- Amnesty International
- Animal Rights
- The Bluestockings Philosophy Society
- Entrepreneuring for a cause
- Medical Society
- Open Minds Society
- Rooftop Garden
- VEX Robotics
Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization that strives to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending the abuse of human rights. We fight for justice, dignity, freedom, and the rights of people all over the world; joining Amnesty International is a step into partaking in a significant global movement. In Amnesty International, we create compelling petitions through diligent research and engaging discussions. Through connecting with other students who are passionate about fighting human rights issues, we encourage students to have an active voice for those around the world who are stripped of their fundamental human rights.
This year, we plan on creating two highly-researched petitions. Our first petition will focus on the re-education camps in the Xinjiang and Tibet Autonomous Regions. Last year, we composed a petition centered around the internment camps in Xinjiang, shedding light on the abuse and mistreatment of Muslim Uyghurs who are have been detained due to their religion and ethnicity. These detainees are forced to undergo practices that go against their religion in an attempt by the Chinese government to handle “rising extremism” and “remove devotion to Islam.” The circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse for Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang; detainees in re-education camps are now not only limited to Muslim Uyghurs, but also Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Recent satellite imagery has revealed that the re-education camps are emerging rapidly in these areas, with the largest internment camp being over 300 acres in size. We plan to integrate our petition from the previous school year to compose a nuanced petition that addresses the crises in Xinjiang and Tibet, analyzing its similarities and differences, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on these detainees, and changes we call for the Chinese government to implement.
Our second petition will be centered around the immigrant detainees in Japan who face an indefinite detention. During the past several years, Japanese detention centers and the conditions in which asylum seekers are kept have worsened dramatically. Japan has only accepted a mere 42 people amongst 16,000 applicants, an acceptance rate far lower than most developed countries. As nationwide detention centers struggle to keep up with the surge in applicants, dozens of immigrant detainees go on hunger strikes to protest their mistreatment and harsh conditions every year. In particular, a 40-year-old Nigerian man had starved himself to death at a holding facility in Nagasaki due to his mistreatment and harsh living conditions. Although the Japanese Justice Ministry has been considering remedial action to cases similar to this, Japan is still far behind on their resettlement measures despite being a developed country. As of last year, 700 applicants were held in long term detention which ranges from 6 months to nearly a decade. The government holds responsibility over the health of immigrant detainees and urgently needs to revise their inhumane treatment at their immigration centers.
The cancellation of Family Festival, a crucial event within the Amnesty agenda, has limited amnesty members in terms of community outreach. To continuously raise more awareness within our community, we plan on hosting a petition table during break and lunch time to inform students and faculty on human rights issues that our club members are interested in. This year we will be focusing on two main petitions that we will develop with the whole of the club, while simultaneously running smaller petitions throughout break and lunch times. These smaller projects will serve to educate our school community on additional human rights issues that we consider to be of great importance.
Semester 1 Report
In Amnesty International, we create compelling petitions through diligent research and engaging discussions. By connecting with other students who are passionate about fighting human rights issues, we encourage students to have an active voice for those around the world who are stripped of their fundamental human rights.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Amnesty members eagerly worked together, finding alternate, safe ways to spread awareness on human rights issues. After the cancellation of Family Festival, where we typically hold our largest petition drive, we embarked on a new project: lunchtime petitions. These smaller-scale petitions will serve to inform our high school community on current human rights issues. To follow covid safety guidelines, we plan to convert to an online petition system — through google forms — instead of our usual paper system. Our Amnesty International club is currently split into two focus groups who are simultaneously creating two different petitions. Our first group is creating a petition urging the release of unfairly imprisoned people in Turkey. Turkish prisons are currently overcrowded and unsanitary, putting many incarcerated individuals at high risk for contracting the coronavirus. Despite many lacking adequate medical attention and support, the Turkish government continues to imprison many for simply exercising their rights. Our second petition calls for the protection of front line health care workers in Egypt. Several health care workers were detained solely for expressing the lack of PPE and worker protection in hospitals. Our Amnesty club has found both of these human rights issues extremely relevant to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially to highlight communities that receive little media attention. Through our lunchtime petition project, we are working on building our club members’ knowledge and skill in effective petition writing for our larger scale, more complex petitions.
Furthermore, the ongoing larger scale petitions which we plan to start working on after the completion of our lunchtime petitions address the Xinjiang reeducation camps in China and Tibet, and the detention of immigrant detainees in Japan. These two highly-researched petitions will be the main focus of our club in the second semester. Our Xianjiang petition sheds light on the abuse and mistreatment of Muslim Uyghurs, who have been detained due to their religion and ethnicity. These detainees are forced to undergo practices that go against their religion in an attempt by the Chinese government to handle “rising extremism” and “remove devotion to Islam.” The circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse for Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang; detainees in re-education camps are now not only limited to Muslim Uyghurs, but also Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Recent satellite images have revealed that the re-education camps are emerging rapidly in these areas, with the largest internment camp being over 300 acres in size. We plan to integrate our petition from the previous school year to compose a nuanced petition that addresses the crises in Xinjiang and Tibet, analyzing its similarities and differences, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on these detainees, and changes we call for the Chinese government to implement.
