SOFIS is an annual event where representatives from the five Sacred Heart schools in Japan (Sapporo Sacred Heart School; Obayashi Sacred Heart School; Fuji Sacred Heart School; International School of the Sacred Heart; Sacred Heart School, Tokyo) gather together to learn and discuss about specific social issues and develop effective action plans that can be accomplished in their own school communities. The event is one of the few opportunities where our students can meet and interact with students from the other Japanese Sacred Heart schools. 

Regularly, SOFIS is held in the form of a 3-day excursion during the summer where all participants visit one host sister school. This year, students traveled to Fuji Sacred Heart in Shizuoka prefecture; however, due to the COVID pandemic, we were only able to join on the second day. Although we were unable to participate fully in-person, students were able to have a very fruitful experience overall. The theme for SOFIS 2022 was based on SDGs goal 11: “How sustainable cities and communities are achieved among countries”. 

The event consisted of a series of presentations made by each school’s representatives, as well as lectures, workshops, and discussions led by specialists and advocates in the field of sustainable cities and communities. This year, we were also able to collaborate, exchange opinions, and bond with them during fieldwork. Both in person and online, we recognized the importance of face-to-face learning and enjoyed the opportunity to get to know other students from other sacred heart schools. 

Through this experience, students were able to understand how cities strive to create a sustainable place through engaging communities. At the end of the workshop, ISSH representatives collaboratively devised an action plan to further promote sustainability in our school community.