Social Contribution Topics 2010
Donating Christmas Gifts to Foster Children through Angel Tree Program in New York（ITOCHU International Inc.）
ITOCHU International Inc. sponsored the "Angel Tree Program" organized by the Forestdale Foster Home, a non-profit agency that assists children and their families in the Queens area of New York by providing foster care placement, adoption and mentoring services. ITOCHU staff volunteered to purchase and wrap gifts written on angel shaped decorations on the Christmas tree in the company's reception area. Each angel decoration had the name of a child along with the gift the child wished for. In the case of very young children, gifts the care givers had deemed suitable. ITOCHU International Inc. donated as Christmas presents to 30 children, aged from 2-month to 18-year old, a wide range of gifts from gift cards and coats to iPods, scooters, walkers, etc. The children were delighted with the gifts, says the Thank You letter sent by Jersey Cares.
Visiting Orphanage with New Year presents（"CIECO Azerbaijan" Rep. office of ITOCHU OIL Exploration（Azerbaijan）Inc.）
CIECO Azerbaijan is rendering assistances to refugees, orphanages and disabled every year by means of the variety of donation. End of December 2010, three staff members visited the Orphanage House to interact with disable children, and deliver the presents. Smile of these children are so pure and sincere, so all members of ITOCHU shed a few tears.
Donating Items through "First Night Kit Program" in New York（ITOCHU International Inc.）
In summer, ITOCHU International Inc. volunteers collected hygiene items (soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, ect.), socks, notebooks, pens and small toys for kids for the "First Night Kit Program" run by Jersey Cares. Jersey Cares is a community based organization in New Jersey. They collect these items for domestic violence shelters, runaway safe havens, and foster homes. By the end of summer, ITOCHU International, Inc. donated 3 boxes (moving size) of these items to the Program.
A charity bazaar at the Asahi Beer Evening
On August 3, we held a charity auction and bazaar at the annual event Asahi Beer Evening. This year, the proceeds and contributions were donated to a youth assistance facility "Wakamono-no-ie" (House for Youth) located outside Manila and run by a Japanese NGO, Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (Children without Borders, KnK) . The facility was rebuilt on December 2009, under financial support from ITOCHU.
A visit to your parent's workplace: the 2nd gathering of the Chemicals, Forest Products & General Merchandise Company
The 2010 Summer Holidays Kids Project was held on Tuesday, August 17.
Like last year, children of 32 of our employees experienced the commuter rush hour with their parents and learned the proper greeting from new recruits in the morning. The children looked nervous while practicing the greetings in the office.
The highlight of this year's event was the workshop held at the Minato District Aoyama Elementary School, under the guidance of theater director Ms. Minato
It was not long before the nervous children were relaxed and made new friends. In the afternoon, they were divided into groups to write and perform a short play.
This year's event was about teamwork, a sense of achieving goals and self-expression.
The office visit in the evening gave the children the opportunity to see how their fathers and mothers usually work, which helped renew their views on parents.
Having started under a concept of making children learn how their moms and dads look different during working hours, the project was in its second year and improved to a higher level.
Users of neighboring facilities invited to the Jingu-gaien fireworks (Tokyo head office)
On August 19, the annual fireworks event took place in the Jingu Stadium located by our Tokyo head office. We invited the children who use the neighboring facilities to the event.
They jubilantly enjoyed watching the fireworks displayed in front of them.
The 2nd Saitama farm volunteer activity (weeding in a paddy field and crawfish fishing)
The seedlings planted in May had grown nicely. The participants listened to an explanation about a weeding tool named a takosuriki, before stepping into the paddy field without taking off their socks. The paddy fields need frequent weeding because no chemical herbicide is used.
After the weeding, everyone went to a nearby canal for crawfish fishing. It was a great catch. Many crawfish were caught in the first cast. However, we heard that once the canal is paved with concrete, no crawfish or other fish can live there.
After the volunteer activity, some of the participants stayed on the farm and enjoyed digging potatoes and picking blueberries.
Volunteer activity to cover grapes on the Kimura grape farm in Setagaya
On July 10, 26 people took part in an activity to cover grapes with bags. Covering grapes one by one while keeping both arms raised is a very strenuous job to do. But this job can only be done by hand. The participants experienced a little bit of the hard work that is the daily life of farmers. Allocated to wine grapes located in lower areas, children covered them one by one just like grown-up participants did.
