Education  Japan Project #33595

Digital Citizens

by YouMeWe NPO
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Digital Citizens
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This was our first project on GlobalGiving which has now led to us being able to raise close to $500,000 for the NPO not only on GlobalGiving but through our generous donors and sponsors. 

 

I remember when I was refreshing the screen like a dreamer when we launched the first fundraiser to get $5,000 and 50 donors and in the last hour, I refreshed and we hit the target thanks to an angel who said, "it was a no brainer, you needed $1,500 to hit your target so I donated that!" 

 

It is hard to believe we have accomplished since then.

 

It is beautiful to just think that something that was only an idea at one stage is now operating from Tohoku to Nagasaki, 1,000 computers in the field, and many more homes joining and asking for PCs.

 

It warms my heart to walk into the office and see the Ambassadors who were 15 when we met in the homes, now graduated from high school, going to university but working with us part-time to bring the programs and computers to the youth like them in the homes.

 

Thank you for your believing in us from the beginning and your continued support.

 

Regards,

 

YouMeWe NPO

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We continue in this space and are finding the children we support are able to pick up on new ideas and run with them quickly.

While we are not an English language NPO, we use English software to bring the use of computers alive.

The younger kids are still learning where the keys are on the keyboard, they are adjusting their motor skills to be able to use a trackpad, mouse, and type code.

We currently have lessons both in-person and online. In many cases, the classes are going on in tandem. Monday's we teach Digital Citizenship with the translated material from CommonSense.org and then have the children use the vocabulary which is being introduced. In the latter part of the class, we have them play games online.

Saturdays we have HTML classes, language classes, and conversations between US teenagers who volunteer to teach children in Japan. We have in-person classes in Nagoya as well as weekly online classes with Ruth from JOEE who teaches the younger children with her puppets.

Recently we were approached about hiring our aged-out children to work on tech projects which helps them connect with real-world challenges.

We are also happy to report another 19 years old was just offered a role in a large tech company in Japan when he graduates from his vocational school next year.

It is only with your support we are able to the constant in young children's lives and highly satisfying by working with them throughout their youth and celebrating their victories like a job offer.

Thank you very much for your continued support.

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We are constantly rethinking and reflecting on the program we are doing. In the beginning, we thought it needed to be a ground-up curriculum that is very structured and everyone needs to follow along.

What we found is 5-year-olds were working through all lessons between one lesson to another. That the older kids were just not interested. 

We started to mix the curriculum up and introduce VR experience, coding, Sphero ball programming. By observing the children despite age and what they excel at, we have been able to expand the program and go deeper with the lessons by matching their interests.

We are now holding classes on IchiGo Jam with Araki-sens, the children learned to code a video game. We are connecting volunteers with kids as mentors to focus on their career assessments and Life Plans. We continue to hold weekly NightZooKeeper lessons and have expanded to Nagoya and soon to Hiroshima.

We also rented a temporary storage unit to hold the inventory for donated equipment we are helping the kids upgrade to send out to other homes.

Thank you very much for your continued support throughout the years.

 

Regards,

 

YouMeWe NPO

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In 2020, we have had to pivot and show how much of the content we have available is possibly online.

While we held weekly SKYPE lessons with some of the homes, we are now able to visit face to face on Mondays at St.Francis and with the increase in the number of volunteers, make one a Tohoku Area Manager, assign the homes to Home Coordinators and then create teams of volunteers for each home.

We have also assigned the projects to project managers in a matrix so that when there is a demand for content, we place the project manager and the home coordinator in touch with each other to make the necessary appointments and arrangements.

We have held numerous online training sessions and explained out the curriculum for Digital Citizens is coupled with NightZooKeeper English software and managed using Google Classroom remotely.

Aside from weekly themes such as Media Balance, Cyberbullying, we also have the children preparing the hardware by installing the software at Matsubaen to make donated PCs ready to be rolled out to the homes where there is increased demand.

In some cases to help the kids connect with their own online Juku or school sessions, we purchased the software or hardware to assist.

Many students who graduated high school and moved on to university needed tor return home due to COVID so we issued them laptops out of inventory to allow them to keep up with their peers as they did not have their own.

One of the students who graduated last year and is now in vocational school will join our team to teach Code Club online. We are also getting training from SAP to do the Sphero ball training in the homes as well.

Thank you for your continued support. We feel that we were ahead of the curve for making sure the homes were connected and with equipment when schooling online became the new normal. This is mainly due to you generosity.

Regards,

YouMeWe NPO

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Our organization's focus is to teach and prepare the children for the future. These children will live in the 22nd century, which begs the question of  "what can we possibly teach them now that they can use in the next century?"

Starting with career assessment tests for the future, we have several programs where the children living in group homes in Japan can choose to sign up & pursue the skills we are helping them with.

1) NightZooKeeper English training which is a game and online

2) Helping connect children with the elderly to teach them ICT Skills (how to Skype, how to use a smartphone and order online as career training

3) Train them to be Japanese language instructors for the future and

4) Robotics courses & coding.

Since the beginning of this journey, many children have received devices and connect to wifi. With various programs and introduction to different aspects of being a good Digitial Citizen, we try to get them to think of the benefits and perils of the internet BEFORE going online. 

The internet was a panacea of possibilities, we try our best to make it a reality. Whether it be language courses, coding Sphero balls, SCRATCH lessons, robot programming or simply giving a laptop to a child who has graduated and gone on to university; Connectivity matters for many children who feel very much disconnected.

Your generous donations over the course of this project have brought a lot of "a-ha" moments, smiles, and celebration. More importantly that they are part of something much bigger than themselves as Citizens of the Digital Universe which still proves to be infinite.

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Organization Information

YouMeWe NPO

Location: Nakano-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @YouMeWe7
Project Leader:
Michael Clemons
Nakano-ku, Japan
$7,725 raised of $10,000 goal
 
107 donations
$2,275 to go
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