Junior Writers Reporting

Citizens’ group “Global Bridge” delivers school bags to children in the Philippines

A citizens’ group called “Global Bridge,” based in Saeki Ward, Hiroshima, is providing support for children in the Philippines.

Yumi Yamasaki, 31, the leader of the group, visited the Philippines in 2005 and worked there as a volunteer, making chairs and desks for schools. The local people were grateful for her efforts, and because she wanted to do more for the people of the Philippines, she decided to establish the Global Bridge group.

The group currently consists of ten people in their 20s and 30s. One of their main activities involves sending school bags to elementary school students. The members of Global Bridge sell goods at a flea market to raise funds and then arrange for the bags to be made in the Philippines.

The group has provided school bags every year since 2008. Each time they contribute from 300 to 500 bags, gifts that have brought joy to children who are able to go to school but can’t afford to buy school supplies. The group is determined to continue their efforts to help the children realize their dreams, such as studying to become school teachers and doctors.

On the subject of what teenagers can do to promote peace, Ms. Yamasaki said, “Regardless of differences of nationality and ethnicity, I hope you will try to help people who are in need. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Help people in the way that feels right to you.” (Yuka Ichimura, 16)

(Originally published on January 28, 2013)