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 Education  Japan Project #19239

Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project

by Hands On Tokyo
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project
Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact Project

Hello Youth Impact Supporters,

 Thank you for your generous support of Hands On Tokyo`s Youth Impact. This spring has been very busy for the Youth Impact team. In addition to all the regular volunteer projects with special needs individuals and vulnerable children, we continue to support the LIVES Food Truck and Youmewe`s Designing Artists Academy. We are looking forward to updating you on all of these projects in this report.

 Volunteering with our community partners remains at the heart of the Youth Impact program. It is here that our students learn how to assist and empower our community partners. Our repeat student volunteers often note that consistently volunteering with the same demographic has helped them to cultivate meaningful relationships with communities we serve and has taught them the tangible, positive impact of volunteerism. Hands On Tokyo is really proud that our students have internalized this message and are committing to volunteering regularly. We hope that you can take pride in them too.

 As for topics we are teaching in class-we have focused on teaching practical lessons such as: reading clocks, exchanging money for goods, learning about world cultures. In addition, we always make time for the students to get creative. Our St. Patrick`s craft and painting were a class favorite. We hope you enjoy the picture from our classes.

 On a different note-the LIVES Food Truck has made some very important strides. For just a gentle reminder of what the LIVES Food Truck is- it is a food truck that employees individuals with mental and physical disability. Our special needs workers prepare, cook, and serve the food with the assistance of student volunteers. We believe that this model represents not only inclusivity and empowerment of differently abled people-but also what a collaboration between special needs individuals and students could be.

 We are proud to say we have made tangible strides concerning this project. As of April 2019, we have started starting selling around 80 lunches per week-all of which are prepared by our paid special needs staff, Hands On Tokyo, and student volunteers. You can catch us at Meiji University`s Izumi Campus on Thursdays and Showa Jyoshi University in Sangen-Jaya on Fridays. Additionally, generous donations have helped us ensure that special needs employees are paid the Japanese minimum wage-1,000yen per hour. If you are interesting in learning more about this projects and ways to support it, I encourage you to check out our global giving page (

 Finally, I wanted to touch quickly on our collaboration with Designing Artists Academy, our summer art day camp for children living in institutions because of poverty, and abuse and neglect from family members. The camp will run from August 12th to August 20th. Each day children will get to experience different creative methods: photograph, jewelry making, t-shirt decoration, painting, and many others.

 We have recruited 7 students from Youth Impact to support the camp as mentors or artists. Our volunteers` ages range from sophomores in high schools to seniors in college. We are really proud of the diversity of our volunteers, and also the interesting ways they will contribute. Our student artists will be leading cupcake decoration, ceramics, and mural painting. The other four will be mentoring our vulnerable children-encouraging the campers to express themselves through art and most importantly, create a positive relationships with the children. For more information, please check our Designing Artists Academy page on GlobalGiving (

 We want to say a big thank you again to our donors. Since the renewal of the Youth Impact program in 2017, we have evolved significantly. We hope that every time you read one of our reports that you are able to see that as well and note all the ways we have used your donations to educate young people in Tokyo. We look forward to updating you again in three months time and thank you again for your support. We hope you will consider investing in us again.

Thank you to our generous supporters of the Youth Impact program. Our contributions have allowed us to sustain our projects and our affiliate programs, such as the LIVES Food Truck. We are looking forward to sharing the updates with you in this post.

 There are two projects that our students have most connected to: our projects to empower and teach at risk children through art and English and our LIVES Food Truck.

 Through experience, we have learned about the positive impact art can have on children`s development, particularly for children who struggle with PTSD due to abuse and neglect from their parental figures. Separation from blood relatives and the stigma surrounding this vulnerable group further compound the problem. Our organization has tried to support this vulnerable demographic by going to their shared homes once a month a month to teach English and art, and to provide them positive adult interaction.

 Since December, we have been able to do 3 projects. Our most creative programs were our Christmas and Valentines lessons which was taught by our Youth Impact team. For Christmas we had cookie and candy cane decoration, along with other fun activities. For Valentines Day, we exchanged handmade cards and candies. The children loved being able to create and work with our young volunteers. We are looking forward to doing more fun projects with our Youth Impact members and vulnerable children in the spring. As cross cultural understanding is also a very important part of our education programs, the next lesson will have a St. Patrick`s theme.

 Additionally, we are very excited to announce the Youth Impact`s special collaboration with the Designing Artists Academy, a summer art therapy camp for 40 vulnerable children in Tokyo. Our youth will be leading their own art sessions and mentoring the children. We are very much looking forward to joining this innovative program, and encourage you take a look at the Designing Artists Academy page on global giving:

 Finally, our LIVES Food Truck continues to evolve, in large thanks to our generous donors.

 Securing locations to sell our healthy food has proven to be the most challenging aspect of the LIVES Food truck. Fortunately, we have been able to partner up with two universities in Tokyo who have helped us to secure a permanent time slots to sell food every week on their Showa campus in Setagaya-ku. British School in Tokyo, Showa University, and within a year, Temple University will all be on the same campus. We are looking forward to offering students from all three schools healthy dishes once a week.