Our second petition will be centered around the immigrant detainees in Japan who face indefinite detentions. During the past several years, Japanese detention centers and the conditions in which asylum seekers are kept have worsened dramatically. Japan has only accepted a mere 42 people amongst 16,000 applicants, an acceptance rate far lower than most developed countries. As nationwide detention centers struggle to keep up with the surge in applicants, dozens of immigrant detainees go on hunger strikes to protest their mistreatment every year. In particular, a 40-year-old Nigerian man had starved himself to death at a holding facility in Nagasaki due to his harsh living conditions. Although the Japanese Justice Ministry has been considering remedial action to similar cases, Japan is still far behind on their resettlement measures. With this petition, we will call for the government to hold responsibility over the health of immigrant detainees, and urge them to revise their inhumane treatment at these immigration centers.
Despite the change in this year’s agenda, we are encouraging one another to find ways to work around our limitations. This school year has challenged our Amnesty International Club to find innovative approaches to prudently work toward our goals as a team.
Animals Right’s Club advocates for the equal treatment of animals by raising awareness of the mistreatment animals receive especially in Japan by focusing on pet shops, cafes, zoos, etc. We work closely with ARK (Animal Refuge Kansai) for volunteering opportunities as well as to create a network of people who love animals.
From past experience, everyone who’s joined the club has been able to participate in group discussions and has given their insight on what they think about the way animals are treated in different environments. Through this club, members are able to inform their friends and family about the current animal protection situation and have a more open mindset to how they view various aspects of life.
This year, due to COVID-19, we want to incorporate new fun activities that involve social distancing to keep everyone as safe as possible while being able to learn topics related to animal rights. For example, endangered animal online pictionary, animal awareness memes, and many more. Also, we plan to create our own stickers designs. Instead of ARK providing us with their merchandise, we would be able to organize more fundraisers and the members would be able to contribute with their designs.
The Art Club’s main purpose is to promote artistic creativity by enabling students to comfortably explore various fields of art. As a club, all members participate in hands-on activities to produce original artwork in a welcoming, engaging environment. In the past, we have worked to create both 2D and 3D works, ranging from a collaborative mosaic project to creating planets made out of plaster. For the 2020-2021 school year, the Art Club is currently preparing new projects such as “Perspective Drawing” and “Plastic Project”. In the perspective drawing activity, all students will study and draw a single object from different perspectives, allowing students to polish their artistic skills while keeping social distances. In contrast, our Plastic Project encourages students to bond together by working in groups to create a plastic 3D model to also raise social awareness for climate change and recycling. Given the circumstances of COVID-19, we had prepared these activities to adopt safety measures while still allowing each member to enjoy the project. Developing artistic skill outside the context of an art class is a vital experience for our members. Many high schoolers no longer take mandatory art classes, and the Art Club acts as an artistic output to engage our creativity despite hectic schedules. The environment of our weekly meetings is comfortable, offering a well deserved repose and break from academics. Furthermore, we emphasize interactions between grades to allow for teamwork when creating group projects. This communication may allow students to make new art buddies while exchanging ideas and forming friendships. By the end of the year, we hope that our creative projects developed student artistry, relieved some stress from high schoolers, and spread the joy of art to the entire school.
Semester 1 Report
The Art Club had a successful first semester which aligned with our main goals while efficiently completing the projects we had planned. An obvious challenge during the 2020 semester were the irregularities caused by COVID-19 restrictions, mainly the necessity of maintaining physical distancing during meetings and the possibility of going online anytime during the year. As the leaders of the Art Club, we structured our first semester’s events to accommodate for these two things, and prioritized keeping social distance and fostering a sense of closeness between members.
The central goal of the Art Club is creating a comfortable and relaxing environment for students to interact between grades. Keeping this in mind, the Art Club’s weekly Wednesday meetings were conducted in an atmosphere where the members could talk freely. Moreover, all of our current members were extremely dedicated, involved, and talented artists. With such a great team, we were able to complete our Semester 1 project , Inktober, on time.
Inktober is an annual art event typically held in October, created by an artist called Jake Parker. In this project, artists are given a Halloween-themed prompt each day to draw with black ink, such as a witch or a pumpkin. However, we alternated the project by assigning fall-themed prompts to each student, as this project was postponed to start in November due to online learning. Our objective for this project was to let individual students polish their artistic skills, and experience with different art materials, and we were able to accomplish the marvelous creativity shown in each Inktober piece. Not all students in our club were experienced artists and/or used blackpen only during art classes. Despite this, each member dedicated themselves, both at home and school, in this project, leading students to complete their piece, explore a new field of art, and improve their artistic skills. We hope that students are happy with their improvement, and their new discovery in their artistic ability.
