I have jumped into my new nonprofit, JOEE.jp, with both feet. Now, I teach in Japanese orphanages, preparing kids for future jobs in the wide world. Help sponsor this leap of faith by donating to JOEE: Joyful Opportunity English Education. I am averaging about 36,000 steps a day through the Virgin Global Challenge which is helping to raise money for children's homes in Japan. Can you send a donation of $36 or even $360 to help support JOEE? (A dollar per day for one year would go a long ways!)
Close to 45,000 children live in institutionalized care homes across Japan. Because adoption rates are extremely low and because Japanese laws prevent these children being adopted by foreign families, most of these children will spend their entire young lives in the home. At age 18, they must exit and try to make it on their own. Without a supportive family system, they struggle to enter college or to find work. Homelessness and unemployment are common; orphans are often discriminated against.
JOEE brings creative English lessons to children in Japanese institutionalized care. We teach language using puppets, songs, stories, games. We use fun pronunciation games. Besides using high quality, native English-speaking teachers to teach the children, JOEE strives to build self-esteem and hope. By learning English and proper pronunciation at a young age, these children can do better in school and access a variety of jobs in Japan or abroad when they leave the care home at the age of 18.
As the birth rate in Japan drops and the population ages, Japan is more than ever in need of competent and well-balanced citizens who can contribute meaningfully to society. Thousands of orphans are growing up in institutionalized care in Japan and they are a desperately needed resource. They are not "throw-away" children as they are sometimes labeled by Japanese society. They can be future bilingual leaders, empathetic to others in need and able to think globally, beyond the borders of Japan.
Welcome to JOEE!