Habitat for Humanity Japan, in cooperation with our campus chapter female students, visits HELP（House in Emergency of Love and Peace), a women's shelter in Tokyo every month. Four years have passed since this volunteer activity started. It started to help clean the facility and the volunteers clean what the staff members cannot clean often due to the limited resources. Now Habitat volunteers also help prepare some events such as Christmas and New Year's celebration and the young students are often asked to be playfellows for some small children who take refuge with their mother.
HELP is an emergency women's shelter, established in 1986. They are one of the few women's shelters that accept women and children regardless of race, visa status or nationality to support those who have various cultural backgrounds. A wide range of generations from teenagers to the elderly in their 90's use the facility to escape domestic violence including physical abuse and phycological harassment from their spouse and partner and others lose their place to live due to the sudden layoff. Most of those problems are not what you can reach a solution on your own. In Particular, Help will the first shelter for those battered women to take refuge, and the facility needs to be a secure and safe place so that those women feel relieved and relaxed. The staff members always try to make a place where they find comfort and solace and restore body and mind.
Habitat for Humanity Japan with campus chapter students visited the shelter in late December 2019 and some volunteers helped sort many old clothes donated from all over Japan while the other volunteers helped learn the facility. Those women who escape without having anything can receive those old clothes but some are out of fashion and some are worn out. The shelter staff members have to be a little more careful to give those clothes because the old clothes may give any negative impression. This volunteer activity is occasionally required to welcome anyone at any time.
A student volunteer said, “This volunteer gave me a chance to think about what is the true support that should be delivered for those in need. While I was sorting those old clothes, I was thinking they were sent to this shelter because those items were what was no longer necessary. Our campus chapter volunteers help clean up this shelter every month. We also plant flowers in the garden and get ready for the closet full of nice clothes. I realized every single volunteer activity happening in this shelter offers 'silent support' to those ladies who manage to get to this place with full of anxiety."
Habitat for Humanity Japan helps improve the housing environment of homes and also shelters people reside in to realize 'a world where everyone has a decent place to live'. Habitat and our campus chapters continue to support HELP for those women in need.