Thank you always for your kind support and donations to the Tohoku Youth Venture program by Ashok Japan. We have received 66 donations in a total of $13,035 US dollars. We would like to present our recent work with the venturers in Japan.
On April 20th 2013, Ashoka Japan held the Tohoku Youth Venture Panel Presentation at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo. Since 2011, Ashoka Japan has been supporting the youth generation through the “Youth Venture” program by encouraging and enabling young adults to take action on their lives. In the spring of 2012, Ashoka proceeded to launch the “Tohoku Youth Venture”, a five year program which aims to support young people working to contribute to the recovery of Tohoku.
The Youth Venture Panel Presentation is not a contest where we choose winners and losers; instead, the purpose of this event is to examine the participants’ degree of passion towards their project as well as the feasibility of their plans. On April 20th, a total of six groups took part. Of the six teams, two qualified to become Tohoku Youth Venturers. We would like to introduce each venturers we chose.
Takuya, 20, realized there was lack of playgrounds for children in the areas of Tohoku affected by the disaster after visiting Tohoku couple times though tours that he planned and conducted on his own. Takuya plans to run bus tours connecting Tohoku and Kansai in order to create opportunities for Tohoku children to have a fun time away in Kansai. Takuya wishes to share his own experience of encountering new values and challenges through meeting and cooperating with people of his generation.
Yuuri, 17, organizes a group of students in her hometown, Minami Sanriku, to do story telling in English. Yuuri hopes that this group will act as a stepping stone for the young people to join local activities, think and express their opinions, and contribute to reconstruction. Although she had always been waiting for such opportunities, Yuuri realized that such opportunities would never come unless she sought them out for herself. As a youth venturer, she will bring such opportunities to others.
Following the presentations, the panelists provided the presenters with encouraging comments. Mr. Kawazoe (Ashoka Fellow, Representative Director of CarePro) pointed out that the goal is not to become a venturer, but instead accurately to communicate to others about our ideas in order to gain support. Ms. Mukaida (Representative of Coffret Project) remarked that even if our ideas are met with disapproval from adults, we should always take challenges in stride and let nothing stop us from achieving our goals and passion.
Ashoka Japan will continue to provide a network to support young entrepreneurs. Your support enables those future changemakers to do what they believe in. Thank you again for your support and please look forward to hear more about our work with aspiring young generations in Japan.