Employee Volunteer Activities
Employee Volunteer Programs
Delivering picture books to children in conflict and poverty-stricken areas in Asia
Since 2009, Mitsui has been running an employee participation program in support of an initiative by the Shanti Volunteer Association to deliver picture books to children in conflict and poverty-stricken areas in Asia who are not fortunate enough to have easy access to books. Held annually at the Head Office and domestic branches, employees and officers select picture books published in Japan that are popular across many countries, cultures, and eras, and attach adhesive labels containing translations, transforming them into picture books that can be read by the children in their native language. Once completed, the picture books are delivered by the Shanti Volunteer Association to libraries and schools throughout Asia. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, we successfully sent 289 translated picture books through this program.
In addition to producing picture books, during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023 we held briefing sessions to explain the rationale of the picture book delivery initiative led by the Shanti Volunteer Association, and also held an online lecture with a live link to a refugee camp on the Thailand border, with the aim of raising awareness of social issues that exist in these locations. Participants commented that they were able to learn how the picture books they had created were actually being used, and that it provided them with an opportunity to recognize the harsh conditions faced by children living in the camps. For children living within the confines of refugee camps, libraries not only provide a place to learn to read, but also offer an opportunity to learn about the outside world through books, helping them to widen their perspective and understand the options they have for their future lives.