Logo by Thomas Zimmerman Priority on Supporting Seniors
             Logo by Thomas Zimmerman                                          Priority on Supporting Seniors

About Us

The seed for this organization began to sprout when several Japanese women wanted to help a senior foreign resident who was having trouble communicating in Japanese when visiting the hospital for a serious health condition, which required difficult decisions to be made. These women realized that a lot of foreigners who had been living in the area for a long time could not understand well enough many of the details concerning taxes, pensions, health care, housing, etc.

 

Of course there are people of many different nationalities interested in learning about these topics, so it was decided to use English as the common language for communication. However, we typically book bilingual presenters or monolingual speakers with translators on hand to explain difficult concepts and facilitate questions and answers in both languages. It is important to ensure that someone proficient in both English and Japanese is present at all events, because many Japanese members are also interested in learning more about the details of each topic. Additionally, we request that presenters provide bilingual materials (e.g. slides and handouts).

 

After four full years of operation, HMSC now has a multinational Executive Committee of volunteers working together to organize approximately bimonthly events.  These presentations and social events have succeeded in helping all of us learn a lot about the society in which we live and to understand each other much better than we had ever imagined.  We advocate for those who need our help. We have discovered that even a little help can go a long way to improving the lives of many.

 

That is why we are especially happy to find new volunteers who share our commitment to helping others in the world. A helping hand is always greatly appreciated!

 

If you feel you can help, then please do not hesitate to contact us

 

We are always looking for those who would like to share their expertise and experiences with our group members as speakers or serving on the Executive Committee or in an Ad Hoc capacity.  For seniors, the learning process will never stop. For those of you who feel you do not have enough time to help, we hope you will consider donating funds to help us cover the expenses associated with putting on meetings, presentations and other events. All donations are used to cover real operating expenses and no member receives any money for their volunteer time and service.  Please visit the Donations page for more details.

 

We are most grateful for the support provided by Neighbors during the first four years of operation, and that of the Sapporo International Communication Plaza, which has worked closely with our group to facilitate presentations and surveys.  We are expanding our goals for 2019 and beyond, and we look forward to reaching out to all Japanese and foreign residents in Hokkaido who wish to support the multinational community in their local areas.

 

We appreciate the advice and support of the staff at the:

Sapporo International Communication Plaza: http://plaza-sapporo.or.jp/citizen_j/en/

 

 

The HMSC Executive Committee Members as of November 2020

 

Ken Hartmann, Chairperson

Keiko Takeda, Treasurer

Kathleen Riggins: Recording Secretary

Margaret Shibuya, Vice Co-Chairperson, Membership Coordinator

Michi Goto, Vice Co-Chairperson, Co-Program Coordinator

Teruo Ooi, Co-Program Coordinator

Sally Kobayashi, Publicity/Public Relations

Yasuhiko Takasaki, Facilities/ EC Club Liaison

 

 

 

Mission Statement

 

HMSC is dedicated to improving the lives of Hokkaido residents, by providing support through informative bilingual presentations and promoting social interaction, especially for seniors and those who are foreign nationals.

 

Vision Statement

 

HMSC is dedicated to supporting both foreign and Japanese residents of Hokkaido with a primary focus on seniors. Often lacking sufficient language skills and having an inadequate understanding of Japanese culture, foreign senior residents require a constant flow of relevant information in English related to aging in Japan. In addition, because all seniors are vulnerable to isolation, they need regular opportunities for different types of social interaction with like-minded residents.

 

Short-term to long-term objectives include establishing a central meeting place in Sapporo where multinational residents can meet for a variety of purposes from formal presentations to informal social activities. Our mid-term goal would be to encourage the City of Sapporo to make similar facilities available in each ward, in order to support as many multinational residents as possible, as well as, work with local governments throughout Hokkaido in a joint effort to support all multinational residents in Hokkaido. The long-term objective is to develop a multinational residential care facility where English is a primary means of communication.

 

この組織は数人の日本人女性が、一人の高齢の外国人女性を助けたことがきっかけで始まりました。彼女には疾患があり、病院で難しい決断をしなければならない時に日本語でコミュニケーションがとれないという問題がありました。たとえ長年同じ地域に住んでいても、税金や年金、ヘルスケアや住居などについて良くわからずに困っている外国人のシニアが多いことにその時彼女たちは気づいたのです。そしてこれらの事柄は国籍に関係なく、在日外国人の多くが関心をもっていることから、英語を共通語としました。また、MSCが取りあげるトピックは外国人だけではなく、日本人のメンバーにも興味を持てるものが多く、プレゼンテーションは英語と日本語の両方で行われています。

 

一年間の実績を得て、HMSCは14人の多国籍からなるボランティアメンバーが集まり隔月でイベントを開催しています。これまでに開催したプレゼンテーションとソシアルイベントを通し、住んでいる地域社会について学ぶ事ができ、また私たちは想像していた以上にお互いの理解を深めることに成功してきました。私たちは助けを必要とする人たちの代弁者です。そして些細な事でも、多くの方々の力になれるという事がわかりました。

 

このような理由から、私たちはこの活動に賛同するボランティアを新たに募っています。私たちのお仕事をサポートしていただけませんか?興味がある方は是非このページの上にあるリンクをクリックしてください。

 

お手伝いしていただける方はいつでも歓迎いたします!

また私たちは常時、スピーカーとして、もしくは役員として専門知識と経験を我々のグループ・メンバーと共有してくれる方を募集しています。高齢を理由にして新しい知識を得るのを止める事はないのです。たとえ時間が取れない方でも、プレゼンテーションやミーティング、イベントなどの経費を寄付していただく事で活動にご協力していたくこともできます。寄付金のすべては今後の活動の実費として使用され、メンバーの報酬となる事は一切ありません。詳しくは寄付の仕方についてのページをご覧ください。

 

当コミュニティーは高齢者の生活の質の向上に焦点をおくことを目的とし、参加者には特に年齢制限を設けていない。

 

後援:

札幌市国際プラザ http://plaza-sapporo.or.jp/citizen_j/en/

 

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