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Hiroshima for Global Peace

Kaita High School’s SDGs Committee Launches Capsule Toy Fundraiser to Aid Ukraine via UNICEF

The SDGs Committee at Hiroshima Prefectural Kaita Senior High School, established in the 2022 academic year, is dedicated to engaging with and seeking solutions for social issues. It consists of 44 student members, with two representatives from each class across all grades.

With the war between Russia and Ukraine showing no signs of abating, the Committee has stood up to voice opposition and support Ukraine, which is under military invasion from Russia. In their regular activities, they participate in initiatives like the Deliver the Power of Clothing project, distributing unneeded children’s clothing to refugees worldwide. The Committee collaborates with the school’s student council and the Korean Culture Club to amplify their efforts.

Shincho Futoshi, the teacher who organized the UNICEF fundraising, with two members of this year’s SDGs Committee.

The Capsule Toy Fundraiser for UNICEF’s Ukraine Support, started in 2022, was inspired by an article read by Shincho Futoshi, the committee’s supervising teacher. The article featured Onoo Katsuhiko, president of the Japan Gacha Association in Tokyo, who created button badges with anti-war messages, selling them as capsule toys and donating the profits to UNICEF. Inspired by this initiative, Mr. Shincho aspired to undertake a similar project with the students of Kaita High School and reached out to Onoo’s association.

Pleased with the enthusiasm of the younger generation, the Japan Gacha Association provided all the capsule toy supplies at no cost, including vending machines, capsules and button badges. This allowed the SDGs Committee at Kaita High School to launch the project. Significant support was also provided by Funbox Co., Ltd.’s Hayashi Motoshi, a Hiroshima native. The capsule toys were available for ¥200 yen each, with all proceeds donated to UNICEF. The capsules were made from biodegradable materials, reflecting the Committee’s commitment to the SDGs’ ethos.

The capsule toy fundraiser was conducted both at Kaita High School’s cultural festival and on the streets of Kaita. In 2022, the pandemic prevented outsiders from attending the festival, but the initiative was so well-received that parents entrusted their children with money, urging them to buy enough for the whole family. In the town, school alumni, pleased by the students’ dedication, dropped by to show their support. Locals who discovered the project through newspapers and news broadcasts came forward to donate and offer words of encouragement (“keep up the good work”).

The button badges that were sold. The top pair is from 2022, while the bottom pair with the anti-war message is from 2023.

In 2023, the capsule toy fundraising took place at the cultural festival on September 15th and 16th, and in the streets on October 6th. Kitada Sena, the SDGs Committee chairperson, remarked, “I was really uplifted by everyone’s supportive words. Fundraising with capsule toys is a fun approach, and we want to keep engaging diverse people and broaden our support network.” Vice-Chair Koda Azumi reflected, “Growing up in Hiroshima, peace education was a given for me. But this war has left me shocked and saddened. I hope our initiative provides some support, even if only indirectly.”

Capsule toys being purchased at the 2023 cultural festival

Mr. Shincho, the original proposer of the initiative, observed, ‘In Japan, there’s a tendency to view charity and fundraising as somewhat daunting, but in other countries, these are regular parts of civic life. I’m hopeful that introducing an innovative method like capsule toys will encourage more people to take part. I see this as a profoundly meaningful experience for our students, and I am eager to keep it going.’

SDGs Committee Chair Kitada Sena (left) and Vice-Chair Koda Azumi (right), who played key roles in the fundraising activities

Reflecting on the fundraising, Mr. Shincho said, “Some people donated money without taking a capsule toy badge, while others gave all the pocket change they had. The variety of contributors was remarkable. It was heartening to see all the support for our initiative.” He also highlighted that the endeavor aligns with SDG Goal 17, which is about achieving goals through partnerships.

An elderly woman, apparently a war survivor, approached during the fundraiser with heartfelt words. She shared, “Watching the news about this war, I just couldn’t stand it. I kept wishing it would end soon, but felt powerless on my own. Then I saw what the students from Kaita High School were doing with this fundraiser, and I realized there was a way I could help. It made me so happy. Thank you.” After expressing her gratitude, she left.

“May the war between Russia and Ukraine end as soon as possible, and may conflicts and strife around the world diminish one by one.” The project, embodying these hopes, is set to continue as a long-term support activity.

Donation amount for the Japan Committee for UNICEF

2023: ¥81,799 (street donations: ¥44,799, cultural festival: ¥37,000)

2022: ¥60,776 yen (street donations: ¥31,176, cultural festival: ¥29,600)


Hiroshima Prefectural Kaita Senior High School (Contact: Shincho)


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