2014 “Green Volunteers 17th Cohort” Report
The Green Volunteers, dispatched to China every year by the Fujifilm Workers’ Union as one part of its social contribution activities, is a symbolic activity that has continued for 17 years. The 17th cohort in 2014 was over the period August 2 to 6, and reforestation activities were carried out in the Horqin Desert, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. A total of 15 people participated from Japan, which included nine people from the Fujifilm Workers’ Union (including alumni), one person from the Fujifilm Cooperative, and five people who participated for the first time from the Workers’ Unions of Fujifilm Group companies.
Since the 10th cohort (2007), this activity has been carried out in cooperation with FUJIFILM (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (FFCN) and many FFCN employees, mainly from FFCN Shanghai and Suzhou, also participated in this activity. Fujifilm Group employees from both Japan and China worked together on reforestation activities. This time, the Japan team’s schedule did not overlap with the FFCN team, so the reforestation activities were done separately, however, a social gathering was held at the Bowang Hotel on the evening that the 17th cohort arrived. The participants were able to build deeper relationships and the gathering helped foster a sense of unity between the employees of the Fujifilm Group.
Participating in the 17th Green Volunteers (Lead Staff of Fujifilm Workers’ Union)
I participated this time as a member of the secretariat. Social contribution activities are positioned at the core of Fujifilm workers’ union’s activities and the Green Volunteers, which is also a symbolic project, is extremely satisfying for participants. There have been headwinds due to external factors such as SARS, new strains of influenza, and worsening relations between Japan and China, in addition to the fact that the requirements for participation have somewhat increased. This is an important initiative that has been running every year without fail for 17 years, with the scope of activities having been expanded for “All Fujifilm Group” members centered on the Fujifilm Workers’ Union, the budget and schedule has also been developed.
The following is my impression as a participant, not as someone from the secretariat. The five days went by so quickly and it was like a dream to spend the time with such wonderful colleagues having an out-of-the-ordinary experience. What I felt after visiting the impoverished area of Kanchika was that the services and infrastructure that I normally enjoy might actually be excessive, which was a new discovery for me. Before the 17th cohort disbanded, we pledged to each other that we would come back as a team to see how these pine trees have grown, in the same way that we will have as well. I only have words of gratitude for this valuable experience with the best colleagues. Thank you.
Participating in the 17th Green Volunteers (Team Leader)
I participated as the Team Leader of the 17th cohort of the Green Volunteers. The area of the tree-planting project was by no means wealthy, but it was a very warm place filled with the smiles and warmth of the local people. There are various issues between China and Japan on a national level, but as humans, I feel that it is important to continue working on these types of person-to-person exchanges. I hope that this tree planting project will spark mutual interest in our respective countries and lead to an era of friendship between Japan and China.
Although it was only a short period of five days, once again, this trip has been a turning point in my life in many ways and will be a precious memory.
Finally, as the Team Leader, I am so proud we were able to unite and move forward together to this extent, having only met each other in person a month ago. Thank you.
Participating in the 17th Green Volunteers (Deputy Team Leader)
The briefing session enabled me to fully understand why we should plant trees in the desert, the cause of desertification, and the adverse effects. Rather than participating in a philanthropic activity, I felt like I was doing something that I needed to do. I sometimes reunite with my team members at work or on other volunteer activities, so by participating in the Green Volunteers, I feel like I was able to broaden my horizons. It was an opportunity to once again show appreciation to my family, who sent me off with a smile.
I would like to share the merits of the Green Volunteers, which is beneficial to the participants, to society, and to the earth, and encourage as many people as possible to participate.