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Japan Trips

Have you ever had a wish for doing something incredibly rewarding as a teen? Teen years are a time for self-discovery and experimentation. The Japanese program at George Washington High School in San Francisco has offered project-based summer trips to Japan, where students meet local people in Japan for special “Kizuna (Friendship).”

In the past several years, we visited Miyagi prefecture in Tohoku, Japan, to continue with our efforts in building better lives for students that were affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Students raised over $13,000 in a relief fund and donated the funds to one of our sister schools in the region, where portable heaters for the winter, display cases, and school supplies were purchased, after they were all destroyed by the earthquake. They also volunteered at different locations such as beach cleanup, performing at senior residences and local schools, and old school restoration projects. One of our goals was to raise more social awareness of living conditions of the people in the surrounding areas that are still living in temporary housing, those suffering from "post-traumatic stress" and for fellow students trying to achieve their education. Students wished to continue with helping students at our sister schools and believed that all people need help when tragedy strikes, in order to bring a balance back to their lives.  

In 2018, we decided to go southwest in Japan and invent community projects. Several years ago, we started another “Kizuna” project with students in Saijo, a small town in Ehime, Japan. Since then, we have exchanged letters and viewpoints through different projects with five high schools in Saijo. With many different life styles, local problems, and cultural perspectives between San Francisco, as one of the largest urban cities in the USA, and Saijo, a small town in Shikoku island Japan, we thought this may be a fun way to comprehend our global society and appreciate each other’s city by creating community events for mutual understanding of both cities, all cultures and all peoples.
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2018 Japan Trip (Tokyo - Saijo - Osaka - Hiroshima - Kyoto - Nara - Tokyo)