The Municipal Coordinating Committee for Overseas Bicycle Assistance (MCCOBA), organized by local municipalities and the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP),* collects and reconditions abandoned bicycles and then donates them to healthcare providers in developing countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. In these countries, many roads are unpaved and health facilities are not easily accessible.
In addition, free ocean transport was provided in June for 16,722 used school backpacks that were shipped to Afghanistan from Japan as part of a JOICFP program to provide Afghan children with needed school supplies. NYK has now borne the cost of the shipment of 105,929 school backpacks through this program since 2004.
The used school backpacks are collected from all over Japan, inspected and packed by volunteers, and then shipped by container. The port-to-port trip to Afghanistan takes about three weeks, and is followed by several weeks of trucking.
Afghan schoolchildren must often walk over 10 kilometers each way along steep mountain paths in order to attend open-air schools. By carrying textbooks and notebooks in school backpacks, they can safely walk along mountain paths that can often be rather dangerous. Moreover, before this program parents often saw their children solely as laborers. However, after their children began using these backpacks to commute long distances to school, parents began to become more aware of the desire and benefit of education. School backpacks are now a symbol among Afghans of the importance of basic education.
The NYK Group is proud of the partnership it has forged with JOICFP to provide a helping hand to those in need.