The Words of the Saiokawa Family
It was a cold and cloudy Sunday but around 800 volunteers came out to join the Arakawa Clean-up in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo last Nov. 9, 2008 as part of the 1 Million Family Volunteer Activities in line with the Global Peace Festival-Japan 2008. The theme was Clean Environment.
There was an opening ceremony and orientation at around 9:45 AM. The different organizations who participated were recognized and among them were the New Wings, Red Wings, Takenotsuka Family, Arakawa Family, Youth Federation for World Peace and the Filipino-Japanese Movement for Global Peace (FJMGP). There were around 50 FJMGP members who came including their respective family to help in the clean-up. The NTT Life Support representative Ms. Juliet de Vera was also there to give her full support. Some government officials from Katsushika-ku ward were also present to witness the activity.
The different groups were then assigned to clean their designated areas of Arakawa riverside and the volunteers equipped with their cleaning gloves, masks, and garbage bags tackled the picking of wastes. Despite of the foul odor emitting from the river and the muddy grounds, the volunteers and even the children were full of energy in giving their service to the community through this clean-up.
After an hour of collecting wastes, the garbage was then segregated into combustible, non-combustible, pet bottles, metals, cans, etc.
A closing program was held and some families were given a certificate of recognition for being a part of the 1 Million Family Volunteer Activities. The Vice-President for External Affairs of the FJMGP, Mrs. Lorelie Shiokawa, who belongs to an international marriage was called with her family and requested to give a reflection of the event. She spoke in English and was translated to Japanese by Mrs.Masumi Cruz, the wife of the President of the Filipino-Japanese Blessed Family Association, Mr. Reuben Cruz, who was also present with the whole family. Ms. Shiokawa pointed out in her message that “if only each one of us have this spirit of service to clean our environment, then we can help save our mother earth from deterioration”.
There were also donation boxes for One Coin Volunteers wherein 100 yen or 500 yen were dropped by the participants and which proceeds will help to support some foreign children to complete a full course of primary schooling.
Plastic bottle caps were also collected as part of the GPF project to raise as many caps for recycling. For every 400 caps collected, we can support one child for a vaccination. The FJMGP’s official photographer that day was Mr. Jun Granada. A group picture taking at 12:30 noon ended the activity. Everyone who took part in the Arakawa Clean-Up was counted as part of the 1 Million Family Volunteers. Thank you very much for your hard work that day.