After mastering individual skills in the Inktober project, we are planning to have a 3D environmental awareness group project for the second semester. This project serves as a way for our members to use art as a platform to speak out about global issues, experiment with paper mache and other 3D materials, and a way to work in groups across grades. With the two week period of E-learning, we switched to planning for this project online, with ideas such as using trash and paper-mache sea animals to showcase detrimental deaths of sea creatures due to pet bottles and straws, or creating a morph of man and animal to display our interdependence with the creatures around us. As this task is a group project, we hope that the members will learn to allocate roles and depend on each other to complete the project quickly and efficiently.
We also plan to do sessions of “Perspective Drawing”. We originally planned to start this project after our Inktober project, with a similar goal of polishing student’s artistic skill, but we have put this project aside due to e-learning. During these sessions, we will choose an object to draw and set up easels around this object while keeping a safe distance away from each other. Then, we give the members a certain amount of time to draw the object from their individual perspective. This polishes artistic skill under time pressure, and for members to experiment drawing from different points of view. We have let the members choose what objects they wished to draw so that it was truly an interactive group project. After considering each student’s suggestion, we have decided to start drawing from more simple objects such as flowers and vases, then work up to draw actual human models. This project sparked a lot of excitement within our club, and we cannot wait to begin this project as soon as we go back to school!
Do we have free will? What should be considered good or evil? What is the meaning of life? What happens after death? As a child, we all probably have the experience of crowding our minds with these big questions but once we enter school, where a strict syllabus is set for the whole year and clarity is prioritized, these thoughts are deemed nonsensical and we as students tend to absorb whatever the teacher provides us. While there are positives to this, if we just take in whatever perspective is addressed in the textbook as facts, especially in a world where a flood of information is provided to you at a single swipe, we forget to make up our own minds, to think for ourselves. The term Blue Stocking derives from the informal women’s social and educational movement in England in the mid-18th century named the Blue Stocking Society but by the late 18th century, it has been a pejorative term to describe educated women. We decided to include their name to pay homage as well as to recognize these lesser known feminist especially since we are in an all-girl school setting. Our main goal of this club is for the members to be educated on the major philosophers (e.g. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant), different branches of philosophy (e.g. metaphysics, aesthetics, epistemology) and how history shaped different philosophical inquiries and most importantly, for the members to be able to think more deeply, critically and logically in their day to day lives. In addition, as we are the Blue Stocking Philosophy Society and women are extremely unrepresented in this field, more so than STEM, we decipher the works of female philosophers ranging from Hypatia, Weil, Beauvoir to Nussbaum and their lives. We will spend the limited club meetings to decipher primary and secondary texts of philosophy and debate on it, practice writing philosophy papers and possibly publish some of them on the school paper and watch philosophy related movies approved by the school as a fun activity.
The main purpose of the Dance Club is to have a platform for students to practice choreography and perform it for our student body. We serve as a place for students to experiment with their creativity and confidence in dance.
For the 20-21 school year, the dance club strives to allow students to dance in a productive yet safe way. We have taken up many protocols in order to still have our meetings, such as mandatory masks, physical distancing, and changing our usual semester performances on stage to a virtual, filmed performance. We believe that even with the difficulties of practicing under COVID-19 protocols, the dance club can still have safe practices and still garner the enthusiasm for dance that we have always had.
Our main goal for this year is to still hit our targets of semester performances, which we hope will still bring spirit to our student body.
Semester 1 Report
The 2020-2021 Dance Club set out to continue our main goals of giving a platform for students to practice and perform different choreographies, despite the changes this school year with COVID-19.
During this semester we have been preparing for performances, as different groups have chosen choreographies they wanted to perform and have been using our meetings as practice time. However, our initial plan of having a compiled video with all the performances ready by the end of the semester has been temporarily postponed as we have been doing online classes. We would like to be able to film soon as we get back to in-school classes.
The Dance Club, in particular, has been a difficult club to run as meetings used to be held with many members, all in close proximity and collaboration. It was difficult to regulate at the start of the semester, as everyone was new to the changes that we applied in order to practice in a physically distanced and safe manner. It has now become easier that our members have become accustomed to the new precautions and are, for the most part, respecting those precautions.
In the next semester, we hope to finish the choreography that we were working on this semester, film them, and be able to upload them on a platform to share with our High School student body to enjoy. We will then proceed to prepare for our semester two performances, all with new choreography.
