We report on the pre-school project undertaken collaboratively by Yamato City NPO Asociación Japonés Peruana (AJAPE). In the paper, we highlight its origins, framework, class activities, and its articulation with elementary schools. AJAPE started a pre-school in 2009 and continued in 2010; however, considering the importance of undertaking an enterprise in cooperation with an NPO and a regional administration, we applied for the Yamato City’s system, which proposed to start a ‘pre-school’ as a collaborative project in 2011.
The primary purpose of Nihongo Hiroba is to provide children and parents with information about school life in Japan and to develop the child’s communication skills in easy Japanese. It also aims to foster their abilities to actively participate in educational activities and to cultivate their attitude for understanding and valuing cultural diversity.
In 2013, the pre-school was implemented in the afternoon for 4 months, from November to March, 3 times a week and 2 hours per session. Seventeen children participated, with different language and cultural backgrounds, such as Peru, China, the Philippines, and others. Fourteen of the 17 children went to neither a kindergarten or a nursery school. Our purpose was to help children to increase their experiences and vocabulary to communicate with others through class activities and inspection. By completion of the course, the children, who formerly could not communicate in Japanese, were able to use easy Japanese. Finally, we made a report of each child’s experience and sent it to the elementary school where the child attends.