Hamamatsu Foundation for International Communication and Exchange (HICE)

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Screengrab of HICE official website

The Hamamatsu Foundation for International Communication and Exchange (HICE) provides support programs for children and the youth with immigrant backgrounds, from language classes to career guidance services. Established in 1982 as a volunteer association and later in 1991 as a foundation, HICE has become an important source of support for migrants and residents with migrant or multicultural backgrounds living in Hamamatsu City. The foundation’s wide range of activities, programs and services cater to different concerns and needs of foreign residents and migrants, including children and young people.

Foreign residents, for example, can access the foundation’s counseling services for legal matters and can consult for important information on living in Japan. Free legal advice and consultation services are provided once a month for foreign residents, and even to Japanese nationals who are employing or working with migrant workers. Cultural events and activities are also organized. For children with migrant or multicultural background, HICE programs and services include Japanese language classes and career guidance, among other activities.

 

A summary of HICE’s key activities. Source: HICE official website.

 

Reference

Hamamatsu Foundation for International Communication and Exchange (Official Website)

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NPO Filipino Nagkaisa

 

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Screengrab of NPO Filipino Nagkaisa’s official website

 

The NPO Filipino Nagkaisa is a Hamamatsu-based support group dedicated to providing classes in Japanese language and culture and cultural exchange programs for Filipino migrants and their families in the city. Initially established in 1994 as a voluntary group of Filipino women married to Japanese men, Japanese language classes were held for the member of the group. In 2007, the group began to collaborate with the Hamamatsu Foundation for International Communication and Exchange (HICE), and some of the members who were trained bilingual teachers were assigned to public elementary and junior high schools to provide language tutorial and support to migrant children. Later, NPO Filipino Nagkaisa began offering classes to more Filipinos in Hamamatsu City, including not only children and the youth, but also adults.

By 2012, the group was accredited as a non-profit organization. Aside from offering Japanese language classes, NPO Filipino Nagkaisa also participates in the Philippine embassy’s outreach programs and also produce other useful materials, such as a career guidebook for Filipino children enrolled in Japanese schools. For more information about the organization’s programs and services, visit their website here.

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Photo of a language class held by NPO Filipino Nagkaisa taken during the Hamamatsu Exchange Visit of the Enable Kids Project

 

Reference

Enable Kids Project, Hamamatsu City Exchange Visit

NPO Filipino Nagkaisa Facebook page

NPO Filipino Nagkaisa official website

 

Hamamatsu City Exchange Visit and Forum (September 23 – 25, 2016)

The Enable Kids Project team had an enriching exchange visit in Hamamatsu City, Japan from September 23 to 25, 2016. Hamamatsu is an industrial city in Shizuoka Prefecture where large motorcycle companies such as Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha are based. It is also home to companies which manufacture musical instruments, namely Yamaha, Kawai and Roland. In migration terms, Hamamatsu City is distinctive in Japan because it has attracted many migrants, including Nikkeijin (descendants of Japanese migrants) from Latin America, largely those from Brazil. We are pleased to share with you some of the highlights from our visit.

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On September 23, the team visited the Hamamatsu Foundation for International Communication and Exchange (HICE) to learn about the organization’s programs that support foreign resident communities and those which promote intercultural initiatives. The latter includes Japanese language education, multilingual consultation and supporting cultural exchange events.

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In the afternoon, the team visited Mundo de Alegria, a school established by the Latin American community. The school provides education to the children of Nikkeijin from Latin America following the curriculum in Brazil or Peru so that the children can continue their studies in their parents’ and/or their own home countries should the family decide to return to Brazil or Peru. The team also had a chance to talk to the school principal and some senior high school students who are preparing for exams to enter universities in Japan.

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The following day, on September 24, the team attended a children’s athletics festival organized by Shin-ei Land, a nursery school founded by the owner of a manpower company for the children of migrant employees. The school aims to prepare the children to enter Japanese schools. The morning event brought together Brazilian, Japanese and Filipino children and their parents who participated in the games.

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Later, at the Nambu Community Center, the team observed the Nihongo classes of Filipino Nagkaisa, a non-profit volunteer organization comprised of Filipino members living in Japan. The organization provides educational and training support for Filipinos living in the country, including Japanese classes for children in elementary and in junior high school. The language classes also offer Filipino children and young people an opportunity to interact with each other.

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On September 25, the team held a forum at HICE to share findings on the mapping of child-oriented policies and programs conducted in the three countries. The program included a panel on the initiatives of the Hamamatsu City government and NGOs, and a talk by a Japanese-Filipino youth about his experience of migrating from the Philippines and growing up in Japan. Overall, the forum encouraged conversations among the participants on how to promote a more enabling environment for children of migrant and multicultural families through initiatives and efforts of different stakeholders.

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The Enable Kids Project would like to thank everyone who participated in the exchange visits and final symposium in Hamamatsu City. Special thanks go to Dr. Sachi Takahata and Dr. Itaru Nagasaka for organizing the study visit.