Participation in Komae Waterfront School: Cleaning of Tama River, preparation of spawning bed for dace, and river safety class
On July 11, a total of 34 people, including staff members of our affiliates and their children, joined local children in the waterfront school. It was another hot and muggy day, and looked like it might rain.
First, they walked to the riverside while viewing the biotope maintained by local people. They competed in picking up riverside garbage before putting on a life jacket and entering the river to prepare the spawning bed. To their surprise, they saw some fish coming to the bed only 30 minutes after the preparation work was over.
The gathering was closed with what every child was waiting for: the safety class. Mr. Ken Nakamoto, the lecturer, gave the participants a simple and fun explanation about what to do in the event that you are washed away in the river.
Volunteering to make preserved flower corsages for the disabled
On the occasion of the lobby concert at the Tokyo head office on July 27, 26 employees volunteered to make preserved flower corsages to present to everyone from the Agape Center. Volunteers say that with this activity, they can be help of others and have fun at the same time.
2010 ITOCHU LOBBY CONCERT
Every year we invite people from the Agape Center* to a concert held in the lobby of the Tokyo head office. This year, 26 people including staff were able to enjoy music played by the New York Symphonic Ensemble. Volunteers of the ITOCHU Group helped out by guiding the guests to the lobby.
- Comprehensive social services for persons with disabilities under the auspices of the Japan Church World Service
"Looking at our city from a high place"--Off-campus class for 3rd year students at Aoyama elementary school in Minato Ward
This year again, 22 third-year students from Aoyama Elementary School visited the Tokyo head office on June 3. The purpose of this off-campus class is to look at the city they live in from a high place and to know what is in their city.
A trip to Disneyland with disabled children
On June 4, 5 volunteers from ITOCHU participated in the KIDS Project 2010. Some of the volunteers were assigned the role of a steering committee, and others were assigned the role of an attendant. Since the project was cancelled last year due to the outbreak of influenza, the satisfaction of finally having the great experience they would have enjoyed last year made the children's smiles all the brighter.
Participation in "End Hunger: Walk the World"
On June 6, 87 ITOCHU employees and families participated in the charity walk for alleviation of child hunger "Walk the World" organized by The World Food Programme (WFP) and Japan Association for WFP. Starting together under a sun that was as hot as the height of summer, participants enjoyed walking through the atmospheric city of Yokohama.
AED Seminar by the Japanese Red Cross Society
Four times a year, we held seminars by the Japanese Red Cross holds at the Tokyo head office, and the first seminar for this year was held on June 16. 31 employees took part and learned about first-aid procedures using an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Participating in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Central Park in New York（ITOCHU International Inc.）
On June 17, 44 runners/walkers of ITOCHU International Inc. and ITOCHU Prominent USA were among 15,000 participants from 373 companies participating in the 34th Annual JP Morgan Chase-organized Corporate Challenge to support the Central Park Conservancy. Members of our team donning ITOCHU-blue T-shirts enjoyed the 3.4 mile run/walk inside the Central Park.
Blood Donation Drive and Bone Marrow Donor Registration (Tokyo)
The Japanese Red Cross Society conducted a drive for blood donations at the Tokyo head office. A total of 158 employees cooperated in the blood donation drive and 18 employees registered as bone marrow donors.
Small environmental tour to learn about Lake Biwa
On May 15, a total of 24 people including staff members of our affiliates and their families visited the Harie area of Shiga Prefecture to view kitchens named kabata, and planted trees in the World Citizens' Forest park where the tree planting activity had also taken place two years ago.
In Harie region, the culture of water and water-usage called kabata remains since a long time ago. The spring water is drawn into the house and into a pond on the premises with the cleanest water being used for drinking and cooking. The grains of rice stuck to the tableware after a meal are fed to carps in the ponds and after the water is purified it is flowed into the town's river.
First Volunteer Field Work at Saitama Farming Village (rice planting and taro potato manuring)
A total of 60 people, including staff members of our affiliates and their families, planted rice in the Sagiyama area of Saitama-shi. Abounding in the scenery of traditional countryside, this area has excellent access to large cities; it is just 20 minutes by car from Omiya and Urawa. Despite this advantage, many of the fields lie idle due to a shortage of younger farmers and other factors.
Children, covered in mud, earnestly planted rice. They used a furnace and firewood to cook rice for lunch. The day was filled with new experiences for them.
