IVG Japan – Who are we?

International Volunteer Group (IVG). Yes we are international – our members coming from five continents and a host of countries around the world. Yes, we are volunteers – we work hard to come up with fantastic ideas to raise funds for people and projects that are in need.

However, we are not a typical volunteer group and we are certainly not typical people. We are dreamers, we are passionate, we are thrill-seekers, we are leaders, we are a team of amazing people who want more in life and want to use our talents to help impact and motivate others.

Our Story

Founded in 2007, we originally worked with Oxfam Japan to create awareness and raise funds. We held small picnics, workshops, and fundraising parties. The more we worked, the more adventurous we became, and with Sea to Summit and Tokyo Yamathon, we established our own successful niche fundraising events – unlike any other in Japan.In 2014, we opened our doors to other non-profit organizations (NPO`s). Our partnerships with them have seen more leaders shine through as it gives each person the freedom to express themselves through initiatives which matter to them. Whether it is disaster related, both here in Japan or worldwide, conflict, child poverty, health and diseases, education, IVG have and will continue to find ways of raising funds and awareness for those who do not have a voice in Japan.  Most recently in December 2017, IVG partnered with KIWL (Knights in White Lycra) and the NPO Mirai no Mori to create a new event  called Go Go 55, which is a running event of 55km long along the Arakawa River and ending at a children’s home in Kawagoe.Due to a changing of the guard and people coming and going, we could only do Sea to Summit until 2015.  This year we would like to have a go at it again and rejuvenate interest in Mt. Fuji since it has now become a Unesco World Heritage site.

We thank you for your interest and support!

Meet the Team

The team represented here may be a mix of IVG Japan, Yokota Striders and other NPOs or groups assisting to make the Sea to Summit a success!  Let us give you a short introduction:

Manfred Froebe

IVG President

Manfred is Swiss / Canadian and finds himself passionate about volunteering in Japan over the last 10 years. He spent almost 2 months in Tohoku after the 2011 disaster and was recognized with a Global Volunteer Award while working at UBS.  He was a regular participant of Oxfam TW/Yamathon, FIT for Charity and more over the years but due to an injury, he has joined IVG Japan to help create events and a platform to share his passion of giving back to society.   He has coordinate the Go Go 55 Event in December, plans to assist in the Yamathon later this year and revive the Sea to Summit Event in the summer.

“Joy means that oneself and others together experience joy”

Koji Oishi

IVG Japan Founding Board Member

By day I work as an engineer but, outside of work I am a classical pianist. Working for IVG gives me a lot of opportunities to meet nice people and help each other to achieve many kinds of goals which, to me, is similar to the way of playing music to interact with many people
and share something beautiful.  I believe working with IVG allows me to inspire my creativity and enthusiasm to help harmonise lives all over the world.

Joe Pournovin

IVG Japan Founding Board Member

 I work with the team to create, shape and bring to life unique ideas like Tokyo Yamathon and Sea to Summit, with the purpose of raising as much as money as possible for great causes. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to do what we do – empowering our participants by giving them, and indeed ourselves a platform to shine and raise a lot of money in the process. 

Kozue Oka + Mirai no Mori Team

Executive Director – NPO Mirai no Mori

Inspired by her English teacher while she was in middle school, Kozue continues to study English, which lead her to Sweden to learn Outdoor Education at first hand. Through personal experiences, she recognizes the value of the English language, outdoor experiences, and the opportunities they both provide. She is now sharing her experiences with the youth at Mirai no Mori.

Dave Hiscock

President – Yokota Striders

My name is Dave Hiscock, I am from Canada and came to Japan in 2015, currently live at Yokota Air Base. I am retired from Royal Canadian Air Force, served for 35 years. I have been a member of the Striders Running Club for 3 years and I am the current club President.




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