Ｆｒｅｅ Ｓｃｈｏｏｌ ＥＩＭＥＩＪＵＫＵ
Quick Facts about Free School EIMEIJUKU
Statement of Purpose
Children/youth who suffer from social withdrawal, who refuse to go to school, who have difficulty creating/maintaining healthy relationships with others, at-risk-youth, and children/youth with mental/developmental disability are starting to lose their goals and will to live their lives positively. Also, there are a lot of cases that children/youth bear big scar in their heart from abuse and/or apparent disinterest in children by their parents, some children even lose their emotions. Nonetheless, schools and special education classes are isolated from one another, not being able to work as a team to support children effectively. Present system of school education is in the situation where they cannot recover from the deterioration of the environment.
With that, Free School EIMEIJUKU started to see the needs of the education in long-term perspective for children that can help children accomplish their dreams on their own, think and plan on their own. With the harmonious coexistence and (learn together and developed together) as basic principles, we’d like to support children to respect each individual, help grow more with their strength, and turn weakness into a virtue.
Free School EIMEIJUKU believes that “Normalization”, that does not distinguish people with able
body and people with disability and/or who suffer social withdrawal, and
children/youth refuse to go to school, is vital for the next generation
who play a central role in the 21st century. Moreover, we consider it is necessary to actively
operate enlightenment activity of “Normalization”, and inter-cultural activities
cooperating with volunteer organizations and educational organizations in Japan
To aim the programs/activities to be implemented
effectively and broadly in general by “ continuously implement
healing/therapeutic activity/counseling through volunteer programs, experiential
activities in nature and environmental protection activities”, and, “to provide
environment for children to able to have an opportunity to take initiative on
things and opportunity to be independent”.
Free School EIMEIJUKU will carry out following programs to pursue its goals:
1. Research and study on “normalization” education based on inclusion of people with disability and people with able body.
2. Volunteer programs such as “Tamago Patrol”*¹, programs for disaster aid, etc.
3. Counseling for children/youth by telephone, FAX, and emails, and therapeutic/healing programs.
4. Experiential activities in nature/environmental protection activity programs *² for children/youth who are suffering social withdrawal and having difficulty in creating/maintaining relationship with others.
5. Providing Free School/Free Space for students who refuse to attend school; dropped out of school; takes correspondence courses; goes to evening high school. Also, this program is for children/youth with disability (e.g. LD, ADHD).
6. Marketing project on “Normalization” education.
7. Study abroad (higher education in Japan)/home stay programs for students who refuse to attend school and for people with disability.
8. IT-related programs: learn how-to on PC, Internet, e-mail, create homepage, and digital video editing; training instructors; support programs for vulnerable.
Schools are starting (gradually, but surely) to accredit these programs for replacement of “integrated study” credits. We will put our greater effort to help students to be able to earn credits through these programs.
*¹ see Appendix A for further details.
*² see Appendix B
for further details.
[Tamago Patrol] * not in operation
since April, 2004
Currently, about 5,000 people live on the street in Shinjuku, Tokyo area. Mostly men age around 50th, but number of female and children are gradually increasing. People with mental/physical disability are not counted few.
Wanting to talk with people who live on the street individually is the start of “Tamago(=egg) Patrol”. We hand out eggs and/or beverages one-by-one to people who are homeless. It started in October, 1994.
“I brought a boiled egg, would you like to have one?”
We start our conversation with this
question. We talk about their health condition, jobs, and other things. If one
is catching a cold, we hand medicine. One time, there was the occasion when we
had to call 911 for the person who was seriously ill. We cannot do much because
the team members are fairly young, but what we focus on the most is to
communicate with people who are homeless. We want to face the reality together
with them, and we want to create the relationship as a human-being, not just the
relationship of giving/receiving food constantly.
[Experiential activities in nature/environmental protection activity
Objective: To regain willingness to live, find reason to live, harmonize with nature, have deep feeling for others, find love and friendships to enhance five senses and sensibility of children/youth through experiences in nature.
To help children/youth who suffer social withdrawal to able to go outside and have the opportunity to get involved in the community.
1. Aquatic Environment: children/youth often open their minds in the environment where there is water. Especially in the warm water, children/youth often feel relieved because it gives a feeling of being in the womb of their mother, and feel selfless love.
2. Include the learning opportunity of environment protection issues: learning the natural environment by actually touching the nature, and by harmonizing with nature, participants will be able to…
a) acknowledge one’s self and environment in the nature
b) love one’s self and nature
c) cultivate the feeling of willingness to cherish nature and to care people around them
Participants will learn and feel the importance of harmonizing and protecting the environment with their five senses.
3. Lessen one’s pain: it is expected that participants’ exhausted heart to receive healing effect through experiences in nature. However, proper care and follow-ups are necessary in order for participants to acknowledge that they have a support from therapist, counselor and/or people around them.
4. Living together with others for short period of time [more than 7 days]: it is effective for children/youth who suffer from misanthropy/have difficulty creating and/or maintaining relationship with others to live together for more than 7 days to regain their social skills. However, to make the best out of this experience, it is preferable to omit various restraints as much as possible, and for specialists who can provide proper care to be accompanied.
5. The difference of effects from program held in Japan to program held in overseas: participants can benefit more from Eco-camp when the camp is held in area where there are not many people around. Because participants often suffer from anthrophobia, timing and location are important factors for participants to cope with the new environment. In overseas, participants tends to be free and to be themselves more than when they are in Japan. However, follow-up plays an important role both in domestic/overseas programs. It is important for participants that someone from his/her community to participate together in the program to be able to support him/her when they return home from the program (especially when s/he is from rural area of Japan).
English Translation by MIE