Ekiden is a running club based on the principles of the Japanese word ‘ekiden’, a long distance relay race typically held on roads. With our sponsors Mrs. Adams and Mr. Martindale’s help, we hope to promote an active and healthy lifestyle through running to our Sacred Heart community whilst supporting local charities. We also hope to provide a positive atmosphere for anyone interested in running and fitness, regardless of ability.
In our meetings every two weeks, we will plan runs, stretch, and make healthy snacks as well. Our members will help us with planning runs and fundraising ideas. This year, we are planning to participate in multiple fundraising events and charity races. In December, we will be taking part in our first race, known as the Mikan Relay, which helps support and raise money for reconstruction efforts in Fukushima and other affected areas from the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. As well as participating in formal events, we will also host fun group runs around Tokyo. This will include a Christmas illumination run in December and a sakura run in Meguro to see the cherry blossoms.
Before starting the ekiden club, we wanted to ensure there was a motivational and encouraging atmosphere for students interested in running or activity. We hoped to provide this through fortnightly meetings of the ekiden club. We also wanted to commit to the meaning of ekiden by joining and participating in relay races to raise money for local charities around Japan and Tokyo. Additionally, we hoped that members would find an enjoyable side to running and fitness.
Throughout semester one, the ekiden club has effectively provided a positive atmosphere for those interested in running and fitness. We have successfully organised/participated in two events, the XC/Ekiden meet, and the Mikan Relay. By doing so, we have spread the goals of ekiden not only to our school community but also to a wider audience at the Mikan Relay. The ekiden club successfully raised funds for reconstruction after the March 11 triple disaster. The feedback received after our participation in the Mikan Relay showed success in our goal of members finding running and exercising fun and enjoyable.
With the changing conditions this year has brought, we have been challenged trying to organise and brainstorm safe ways to encourage fitness and running in our Sacred Heart community. Additionally, we have been challenged for time trying to use our meeting time efficiently. Specifically, we struggle when our meetings are often missed due to external factors outside our control so it is difficult to have time with club members without thinking about things we are organising and planning. Additionally, due to e-learning and holidays, we missed multiple meetings.
This semester, we will try to focus on ways we can encourage fitness within our school safely. Instead of focusing on out of school activities and external events, we believe we can concentrate on things we can do within our school during club meetings. We will look much closer into what we can do within the short times that we meet and not feel pressured to organise external events.
In semester two, we will try to organise activities for members to take part in, bringing diversity into our meetings so we are not only discussing future events. We will organise active meetings in which members are able to participate and share ideas.
In order to participate in the Mikan relay, we had to raise the funds necessary to take part. Thus, we organised the Dress Like A Fruit free dress day for both middle and high school where students dressed in the colours of fruit. In the event, we successfully raised Y43,250, which was enough to fund all 13 members to participate in the relay.
The Ekiden club had an extremely busy first semester. First, we organised a joint cross country and ekiden meet. At the last cross country race, ekiden members joined in and ran with them. In the event, ekiden club members were intertwined with cross country members and ran with them in a relay race. We also added an aspect inspired by the ekiden’s upcoming Mikan Relay, where runners tried to carry as many small balls as they could for the last 100m of the course. By participating in the final cross country ‘meet’, we brought a fun new aspect for cross country members to also take part in.
Next, we organised the dress like a fruit free dress day in order to raise funds to participate in the Mikan Relay. We successfully initiated the idea and gave the opportunity to middle and high school students to help us raise money for March 11 reconstruction. To do this, we presented at the high school assembly and made an announcement in the middle school register.
Following the free dress day, we participated in the Mikan Relay. Ourselves and our members took part in the 3-hour continuous relay in order to raise money for the March 11 reconstruction. In the tiring event, members of the club took part in their first ekiden relay race. Because two of our members could not come at the last minute, we were short runners. Despite this, all present members each ran over 5km and enjoyed themselves doing so.
In Entrepreneuring For A Cause, students come up with creative and innovative ideas of products or services to make to solve world issues. Through this club, students are able to take on solving world problems further, take a bigger step, and achieve sustainable development. Moreover, members voice their creative ideas even if it may sound too ambitious or intimidating, and work continuously hard to try and bring those ideas to life. To add on, the members work harmoniously together as they organize fundraisers, spread awareness of world issues, and research deeply into creating the prototype of our product or service.
In the 2020-2021 school year, this club is attempting to find a sustainable replacement product for disposable masks, as they are causing an increasing amount of harm to the environment since the production and use of masks, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, has increased greatly. Many people opt to use disposable masks, often because of the convenience, efficiency, and price, though it has had some severe effects on the environment and led to an upsurge of pollution. Hence, this year, this club’s main goal is to find a replacement product for these disposable masks that are not harmful to the environment and is still as effective and efficient.
