Nearly 30,000 children are living in 603 institutions across Japan. Previous abuse causes many children to suffer from PTSD, decreased motivation, lack of confidence and distrust of adults. Additional life challenges, such as the stigma of living in an institutionalized home and little access to meaningful professional or personal opportunities, further deepens challenges these children face. Only 15% of children end up completing college level degrees and struggle to find jobs.
A brighter future begins when children are more confident in their abilities and potential - a big part of developing that confidence comes from mentoring/1:1 attention from an adult role model. Through art workshops and mentoring, kids learn new ways to process information and outlets to express themselves in positive ways. We encourage children to think openly, discover new interests, and become more optimistic and self-assured.
Children are fast learners, who absorb information quickly and are profoundly shaped by their experiences at a young age. We have been fortunate to run this camp for 10 years; every year we can see the impacts we've made. With gentle guidance and attention, the children have grown immensely, and most importantly, feel a sense of belonging and empowerment. Having a positive outlook on oneself and one's potential is perhaps the most important element of being successful.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).