Credit: The Manila Times
Priding one’s self in punctuality is what Citizen Watch – a Japanese company that produces world-famous timepieces – sought to instill in Filipino children as they participated in Olongapo City’s Citizen First Watch Project on April 4.
Part of the company’s Citizen Social Contribution component, an initiative led by its president, Toshio Tokura, the program was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the popular timepiece.
During the Citizen First Watch Project, groups of children were taught how to design and create their own watches in a program organized with together with A Child’s Trust is Ours to Nurture, or Action. The group has long been involved in charity work for poverty-stricken children in Olongapo City and Manila.
During the First Watch Project, a number of less privileged Filipino children were taught how to design and create their own watches. The program was organized with the help of A Child’s Trust is Ours to Nurture (Action), an organization that helps poverty-stricken children in Olongapo City and Manila.
Founded by Hajime Yokota in Tokyo, Japan three years after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Action has been giving aid to children and minority groups for 23 years now. Known as NPO-Action in Japan, the organization also served as the main organizer of work camps in different facilities and communities in the province of Zambales, including the construction of water systems for the Aeta communities and the renovation of the building of International Children’s Advocate Inc., a residential care facility center for children in Olongapo City.
In Japan, NPO-Action has also established its own charity shop called “Sari-Sari,” which uses its earnings to directly support the organization’s programs in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the First Watch Project also aimed to introduce the joy of monozukuri (or craftsmanship) to the children, as well as the importance of time through its techniques that Citizen Group considers as the roots of its values.
“Our company needs to contribute to all the citizens in the world and this is a great opportunity for us to something that we can continue,” said Citizen Watch managing director Naoto Hosogaya.
He added that the Citizen Group would also continue to conduct the social contribution every year so that it could contribute to various countries in the next 100 years.
“It’s very important for us to continue what we have been doing. We are doing the same thing in Japan starting in 1990 and we have been continuing it for 28 years,” he said.
Hosogaya related that the Citizen Group focuses on child support this year and it also plans to hold programs for the environment and other support activities in the next few years.
“We have some programs in Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Maybe this is one opportunity to start. Although we have not specifically scheduled the other programs, we will continue this project in the Philippines in the coming years,” he said.
Citizen Watch also believes that the children are the custodians of the next generation and the program will allow them to “mark time going forward with thoughts of building the futures of their dream.”
“I hope the kids learned something interesting and gained memories and confidence to finish something by themselves. It’s great that they can wear the watch everyday. We are happy to be an active organization,” Hosogaya said.
The managing director added that the Citizen Group has always carried out business taking society into consideration and the people who live in it, as signified by the word “citizen” as company name.
Since its foundation in 1918, such values have shaped the company’s philosophy of “loved by citizens, working for citizens.” Its business activities also give way to contribute to people’s lives in a wide range with the aim of being respected and known in the market.
From the time the Citizen Group began global business development during the period of high economic growth in the 1960s, its people have expanded various businesses worldwide with the watch business at its core. While the group faces rapidly changing global circumstances and economic environment, the brand currently has better sales and stronger workforce overseas.