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Continuously pouring its energies into passing on sound values to young people

Continuously pouring its energies into passing on sound values to young people

To successfully address various issues concerning young people around the world the whole community needs to get onboard, including the corporate sector. Supporting the healthy development of children, who hold the future in their hands, is one of the most important tasks in realizing a sustainable society. Ricoh Group's programs for passing on sound values to young people place an emphasis on "willingness and responsibility" and "steady and ongoing activities." The contents and results of these programs are regularly reviewed in order to identify ways of enhancing their quality.

 

Discovering the wonder of science with the Ricoh Science Caravan

  • JapanRicoh Group / Japan

The Ricoh Science Caravan
A participant in the Ricoh Science Caravan

The Ricoh Science Caravan is a handson program designed to help children develop an interest in science. At each Caravan event, employees from nearby Ricoh Group offices who enjoy interacting with children take charge of organizing activities on a voluntary basis.
"Pretend you are a copier" is a popular program that lets children learn about the six-step copying procedure (the mechanism by which an image is duplicated through the use of static electricity) through experiments.
As we receive more and more requests to run this program, the number of children who participate increases every year. In fiscal 2010, the program attracted 16,000 students, roughly five times as many as 2007, when the program was amended. Leveraging the Group's technologies, human resources, and expertise and working in cooperation with local communities, this program has evolved to become one of Ricoh's benchmark social contribution activities. Science Caravan on the Web reports on the activities throughout Japan and responds to children's questions in its "Q&A on the Mysteries of Copiers" section.

 

Developing a zest for living from farm work and communal life

  • JapanRicoh Group / Japan

The Ichimura Nature School was established in 2002 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ricoh's founder, Kiyoshi Ichimura. Based on the concept of "learning how to live from Mother Nature," the school offers a 18-stage program designed to help children develop three values—caring for nature, caring for others and cooperation—as well as the twin capacities for independent action and awareness of safety and danger. Under the programs, children of various ages spend every other weekend from March to November at the school, engaging in agricultural activities such as sowing seeds and harvesting a crop. In addition to the permanent staff members, Ricoh employees also serve as volunteer instructors at the school. All instructors follow a few basic principles designed to foster within the children a sense of independence, responsibility and cooperation: don't give them too many instructions, don't give them too many orders, don't try too hard to teach them something, and don't coddle them.
Ichimura Nature School has offered this program for 10 years, over which time approximately 500 children have taken part.
In May 2011, the Shonan Bellmare professional football team organized a program to give children from the disaster area an opportunity to enjoy the Golden Week holidays. Joining in with the intent of the program, Ichimura Nature School invited the members of a junior league football team from Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture, along with their parents, to stay in the Nature School Kanto schoolhouse and enjoy meals made from vegetables harvested from the school field. The school's substantial eightmonth program has received considerable attention, with both Ricoh shareholders and education experts having visited the school on inspection tours.

The Ichimura Nature School

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Promoting the sound development of children traumatized by war

  • The NetherlandsRicoh Netherlands / The Netherlands

Sending out the reportSending out the report

Ricoh's sales subsidiary, Ricoh Netherlands B.V., has been working together with War Child, a global network of non-governmental organizations, since 2004. War Child aims to support children who have been traumatized by war, help them recover from the negative psychological effects and promote their sound development. In fiscal 2010, 250 Ricoh employees participated in activities organized by War Child and also donated 25 euros per person to the organization. War Child used these funds to cover the printing costs of its annual reports to be sent to supporters, while documentation services for the publication of the reports were donated by Ricoh. Ricoh's employees then volunteered to help send out the reports. Furthermore, the company has been engaged in a variety of activities based on proposals submitted by employees, including a clothing collection drive designed to encourage the broad participation of employees' families in support initiatives.

 

Consolidating the efforts of employees and customers to support children suffering from heart disease

  • FranceRicoh France / France

At the Tour de FranceAt the Tour de France

French organization Mécénat Chirugie Cardiaque Enfant du Monde (MCC) provides support to disadvantaged children with heart malformations who cannot receive appropriate medical assistance in their own countries. Specifically, the special organization provides funding for those children to come to France and undergo surgery. Ricoh France S.A., a sales subsidiary, worked together with both its employees and customers to conduct projects to assist MCC. One of these projects was a fund-raising drive involving the Les Cyclistes du Coeur team that was conducted in parallel with the Tour de France bicycle race. They collected enough money to cover the costs of operations for five children. The French subsidiary also took over the administration of MCC's email newsletter, through which they solicited 70,000 euros in donations from 15,000 readers, which is enough to pay for operations for seven children. This is just one example of activities that are being steadily expanded beyond the company with the aim of gaining the support of customers.

 

Educational activities for young people, the future drivers of manufacturing and environmental conservation

  • UKRicoh UK Products / UK

On a plant tourOn a plant tour

Every year around 15 students from six schools visit Ricoh UK Products Ltd. (RPL), a manufacturing subsidiary. During the tour, RPL staff introduce their products and explain the role of the manufacturing industry to the students, who have either expressed an interest in pursuing careers in manufacturing or are simply trying to gauge what kinds of jobs might be available in the future. The company also runs trainee programs for 15 to 16-yearold students and dispatches employees to primary, middle and vocational schools and colleges to provide students with onsite skills training. The curriculum for the training courses provided in fiscal 2010 focused on environmental management, with particular attention given to lean management*, sustainability, and resource security. Through such activities, RPL seeks to contribute to the sound development of children and young people, who will drive the future growth of the industry, by deepening the connections between business and education.

  • *A manufacturing practice that seeks to eliminate the wasteful use of resources
 

Holding an open-entry art contest that nurtures young artists in cooperation with local communities

  • ItalyRicoh Italia / Italy

The judges and winner of the Ricoh Award for Young ArtistsThe judges and winner of the Ricoh Award for Young Artists

Ricoh Italia S.p.A., a sales subsidiary, recently held its first "Ricoh Award for Young Artists." This event is designed to provide young artists with an opportunity to receive public recognition for their talents. The first contest, aimed at contributing to the discovery and development of young artists, received as many as 480 entries. The winner was chosen by a panel of distinguished judges from the art and business worlds, with the selected work being accepted into the Ricoh Art Collection. Artworks not selected were sold through auctions with the proceeds given to the artists or donated to charity funds. This event was organized in cooperation with the Youth Policies Department of the province of Milan, city museums, and the events agency Business Art. As this example indicates, Ricoh Italia's social contribution activities are designed to fit in well with Italian society, where the general public has a great love for the arts.

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