaker to Japan or not. It would be an honor to have a speaker come, and I do hope that it will happen. If it should not happen, we will decide how to handle the money we fundraised. We will hopefully know by next week’s meeting whether we will have to come up with a Plan B. Jun is going to continue with the Oatmeal selling, however he recommended us to contribute by baking. I will assign people to bake and help out Jun.
– Anissa

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The foundation has responded and is planning to book a flight within the next few days. It seems that her visit will take place on April 24th or 25th! Once her visit and the day are confirmed, intense advertising will be initiated. How will be presented in our next meeting. We are aiming to advertise on ALL social media and perhaps even invite other schools to the event. Today, we were outlining a schedule for the visitor, which will be continued next week.

Jun continued his oatmeal sale, I (Helena) baked cupcakes and Nick sold delicious caramel and oatmeal cookies. We fundraised approximately 8,000 yen. The oatmeal sale will continue next week.
– Helena

Monday, March 10th  2014
There was a bakesale today during recess and Hikaru announced that we were able to raise 8,700 yen. People who sold during the bake sale were Eva, Hikaru, Daniel, and Ellen. We were also told that Daniel also handed out flyers during the bake sale to inform people of what the Somaly Foundation is and what we are doing. Alex Vestad presented to the group (A presentation made by him, Jun, and Nick) about the legitimacy of the Somaly organization. 30% of their revenue is spent on fundraising. Since they are a non-profit organization, they have to publish their finances on the web. We found out that Somaly Mam uses more money on themselves than for others such as fundraising. They are trying to expand the organization, so it could be a possible reason why they are using more finances on themselves than anything else (employers, etc). Alex, Jun, and Nick is still investigating further. Ms Cox told us that we have to consider the charities and where the finances in their charities are managed and if they are actually legitimitally spending their money ethically.

For the speaker coming in April:

  • Venues: Possibly the cafeteria on a Thursday or Friday in the morning or afternoon. How would we split that time?
  •  Schedule: How to consider the schedule of the speaker? Will the speaker just talk the whole time?

– Claire

Wednesday March 19th, 2014
photo 3.JPG

The weeks leading up to the visit:

On wednesday 19th of March, our school had an event called “live aid” where the high schoolers went to the auditorium to listen and watch several student groups perform in order to raise money for our foundation. Helena held a brief speech to inform the students about Somaly Mam and where the proceeds would go to.

We have been working extensively on the schedule for the speaker and also to raise awareness within the YIS community. I am in the process of writing up a finalised version and I am writing a short speech to introduce the speaker.
– Anissa

Monday, April 7th 2014
Coming back from a relaxing spring break, the Somaly Mam Group got working immediately. Ms. Sina Vann will be coming to YIS in approximately two weeks, which suggests that intensive final planning and organisation is necessary. The schedules for April 24th and 25th have therefore almost been completed. After contacting Ms.Vann about the content of her talks we were able to refine the schedule even further. She will illustrate her life experiences, the general context of human trafficking in Cambodia and the work of the Somaly Mam Foundation. Furthermore, the Student Council counted the money raised at live aid. Total amount: 35,432 yen. All proceeds will go to the foundation and will be used for counseling, medical care and lessons for the girls that were rescued from brothels.
– Helena

Monday, April 20th 2014
New video made by the media group!





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