James LaCava : Volunteering at 淀児童館

For my CIP activity, I was a general volunteer at Yodo Children’s Center, a local Children’s Center near the residence of the host family I was staying with at the time. I played with the children, talked with them and the teachers about America and myself , and assisted with setup or cleanup as needed by the teachers. 

Overall it was a very leisurely experience for me, and I enjoyed getting to have fun with the children as well as occasionally talking with the professors about my life as a foreign student in Japan or them and their lives. It was something I was able to do only because I was fluent enough in Japanese to explain to the teachers and principal at Yodo Children’s Center about myself as no one there knew any English at all.

If you like working with children, there are many options that do not rely on your Japanese fluency; however, the more fluent you are in speaking Japanese, the easier it will be to enjoy the experience no matter what CIP project you end up chosing.