The members have worked productively as they split into committees; the technology team is seeking to find the material that can be used to create the masks, as well as researching the structure of an effective mask which we can build upon as we are creating the prototype. The communication and marketing team works hard to spread awareness to the rest of the school about the harms of disposable masks, as well as as asking people opinions on what they think makeup good quality masks. To add on, the Blue Ocean and Impact Research committee guides the club to take the steps of the development strategy, Blue Ocean and finds out what the activities of this club and our potential masks eliminate, reduce, raises, and creates.
This club offers its members an opportunity to steer out of the box thinking as we think of innovative ways to solve world issues. This club will also help them understand how much we are capable of, and how much our ideas, and what we do with them impact the world. Additionally, this club builds confidence in the members as they get their ideas heard, and understand the immense part every single one of us has in society. To add on, members learn some of the important qualities of being an entrepreneur, such as perseverance, strong determination, and sticking to your goal no matter how many times you may fail. Every time we fail throughout the process of making a product, we will heed lessons from our mistakes, keep working harder, and try again, but this time more intelligently, celebrating our gradual successes on the way as we are developing, taking initiative, voicing our ideas and entrepreneuring for a cause.
Semester 1 Report
The purpose of starting Entrepreneuring For a Cause was to foster out of the box thinking, initiative, and innovativeness in the members as they come up with ideas of products and services to create to solve world issues, and understand the significant impact that our ideas and what we do with them have. This year, the members have been able to creatively forge ideas of products to make as they persevered to take on the ambitious goal of creating an effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to disposable masks.
The main accomplishments of our club from this semester is that we were able to thoroughly plan out the structure of our prototype, have a deep understanding of the technology needed to create our environmentally-friendly masks, and begin to think about the entrepreneurship aspect of our project. We were able to decide on our main material for creating our environmentally-friendly masks: banana stem fiber; this fiber is an inexpensive abundant agricultural waste, and has many suitable properties for making our masks as they are highly durable, water-resistant, insulating, and biodegradable. Our club was also able to reach out to a banana farm in Okayama that will be supporting us by providing us with the banana stems to make our prototype.
A difficulty that we faced in the club at the beginning of the semester was the slight uneasiness between the club members of the different grades. This is because the members in some committees had a large gap when it came to the grades that they belonged to; many of them had never been in contact with each other, especially as this is a new club. However, we were able to overcome this obstacle as the members built trust and found common grounds with one another. As they endeavored to strive to reach the common goal of creating environmentally-friendly masks, they considered and appreciated each other’s insights and perspectives and worked together to face the hurdles on the way of achieving this ambition. In the second semester, we will continue to encourage further improvement of the connections between the members to create bonds despite the difference in grades that they may be in; enhancing communication is crucial for the harmonious growth and performance of the club.
Our main goal for the second semester to finalize our prototype, test the effectiveness of the masks to continue making improvements on our product, and consider finance and marketing. We also plan on experimenting with the many other possibilities besides making masks that banana stem fiber has for further application to spread awareness of the potential of this abundant and highly useful agricultural waste.
As we are all constantly working to benefit communities around us and around the world, who better to support than us: girls! Though our name may not provide much insight on what we do, our name truly embodies the essence of our club. We are girls supporting girls. As students of an international, all-girls school where we are empowered on a daily basis, we feel that all of us must take advantage of our unique position and hold an active role in contributing to the empowerment of girls everywhere.
The Girls Club offers a great opportunity to connect with other students who are passionate about the empowerment of women, support feminist organizations, and educate our community. The passion each student in our club brings is what allows us to truly make a change. While much of our activity and discussions are free-form, adapting to what we feel is more important at the time, we always adhere to the three primary goals that drive our club’s purpose:
- To inform and educate others about feminism and why we should support the movement.
- To create our own campaigns and projects to empower women in and outside our Sacred Heart community.
- To support other feminist organizations to show Sacred Heart’s support for female empowerment.
We currently have three ongoing projects: the Pad Project, sticker project, and social media presence. We established the Pad Project in 2017 to directly deliver reusable cloth pads to high school girls at the Shree Kalika Secondary School in Nepal. Through establishing personal connections with these girls and hearing their stories about the struggles of being a girl pursuing a high school education where menstruation is so stigmatized, we aim to help make a difference in Nepali girls’ lives regarding sanitation and education while teaching the Sacred Heart community that having proper access to sanitary pads can help girls stay in school. Although we had been purchasing reusable cloth pads annually to deliver, from this year onwards, we have decided to establish a larger goal of fundraising for a pad machine: a device that produces sanitary pads at a low cost while simultaneously creating jobs for the local community. While this will likely be a long-term project that requires much more time and funds than usual years, we feel that it will help to create positive, lasting change in their community.
The Pad Project is our largest project as a club, but we also have committees managing the sticker project that helps us to raise the necessary funds for our work, and the social media committee that allow us to raise awareness about our club itself and the women’s rights issues we are seeking to confront. During this school year, we aim to establish a stronger social media presence through improving our website (https://girlsclub60.wixsite.com/girls-club) and creating informative threads for our instagram page that will hopefully be up soon.