Participation in the Gaienmae cleanup campaign for "Akasaka Aoyama Utsukushii Machi, Manner no Machi" (Akasaka and Aoyama Beautiful Towns of Well-mannered People)
On May 27 and 28, ITOCHU employees participated in the cleanup campaign organized by the Minato ward eco-conscious consortium. The area we cleaned up this time were the streets around the Gaienmae station.
Accepting university students from China for a one-night homestay
ITOCHU supports and cooperates with the "Get Closer to Japanese Companies and Feel Japan" Project sponsored by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China. ITOCHU provides volunteers who host students from China. The project was established with the purpose of inviting Chinese university students, especially those who are likely to be future leaders and to help enhance their understanding of Japan and Japanese companies. Two families from ITOCHU volunteered this time.
ITOCHU scholarship students' workshop and satoyama preservation volunteer
On May 28, 45 ITOCHU scholarship students gathered at the Tokyo head office for a workshop and get-together. Following on May 29, the 45 students and 9 ITOCHU Group junior staff traveled to Hinode-Machi in Tokyo's Nishitama district to participate in thinning a bamboo forest, as part of a satoyama (rural environment) preservation project.
Upon their arrival, they received instructions from local volunteers before donning safety helmets to charge in the bamboo forest. The hill sides were steep, and also muddy and slippery from the drizzle that day. Once their work was done, the volunteers enjoyed the challenge of various bamboo crafts using the bamboo they had cut themselves.
While in the past, bamboo was an integral part of everyday life, declining use of bamboo in recent years has left bamboo stands in many rural areas neglected, and they often overrun other property. Bamboo's rapid growth also means regular maintenance is needed to keep it in check.
Through this project, the scholarship students and ITOCHU staff not only gained an awareness of the importance of satoyama preservation, but were able to deepen their own relationships with one another. Going forward, we plan to conduct similar joint volunteer projects between our scholarship students and staff about once a year.
Tokyo Sports Festival for the Disabled
Since 1994, staff members of ITOCHU have served as volunteers in the sports festival for the disabled, and the Food Company provides drinking water for the event.
This year, a total of 7 volunteers from ITOCHU together with their friends supported athletes from Soleil Hana no Sato, a facility for people with the developmentally challenged.
Biodiversity seminar at the 2010 new employees' training
We invited Ms. Yumiko Kawamura, Director, Fundraising & Marketing Communications of WWF Japan, and listened to a talk she gave about what biodiversity was about and what we needed to care about. Rather than simply listening to the lecture, the participants had been given an assignment in advance and corrected their answers on this day. The event turned out to be very stimulating. In a friendly atmosphere, they learned about biodiversity in a way that was easy to understand.
Briefing for Borneo Tree-Planting Tour (Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya)
We spent four days holding briefings for the tour at both Tokyo and Osaka Head Offices and Nagoya Branch. On April 13, we invited Dr. Noko Kuze from the Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University and took part in a seminar on the ecology of orangutans and the reality of Borneo. Her lecture using videos had a great impact on the audience, and made it clearer than ever the reason why we needed to protect Borneo's forests.
Participation in a tree planting activity in South Korea
On April 10, 20 staff members of ITOCHU Korea, including its president and vice president, took part in "tree planting for the future generation."
After arriving at the site of the subsidized "forest of world peace" in the Yeongjong Island of Incheon, the participants received an explanation about forests and how to plant trees before going ahead and planting pine specis in Korea.
Pebbles mixed in with the soil made the job very tough. But the participants helped one another and felt a sense of fulfillment through the teamwork of achieving a common goal.
ITOCHU International and ITOCHU Prominent USA employees volunteered to clean up New York City park
On a sunny Saturday in April, a team of 24 volunteers from III and ITOCHU Prominent USA clean up the Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York, located between the NY Mets Stadium and the US Open Tennis center. The team cleaned up garbage along the shoreline and painted the benches.
Donation of used postage stamps from 2009 and foreign coins
Used postage stamps, cards, and foreign coins collected by volunteer employees this year were combined and donated.
