KIWL 2022 EVENTS REPORT-It takes a village to raise a child
By Michael Clemons | Founder
This is our final report for the Knights in White Lycra project on GlobalGiving. We cannot thank everyone enough for all of the support over the years.
The time of support will last for generations for the children we have supported with KIWL's support and the network of friends and family who have been so very generous.
The work and support have not stopped as many donors are continuing to work with us in volunteer projects and in being the extended network that the children who age out of their homes need in helping them with their adult lives.
If you wish to stay in touch with us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to include you in our monthly Collaboratory newsletter.
Thank you again and safe cycling!
Michael Clemons and the YouMeWe Team.
P.S. please make sure to click on the link to our Thank you video.
We have been very fortunate to have been supported by Knights in White Lycra from the time the YouMeWe was just an idea.
In 2022 we saw a continuation of everyone with the same motto "Getting fit and giving back" and finally after a long runway of Covid, we were able to take off with some face-to-face events like the Imperial Palace Walk and the 500km ride in June crossing the finish line in Kanazawa. We were met by children of the local homes who are also cyclists. The funds raised helped us meet Kanazawa homes and buy 105 children's shoes in need for the summer.
We also have been able to have classes face to face with the children in some homes though not back to our pre-Covid live sessions. Many courses are held weekly online from Iwate-ken in Tohoku, Tokyo homes, Chiba, Nagoya, and Nagasaki.
We held the 2022 Designing Artists Academy at one of the homes with limited volunteers but it was great to interact with the children and artists for two days. Some of the children have grown into young adults since we were last able to meet.
As we move into the final quarter of 2022, we look forward to the KIWL Virtual Cycling challenge and the 2022 GoGo Run in November.
We have also created a focus list of the top 20 homes we are pairing with donors to be able to teach one or more of our 12 skills at YouMeWe. By pairing the companies with the homes, we are able to have a more in-depth volunteer relationship for each side to benefit from.
What’s a Permanency Pact? A pledge by a supportive adult to provide specific support to a young person in foster care with the goal of establishing a lifelong, kin-like relationship.
Youth transitioning from foster care are often unsure about who they can count on for ongoing support. Many of their significant relationships with adults have been based on professional connections which will terminate once the transition from care is completed. It is critical to the youth's success to identify those adults who will continue to provide various supports through and beyond the transition from care. Clarifying exactly what the various supports will include can help to avoid gaps in the youth's safety net and misunderstandings between the youth and the supportive adult.
Get fit and give back” continues to be the mantra of the Knights in White Lycra. They have never let the pandemic get in the way of their mission, and have been champions of adjusting, and re-inventing when they need to make something happen. This year we were so happy to welcome back one of our favorite events live and in-person: The KIWL Tokyo Imperial Palace Run/ Walk. We had a fantastic two-day event, with teams from Clifford Chance, Robert Half, Robert Walters, RGF, Specialized Group, Boyd Moore, and Platinum Training, raising more than ¥800,000 for our efforts to help the children we serve! The weather was beautiful, and the energy among the volunteers and participants was palpable. On Saturday, we were also graced with the presence of the British Ambassador to Japan, Julia Longbottom (who is also a veteran of the KIWL 500km bike ride.) Meanwhile, YouMeWe has been doing the best they can despite covid lockdowns and other obstacles, meeting weekly with children in the homes. They’ve been holding both socially distanced coding classes at St. Francis Children’s home and working remotely with volunteer instructors to build typing software and other tools for teaching. We also are teaching HTML courses and IT Passport lessons. We have very talented volunteers from around the globe donating their time to teach online and mentor the children in person. After KIWL member Andy Abbey's ride along the coast of Japan, we mapped the children's homes along the route and began calling them to see if they were interested in joining our program or receiving computers and technology assistance. Donated machines are brought in and the kids are updated with new operating systems and then delivered to the orphanages. Several hundred laptops have been promised to us, as companies are refreshing their inventory and more people are working from home. This allows us to not only upgrade the original laptops bought in 2013 but expand our reach to as far south as Nagasaki, 4 new homes in Kyoto, and 1 in Osaka as we continue to teach weekly in Nagoya, Tokyo, and Tohoku. Looking forward, we are very excited about the June KIWL 500km cycling challenge as well as the GoGo Run in November, finishing the year with the KIWL Santa Ride in December. We really appreciate everyone's continued support and continually marvel at how much we are able to accomplish with your generous help. Thank you, YouMeWe NPO
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