What of the
Editor's Note: Masakazu Watabe sent this to
me few days ago and then also what I have added at the bottom of the
article. Please read the whole thing. WF
Dear IERS Board Members and Donors:
We just completed another year of BYU internship activities in relation to the Mikuni International College in Japan to be opened in 2015. These are some of the highlights and brief report and future plans.
1. We completed BYU internships called LTL (Language Teaching and Learning) in the following cities with 12 BYU interns: Sapporo (2 interns to teach 3 Japanese students), Sendai (1 intern to teach 5 Japanese students), Matsudo (2 interns to teach 6 Japanese students), Shibuya (2 interns to teach 3 students), Osaka (2 interns to teach 2 Japanese students), Yuzawa (3 interns to teach 7 Japanese students in a total immersion program), totaling 26 students (2 non-members and one in Shibuya was baptized during our internship in June.)
2. The first Japanese language and culture program for high school students was completed with 12 participants (4 non-members and 2 less actives and 4 future missionaries) at Yuzawa.
3. We had one fund-raising activity for IERS in Yokohama celebrating Masao Watabe’s 100th year birthday. Over 200 people attended and some have donated or pledged to donate to IERS. The Watabe Family, including Masao’s grandchildren’s families has donated over $36,000. With your generous contributions, we now own 2 lodges, 4 condos for the school, and two cars (one was donated this year) which we use in Yuzawa.
4. From your contributions we provided $10,000 for scholarships for the Japanese students who participated in the first total immersion program in Yuzawa. Most of them along with some from summer intensive courses in various places have passed the English test to be admitted to BYU-H.
These are some programs, which are continuing on in Yuzawa:
1. Summer immersion camp for high school students in Yuzawa (it has started on July 28th and will end on August 22nd. Four BYU interns will participate and 9 Japanese high school students have signed up.
2. Fall semester will start on September 1st and one BYU intern will participate and 2 Japanese students have signed up.
3. Winter semester will be held for the students who will graduate in March next year. Most of the high school seniors in Japan will have no school in January through March after they take the college entrance exams. We will help these seniors with their English.
As we have completed these activities, we have found that we need to recruit more students in Japan. As long as we have enough students, our interns do very well. The language methodology and materials are very effective for the students who apply themselves. The final presentations of the students show excellent results. Most of them do not have typical Japanese natives’ pronunciation patterns, but are very fluent and accurate in their pronunciation and conversation. Our interns do very well. One major challenge is housing for our interns. As long as they were housed in a very good family, they have enjoyed. But home stay is extremely difficult in Japan. We are looking into the possibility to purchase a house in the middle of Kyoto to secure a place for the students visiting Japan (including BYU students and high school students from the U.S.) to learn the language and culture and make it a Kyoto School for Mikuni International. Yuzawa might be too isolated for them and this house will be a great help for the American students. The house we are looking at is priced at $128,000 and we are looking for major donors for this acquisition. One BYU graduate and former intern has been hired at Mikuni International and he has done very well at Yuzawa and Yuzawa should be ready to open officially in 2015. Thank you for your continuing support and generous donations. Thanks to your help, we are making some small changes in the lives of these young people in Japan.
That will be fine. You may want to include the URL of the following:
渡部兄弟生誕100周年記念の取材記事がアップされました。日本の教会の開拓者で、アジアで最初の祝福師となった渡部正雄兄弟の生誕100年記念の集いを取材しました。詳しい記事はこちらから。http://urx.nu/azrc #モルモン #開拓者 #LDS