While the 2020-2021 school year has been far from conventional thus far and we will encounter many unique challenges this year, we will take these challenges in stride and propose creative solutions to continue our positive impact both inside and outside our school community. We are so appreciative of all the support we have received from the school community, and would be so grateful if you could continue to offer us support through our most difficult, yet creatively stimulating year yet.
Semester 1 Report
The Girls Club has three fundamental goals:
To inform and educate others about feminism and why we should support the movement.
To create our own campaigns and projects to empower women in and outside our Sacred Heart community.
To support other feminist organizations to show Sacred Heart’s support for female empowerment.
Whenever we are planning an event or having a group discussion, these three goals are an ongoing objective that we strive to accomplish. We ensure that all of our projects and events follow the three goals that shape the Girls Club.
To get our club members more involved and active in our meetings this year, we established three committees within our club: the Sticker committee, Pad Project committee, and Social Media committee. We also appointed leaders within each committee so that our older, more experienced club members would lead the discussions for improved content quality and efficiency. We found that this was a very productive change, and are looking forward to further seeing the positive effects of appointing leaders through the second semester.
Before the winter break, members of the Girls Club designed and produced three christmas-themed stickers:
We worked under a tight timeline to produce these stickers. Although we had intended to order the stickers via a professional service, with the limited time we had before the winter break, we decided to produce the stickers at home. The stickers were printed with a printer and cut out by hand. While the stickers were able to be produced quickly and at a low cost, it was very demanding to produce so many stickers by hand within such a short period of time. For projects in the future, we plan to produce higher-quality stickers through an external supplier.
Following COVID-19 safety guidelines, we created an order form for high school students and faculty members to order the stickers, which were sold for 100 yen each. To prevent further risk of infection, Girls Club members distributed the sticker orders and collected the money during morning homeroom. Our main purpose for this Christmas sticker sale was to raise awareness on our Pad Project, and to promote our motto — educate, support, empower. Through this fundraiser, we were able to raise 7600 yen solely through sticker sales. In previous years, we have sold the stickers in conjunction with our bake sales, which had driven our sales to be much higher. Although we were not able to hit our 10,000 yen goal, we are still proud of accomplishing an effective and safe fundraiser for our Pad Project.
Back in 2017, we started our Pad Project after recognizing the lack of sanitary products in the remote villages of Nepal. Girls were not able to go to school for a quarter of the month, every month, simply because they did not have access to sanitary menstrual products that would allow them to feel safe, supported, and empowered during menstruation when they attended school. We started out by directly delivering reusable cloth pads to a mere 10 high school students at Shree Kalika Secondary School. By 2020, we had delivered over 400 pads to all of the high school students at Shree Kalika, and expanded our efforts to reach Buddhist nuns in Nubri Valley. Our endeavors, however, don’t stop there. As we evolve our project to meet the needs of the women in Nepal, our next goal is to fundraise for a pad machine to donate to Shree Kalika Secondary School. This sanitary pad machine will use low-cost, local raw materials to produce safe disposable pads for women at Shree Kalika. After considering their feedback on the lack of effective cleaning products for their cloth pads, we have shifted our focus on the pad machine, an empowering opportunity for the high school girls to independently produce pads for not only their fellow students, but also to provide sanitary menstrual products for the women in their local communities.
We have started working with Nepal SEEDS to bring a pad machine to Shree Kalika, who has offered to help with the communication between the Girls Club and the school and the installation of the pad machine. With SEEDS alongside us, we hope to bring our pad machine goal into shape within the year 2021.
In our last meeting of semester one, committees came together to brainstorm ideas for our upcoming Instagram account launch. Although we already have a website for the Girls Club, we hope to make our club more accessible through promoting our projects, goals, and visions, as well as sharing information on current events and issues related to feminism and gender equality through our Instagram feed. Some of our Instagram post ideas include: details on upcoming sticker sales and preorder links, informational threads on current gender equality issues in Japan and around the world, and creative, visual posts accompanied by empowering quotes.
This year, International Women’s Day will be held on March 8th. To honor our community’s position as an all-girls school and raise awareness on how we can contribute to the empowerment of women all around the world, we plan to produce and sell our 2021 stickers, possibly alongside a free dress day. Our 2021 stickers will fuel our efforts to raise awareness and fundraise on our ongoing pad machine goal.
Girls Club members were extremely hardworking and cooperative with the projects we have been working on thus far. Although we had a bit of a slow start with getting the members to be more engaged in our work, our club members shined through when we asked every one of them to design and vote on original sticker designs for our Christmas stickers. We hope to continue our productive progress, particularly in the Pad Project and the launch of the Girls Club Instagram, by embracing every one of our members’ skills and ideas.
