Takikawa city asks for donations of used school bags for Mongolia

The counter at Takikawa Tourism and International Square, which is accepting donations of used school bags

The city of Takikawa in the Sorachi region of central Hokkaido is involved in an initiative to donate used school bags to children in the Ovorkhangai Province of Mongolia, with which the city has had interaction for over 10 years. This is the first time the city has planned a project to deepen friendships, as international exchanges have been difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, requests are being made for people to donate used school bags.

The exchange began in 2010, when former sumo grand champion Hakuho became Takikawa’s tourism ambassador. Since 2011, the city has accepted agricultural technology trainees from the same province in order to support rice farming in Mongolia, which was a wish of Hakuho.
According to Shinjee Bolorchimeg, the city’s Mongolian international relations coordinator, elementary school students in Mongolia use backpacks, which generally have to be replaced every year. Japanese school bags are not widely available, but are well received because they are durable and can be used for many years. The project came about as the donation of used school bags is re-use, which can also be linked with the city’s environmental improvements.
The school bags are accepted at the Takikawa Tourism and International Square. Badly damaged bags are not accepted. Security buzzers, key chains and the like must be removed before they are handed over. Donations will be accepted until May 31, before being shipped sometime around June in time to be delivered to children in need in the province before September, when the new school year begins.
The aim is to deliver 100 bags, and a city official responsible for the project said, “The children will happy to receive sturdy school bags. We hope that people will proactively donate to the project.”


Takikawa Tourism and International Square