We held a food pantry for people from overseas who live in Yamaguchi prefecture at the entrance area of the building of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Ube Kosen on Sunday, February 28. About 50 people who live in Ube city and around Ube city received the aid.
Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) OB association planned the food pantry to support workers from overseas whose income reduced because of the COVID 19 as well as international students who could not maintain their part-time job because of the COVID 19. Food Bank Yamaguchi and Ube Kosen cooperated as co-sponsors.
We provided the place for the event and our PE-girls (a female student volunteer group of the Department of Electrical Engineering) joined as volunteers. They measured and packed rice for distribution, categorized food such as instant noodles, cooking oil, canned food, snacks and displayed them. Assistant Prof. Ikeda Fuka who is in charge of PE-girls and Prof. Hatamura who is the head of the International Exchange Office and many other faculties supported the event.
Most people from the overseas cook at home, so they were happy to receive vegetables, eggs, etc.
We measured about 100 kg delivered rice and prepared brochures of Human Rights Center for Foreigners with other volunteers.
We changed what to give based on their religion and eating habit. Yamaguchi Prefecture Donation Center (Akai Hane Bokin) made some donations.
It was a good opportunity for participated female students because they learned the situation of foreigners who live in Japan, JOCV, Food Bank Yamaguchi, and Yamaguchi Prefecture Donation Center (Akai Hane Bokin). We would like to respond to the request from the local communities in the future.
FUJI Moeno (3rd year of the Department of Electrical Engineering)
Four volunteers (1st year to 3rd year) from PE girls joined this event. We could not have our regular international exchange activities, neither go overseas to study because of COVID 19, and I also could not meet any people from overseas at all. I believe it was a very good opportunity for me to help people from overseas live in Japan, for basic but important such as food, clothes, accommodation at the food pantry.
I communicated saying such as “Here you are” “Thank You” during the event and distributed food. We learn sightseeing and history for other countries at international exchange activities. But, at this event, the only conversation we had was just greetings, and people had to go home as soon as they chose the food they needed. We had to follow the procedure for hygiene and COVID 19 infection. So it was difficult to learn about other countries. But as the event went on, I noticed some people could not eat certain food due to their religion and certain food was popular. It was very interesting. For example, I often hear that people from other countries do not like fermented soybeans (natto). I noticed that people did not choose Soba, so I wondered they did not know how to eat because they were not familiar with or they did not like the feeling. I got so many questions to ask.
I realized that there were some international exchange activities under COVID 19 so that I would like to join such activities in the future.