The purpose of the GSA is to raise awareness for the LGBTIQ+ community, advocating for their equal rights. The club will also serve as a place for discussion for issues regarding LGBTIQ+ and provide a safe and confidential community to students anywhere on the spectrums of gender identity and expression along with sexual orientation can come together to support one another. We are also open to discussing and giving support to others through personal experiences and episodes. This year we are working on several projects such as setting up an allyboard with lgbtq+ iconic figures on a newsboard, educating students in assembly about lgbtq+ terms and misconceptions and working projects that would show more lgbtq+ representation in the school environment. By the end of the year, we hope to have created a safe space and a support system for students who wish to share their experience or questions regarding the lgbtq+ community.
The GSA or the Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club, serves as a place for discussion for issues regarding LGBTIQ+ and provides a safe and confidential community to students anywhere on the spectrums of gender identity and expression along with sexual orientation. This semester, the GSA members took over a remarkable journey as the enthusiastic members took on new projects to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community and to lead Sacred Heart into a more inclusive environment. Even with the limited amount of meetings and complications due to the spread of Covid-19, the GSA members were able to approve petitions and work towards starting a pride library section and schedule next semester’s assembly
Semester 1 Report
We first began our semester by joining in the (unofficial) online kanto plain GSA meeting with other schools such as St.Mary and Seisen. In this meeting we were able to hear the experience of lgbtq+ students in different schools and provide St.Marys ideas in order to become more inclusive. We then, took on a new project named “Pride Library Section” to request library to order books which has lgbtq+ representation. In order to become more visible as a minority group, we believe that lgbt+ representation in library is extremely important to exist in a safe community like Sacred Heart. To ensure these books were age and content appropriate, we spent weeks researching these books and combined them in a list as linked here. Our proposal got approved by the principal and the librarian and thus the books are planned to arrive around next semester. We have also been preparing several assembly presentations by writing scripts and making our own animation in order to educate high school students in the assembly in the second semester.
We, as a group, are very proud of our semester's effort as we have had several opportunities to discuss various topics surrounding the LGBTQ+ community in our club. We look forward to next semester to combat ongoing lgbtq+ issues through educating the school assembly and installing the lgbtq+ books.
Medical Society is full of members who are passionate about exploring and learning about the medical field, and promoting health in our school community. The purpose of our club is to serve as a platform where our members can have opportunities for self-directed learning and prepare for their future careers in medical science.
Each year, we come up with new innovative projects. As this year is especially an important year for Medical Society due to the pandemic, we chose COVID-19 awareness project as our main project. In this project, the club members will conduct a lab experiment to investigate the importance of hand washing and sanitizing. Apart from our main project, we will also focus on a number of different individual or group projects that can raise awareness of health in Sacred Heart, such as research on teenage common illness. The outcomes of all the projects will be shared with the school community through various media. In the second semester, the club members will be given some time to explore career paths in the medical field.
By the end of this school year, we hope that Medical Society can make our members more passionate about medical science and encourage a healthier community.
Semester 1 Report
The Open Minds Society is a club with the goal that strives to raise awareness about mental health issues, and combat the negative stigma surrounding mental health, to raise more awareness in the Sacred Heart Community. With our club members as well as our club sponsors, we learn valuable information about caring for ourselves and others' mental health, and we hope that our club can be the starting point to gradually normalize talking about mental health in our school community. Especially because we are living in the midst of a pandemic where uncertainty drives many frustrations, Open Minds Society can be a place for every student to take a break and be in touch with their feelings. Some projects that we have been planning include creating podcasts and posters to raise awareness and inform the school community on the importance of mental health, designing coloring books that can be a great coping mechanism for stress/anxiety, and inviting guest speakers virtually to educate ourselves better on mental health issues. Oftentimes, unlike physical health, mental health is stigmatized; however, we strongly believe that educating yourself about mental health is extremely important, and we hope that this club can be the first aid for our brains and minds at our school.
The Rooftop Garden club has maintained a small garden on the top of the KJS rooftop for almost 10 years. We promote a greater appreciation for nature while learning about how to grow and maintain plants by creating a greener campus. Additionally, our main goals are to make our school more environmentally sustainable. Each year, we plant new seeds on the rooftop which in the past have included rosemary, basil, carrots, and more. Since last year, other than our main rooftop garden, we have started a new project: The Wildflower project. This project was started to make our school more visually green by planting wildflower seeds in areas of our school where it looked empty. In our bi-weekly meetings, we discuss the progress of our plants and take care of them, for example by removing insects and weeds. Outside our meetings, our members take part in watering duties and update an almanac where we can keep track of our plants’ growth through pictures taken throughout the year. By the end of the year, we hope to cultivate the successful plants we have grown and also start potential projects such as a green column in the Newsletter and starting a compost project to raise awareness for environmental sustainability.
