The Akita Community offers many ways to volunteer or be involved with activities here. Although many of these programs are run by JET participants, anyone in the prefecture is welcome to contribute.
Volunteering can be a big part of Grass roots internationalization, being an ambassador from your country, being a civil servant, and being a social leader through collaboration and citizenship. But be careful not to overextend yourself. Teaching 26 classes a week might max out your charitable spirit, but you are already doing plenty. Teaching 5 classes a week and studying Japanese at work might make you available for some of the selections below after work.
Each municipality (City, Town, or Village) has a volunteer coordinator. Ask your supervisor where the Shakaifukushikyougikai (社会福祉協議会; しゃかいふくしきょうぎかい) is if you are interested in volunteering.
Be aware of community events and clean up days. You will often see posters on or near your trash area, or receive requests in the mail. Every town has a yearly clean up day where everyone is required to show up one morning and help clean the town. Sometimes it's picking up trash or helping weed the local park. You can get charged for not showing up, but this likely never happens. You may also receive something for showing up, like free garbage bags. Low commitment and good opportunity to meet neighbors.
Clean up events are often run by the neighborhood association. The neighborhood association can be a good contact for getting involved in community events.
Creating your own volunteer opportunities are an option. Reading books to kids at your local library, or other creative ideas can take off and help connect you to your neighbors. Just studying Japanese at the local library makes you available to your students to interact with you out of school, and help you with your Japanese (perhaps you are studying the same kanji?).
- Akita JET Social Events
- The Akitan
- Charity Akita
- Donating blood
- Hanabi: Akita's Quarterly Magazine
- International Organizations in Akita
- Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT)
- Local Japanese Classes
- Travel Club
- Speak to a PA about presenting at one our Conferences