The recipients and amounts are as follows:
- Processed postage stamps: 5.35 kg (Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP)
- Unprocessed postage stamps: 2.9 kg (Japan Overseas Christian Medical Cooperative Service (JOCS)
- Used prepaid cards: 1 kg (JOICFP)
- Donated foreign coins: 6.5 kg (Japan Committee for UNICEF)
Participation in the 16th Asuwa Riverside Area Cleaning (Fukui Branch)
On March 14, 11 staff members including Mr. Narita, the chief of the branch, other employees, and members of Hokuriku Toshinkai participated in a wide-area cleanup of the riverside areas and banks of Asuwa River in Fukui City. The cleanup is held around this time every year, right before the cherry blossom season. As always, the members walked around with tongs and a trash bag in their hands while picking up trash in the area assigned to our Fukui Branch (about 1.5 km). The weather was nice and the place became very clean, and the participants felt the fulfillment of contributing to the cleanup of a place well-known for its beautiful cherry blossoms.
Participation of Nagoya Branch in the cleaning activities of an NPO, Green Bird
On March 17, employees of our Group companies, their family members and 9 volunteers gathered. A total of 21 members together with other participants were divided into 3 groups and set off to pick up trash on the streets of Sakae. Those who participated for the first time and took part with their family members commented that it was wonderful that they were able to show activities such as this to their children.
Exhibition at Biodiversity Expo 2010 Osaka
We presented an exhibition at Biodiversity Expo 2010 held on March 20 and 21 by the Ministry of the Environment to introduce our Borneo Ecosystem Conservation Project. It was a very cold day, but we were visited by a large number of people.
Blood donation operated by Japanese Red Cross Society (Osaka Head Office)
Blood donations were requested at the Osaka Head Office building, with 56 applicants cooperating.
Charity valentine chocolates sold in the company
On February 8, we sold charity chocolates in the Company with the cooperation of the Food Company. The 168 chocolates that had been prepared quickly sold out. All of the profit was donated to an NGO, Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (Children without Borders), and used for activities to support the education of the children at House for Youth that had been completed in Manila at the end of last year.
Support provided to a Vietnamese child welfare institution (Ho Chi Minh City Office)
A donation was made to a child welfare institution in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, called Green Bamboo Warm Shelter (GBWS). GBWS is an institution that takes care of street children aged between 8 and 16 and provides rehabilitation and education. On February 9, the manager and some staff members of the institution visited our Ho Chi Minh City Office.
Participation in the greening activities on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour (ITOCHU Australia)
On February 11, 7 of the staff members of ITOCHU Australia participated in tree-planting activities held on Cockatoo Island. This island was used initially as a prison and subsequently as Australia's largest shipyard in the 20th century, and is now one of Sydney's landmarks. Our staff members diligently worked in the high temperature and humidity for more than 5 hours without rest and planted over 500 plants.
26 stuffed animals made by our staff members donated to children in developing countries
We agree with the ideal of Happy Toys Project of Felissimo Corporation and carry out this project in response. The project was held for the third year this year.
Funds raised in the company for the Haiti earthquake victims
We carried out fund-raising activities at our domestic offices for the relief of the victims of the massive Haiti earthquake and collected a nationwide total of 385,624 yen. This was used for activities that were most needed on site through an NPO called Japan Platform.
Participation in the "Akasaka Aoyama Utsukushii Machi, Manner no Machi" (Akasaka and Aoyama Beautiful Towns of Well-mannered People) campaign
On February 17, we participated in the Akasaka Aoyama Utsukushii Machi, Manner no Machi campaign. It was a very cold morning, but we cleaned the streets around Aoyama 1-Chome Station with energetic children from Aoyama Elementary School located near our Tokyo Head Office.
In-house seminar on disaster assistance for the elderly provided by the Japanese Red Cross Society at Tokyo Head Office
This final round of an annual series of four seminars provided by Japanese Red Cross Society primarily focused on how to assist elderly people in major disasters and other emergencies, based largely on practical training. 23 of our staff members participated, each playing the roles of elderly person and helper in a friendly yet serious atmosphere.
Unused, extra calendars donated to organizations
About 2,000 calendars were donated to organizations such as Kobe Genki Mura (volunteer group) and preschools in Saitama Prefecture. Our employees volunteered to help box the calendars.
Scholarships granted to Vietnamese college students and challenged children (Hanoi Office)
The National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) held a scholarship ceremony in Hanoi on January 30, attended by our chief officer for Vietnam, Mr. Yashiro. ITOCHU Corporation provides scholarships to students at Hanoi University of Technologies and challenged children through NFVC.