SWEA, Swedish Woman’s Educational Association Inc., is a global, non-profit organization that provides a strong personal and professional network for Swedish and Swedish speaking women who live, or have lived abroad. SWEA International has today about 7000 members in 72 chapters in 33 countries. Worldwide SWEA provides donations and grants for charitable and educational purposes to promote Swedish culture, tradition and trade for about 28 000 000 yen a year.
SWEA Japan was established in 1988 and currently has about 20 members. Our chapter has previously given cultural scholarships and contributions to Swedish Schools in Tokyo, and also supported women’s shelters in the Tokyo area. The annual Christmas Bazaar is the fund raising event of the year for SWEA Japan. The proceeds from the Bazaar go in full into our donation programme, which is supporting a few carefully selected projects. Thanks to our generous Bazaar sponsors 2015, the bazaar generated a profit of 3 400 000 yen, which went in full to the Tohoku area and the Swedish School in Tokyo during 2016.
SWEA Japan has, the past 7 years, in different ways supported the Tohoku area, which was affected by the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster in 2011.
2017: 2017 was the sixth year of our donation program in favour of the Tohoku area, which was stricken by the earthquake, subsequent tsunami and the nuclear accident in Fukushima in March 2011. During the year we made a minor supplementary donation to the Ikueisha nursery consisting of a few tricycles from Hags Aneby and some IKEA furniture.
We have also continued our support for the Swedish School in Tokyo with funds used for the purchase of Swedish textbooks and reading books.
The donation group has decided to continue to support the Tohoku area. During the last year, we spent a lot of time finding and then selecting new donation projects. In September we decided to proceed with two orphanages, Aoba Gakuen and Morinokaze Gakuen in the Fukushima region.
In November we arranged a very successful and appreciated play day at Ikueisha orphanage in Iwaki. Overall we were 20 people (members of the donation group and the board with spouses and children) who drove the 220 km to Iwaki with balls, jump ropes and more for outdoor activities. We also grilled hot dogs and had Swedish cakes and drinks. For both parties, it was a beautiful day of play, language and experience exchange. A great success we hope to continue.
2016: In the autumn of 2015, we visited the orphanage Ikueisha in the Tohoku region. It had been in temporary premises since the disaster in 2011, while a new building was being constructed on the original site. In August 2016 the orphanage finally moved into the new premises, which were built according to the new national guidelines. The orphanage consists of four units with enough space for 8 children in each. The older children have their own rooms, while the smaller ones sleep in a shared tatami room. Additionally, they have a common kitchen with dining area and TV corner. This home-like environment prepares them for an easier adjustment to life outside the orphanage.
SWEA donated equipment to the four kitchens, beds, mattresses, bedding, cabinets, and other items to the older children’s rooms, as well as some toys for the communal room. All purchases were made at IKEA for a total 2.950.000 Yen.
In addition, 500.000 Yen was donated to the Swedish school in Tokyo.
2015: Supported 6 municipal kindergartens and children centers in Iwaki City, Fukushima prefecture, with toys from BRIO and MICKI, furniture and toys from IKEA, nordic children’s literature and Pippi dolls, and air cleaners from LightAir. We have continued to promote Swedish-Japanes craftsmanship exchange through the donation of Swedish wool yarn, knitting needles and pattern books to 2 temporary accommodations in Tono City and Ishinomaki City, and also to the Crochet Village, a non-profit organisation with operations in Tono City, Iwate prefecture. 2015 donations amounted to 2 544 501 yen, of which 500 000 yen went to the Swedish school in Tokyo.
2014: Supported Kindergarten Daycare Centers with quality outdoor play equipment from Sweden – Three facilities in Tono City, Iwate Prefecture got tricyles and scooters, and one in Yamashita Miyagi Prefecture got large outdoor equipments and toys. In addition we initiated a handcraft culture exchange for community centers serving refugees in Fukushima Prefecture utilizing Swedish quality yarn and knitting patterns.
2013: Supported a playground in Tono City with play house and pick nick table, and to schools and preschools in Ishinomaki City with book corners, cushions, and soft animals.
2012: Supported preschools, and infant institutions both in Iwaki City and Tono City with toys, playground equipment, furniture and books.
2011: Supported 350 temporary housing in Ishinomaki City with basic kitchen sets.