Scrapbooking Club creates visually pleasing collages by recycling old magazines. In Scrapbooking Club, students focus on their own stress levels through hands-on artwork. We wanted a way to introduce students to a nostalgic activity that would have therapeutic effects, and so Scrapbooking club came into existence. Through scrapbooking, students are able to see their thoughts and think through the process of creativity. In addition, Scrapbooking Club reuses old magazines from the library and creates collages to sell for charity. So far in the year, students have been given different themes biweekly to scrapbook and have been busy choosing a charity to donate to, which would most likely be Second Harvest, a food drive charity. Since this is our first year, we’d like to figure out and adapt better to the process of selling our items. Ultimately, our goal is to benefit ourselves and others through a low maintenance creative outlet.
The Sports Club program at Sacred Heart offers the community an opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and recreational activities. The sports club program is designed to enhance the Sacred Heart experience by creating an environment where student-athletes can unite to achieve common goals while living a healthy lifestyle. With my leadership skills I’ve acquired, I’ve taken an initiative to create this sports club a place for student-athletes to reveal their talents and improve their individual skills. The key to the success of this program is student leadership, interest and participation. One of the valuable learning experiences through this program is the importance of camaraderie in which we learn how to trust one another by working together and helping each other become better student-athletes.
At Sacred Heart, we are provided with “seasonal sports,” where athletes are able to experience and commit to a variety of sports throughout the year. Nevertheless, some wish to maintain and further develop certain skills in one type of sports while having to take part in seasonal sports. (For example, a student might want to retain their volleyball skills until the following season while trying out for basketball and soccer.) Therefore, this club is made for student-athletes to enhance their individual skills in what they want to accomplish. Furthermore, it is important to keep our athletes engaged, motivated and passionate for next year’s seasonal sports especially during the circumstances we are facing.
As the leader of the sports club, I am proud to say that each member is building confidence and developing a passion for sports only after 6 meetings. Our club members consist of 9th - 11th graders, where each individual is committed to the sessions and is constantly practising on goals they want to achieve. Additionally, we have recently set up different activities such as a game of Japanese dodgeball to build a sense of camaraderie. As a result, we were able to communicate and interact more, leading to better cooperation skills in order to win the game as a team. With the support of our sponsor, Ms Ettl, we use the time effectively to improve our skills to our full potential all while having fun and keeping a positive attitude.
TASSEL's primary goal is providing high English Education for the Cambodian students by correcting the essays the students and giving speaking and reading lessons by video call, we serve four other goals: creating teaching jobs for the Cambodian teachers that teach the students English during the year, providing food aid, providing medical assistance, and providing emotional support. About 50 years ago, the Khmer Rouge where the dictatorship of Pol Pot resulted in the death of 25% of Cambodia’s population within four years. Because of the Khmer Rouge, a massive community of the elderly still suffers from PTSD. Following the Khmer Rouge’s years, if a child cried, the parents would hit or ignore the child as it reminded them of their traumas of the disastrous Khmer Rouge. The children learned not to ask for help, and most of them, until now, don't receive the love we take for granted. It is here that the high schoolers step in to show what it is to be loved.
As a part of the club, members not only raise funds to support the organization but are directly involved in teaching English remotely to a specific group of children/Cambodian teachers in rural Cambodia. All members are committed to teaching the TASSEL students by either correcting a student’s essay or doing Vsee calls (a platform used by the TASSEL members to video call the TASSEL students to teach Phonics and English Grammar). TASSEL allows our club members to develop a relationship deeper than those charities that simply ask for donations. The club members learn the sad history of Cambodia, and this enables our members’ true hearts to serve the Cambodians. The importance of our high school students is not to donate money, but it is to serve the Cambodians and to teach them what love is.
Our long time goal for our members is to continue TASSEL outside of school. TASSEL isn’t just a school club. We will continue to do it, so we would like to encourage them to do the same. Of course, the main goal is to teach English but extends to building relations with the people. (AT THE SAME TIME CREATE RELATIONSHIP), even though the TASSEL students might be smiling in class, they have gone through a lot. So we need to do more than just teach the students, but to give love.
The robotics club gathers students passionate in robotics, widening students’ experience in robotics, and boosting the enthusiasm of the girls in STEM fields. The club trains students’ logical & creative thinking skills, practical building skills, leadership, and teamwork. All the club members together form a robotics team, which is the only all-girls international high school robotics team in Tokyo. The team will attend several official VEX robotics competitions and scrimmages throughout the year, to learn from other teams, and to be proud of their efforts and accomplishments. The team will design and build their own robot for VRC robotics competitions every year, code to make the robot complete specific tasks,, and practice driving the robot with a wireless remote control; therefore, the club members are split into three main roles: building, coding, and driving. In the future, the robotics club may also organize events for all high school students to have a try in robotics.