 Meeting this goal is the biggest testament to the LIVES food truck`s legitimacy, and the belief that our disabled employees are fully able to serve food and interact with new customers. We are both humbled and grateful for the university`s faith in us, and we to hope to expose our inclusive model to as many young people as possible.

 Finally, we have partnered with other local NPOs who specialize in empowering differently abled people. In January, we participated in a winter festival for special needs children and their families, where we served 200 cups of healthy vegetarian soup. We will be selling our meals again at another event in the early spring hosted by Acceptions NPO.

 Acceptions shares The LIVES Food Truck mission of empowering down syndrome individuals and creates powerful inciatives to raise awareness, such as the Buddy Walk on March 31st in the Shibuya Area. This parade is an unique opportunity for special needs individuals to march with an escort through Tokyo. We will be selling our food at the event and hopefully catching some walkers before and after the walk. If you are in Tokyo, we hope to see you there.

 We want to say a big thank you again to our donors. Without your support, we would not have been able to begin this journey in the first place. We have grown and showed Japan what an inclusive and empathetic society for special needs and vulnerable children could look like. We are equally excited to see our students learn, provide much needed support to communities in need, and become leaders at our volunteer projects. We are so grateful that you also believed in our vision and decided to make an investment in us. We look forward to updated you in three months time and hope you will consider another investment in us.

Thank you to all our donors and supporters of the Youth Impact program. 2018 has proven to be a year of new landmarks for our program and students. Not only did our students volunteer, but they also lead and created their own programs and inspired their peers to also get involved. Additionally, our staff was able to connect with school administrations and establish meaningful partnerships to promote understanding and education.

 The Youth Impact program is fortunate to have students who regularly volunteer, are leaders of our volunteer projects, and are also our key promoters. Without their vocal advocacy and input, the Youth Impact program would not have been able to grow the way it has.

 We estimate that students all over Tokyo have volunteered 290 times with Youth Impact since January 2017. This figure discounts all the students that volunteered solely with Hands On Tokyo. Of those 290, 40 have become seriously committed to our projects, meaning they volunteer consistently and attend meetings. This committed group of students is also elemental in creating their own projects.

 Some of the project creation highlights of this year was a beach cleaning, an easter egg hunt and Christmas lesson with our vulnerable children. These events not only meet needs within the community, but also foster Youth Impact members` creativity and leadership. In 2019, we hope to give more students the opportunity to create their own original program.

 In addition to volunteer projects with Hands On Tokyo`s three core demographics, our LIVES Food Truck, a portable food that sells vegetarian dishes made by people with disabilities, has continued to expand. The project now includes 5 employees with varying mental disabilities and 16 students. In addition we were able to sell food at three university campuses. In 2019, we will be working hard to secure permanent location for our food truck on at least two college campuses. For more information, please check out our global giving page, LIVES Food Truck.

 Finally Youth Impact met its major goal of gaining sponsorship from school administrations. By tapping into our network, we were able to pursue partnerships with 5 universities, including special collaborations with the LIVES Food Truck.One international high school student focused on a potential paralympic and Youth Impact partnership in 2020, while Deakin University from Australia and Sophia University in Tokyo students learned more about the NPO industry in Japan, and helped us to find methods to attract more student involvement. In 2019, we will be looking to have more of these types of collaborations. We believe that students should not only use us as a resource, but we should learn from them as well. 

 In 2018, we proved what listening to student feedback can accomplish. We are an organization that prides ourselves on letting the student lead this program. In 2019, we will work hard to engage youth and give them the space to be leaders. We hope you will consider investing in them in the new year as well. We wish you a happy holidays and New Year.

Thank you to all our donors and supporters of the Youth Impact program. Our program has continued to gain traction, including being endorsed by major universities in Tokyo, a successful debut of LIVES Food Truck on September 16th, and a greater number high school and college students volunteering with our organization throughout the summer into the fall season.

 Administrations` and teachers` awareness of the unique opportunities Youth Impact provides has grown significantly, in large part because the ranks of our volunteers have grown, and we have able to diversify the volunteer pool.

 As of now, we have high school and college student volunteers from around 15 schools in Tokyo; they have volunteered at least 201 times at Hands On Tokyo projects since we remodeled our youth initiative in January 2017. The volunteers who have significant experience with a particular community partner (children`s homes, senior citizens, special needs individuals, or a combination of our community partners) are not only occupying leadership roles, but also planning projects.

 This unique aspect of the Youth Impact has made the program more desirable to students, and encouraged them to return and volunteer with the same demographic. In turn, teachers are hearing from their students about the ability to specialize, learn, lead, and eventually create projects.

 University academic departments who want students to understand societal problems in Japan or abroad, have become interested in the opportunities we provide to student. As a result, we will have official collaborations with three universities, and more are in the works. We will be sure to tell you how this collaboration progresses in the future. Another major development for the Youth Impact team is the LIVES Food Truck.

 The food truck made its debut at the LIVES event in Roppongi Midtown on September 16th; we sold 100 plates of food and our profits were 60,000 yen. Another food truck event is scheduled on October 21st at our annual showcase of volunteer projects, Day of Service. For more information about the LIVES Food truck, please visit our LIVES Food Truck global giving page:

 Our students are an elemental part of creating inclusive and safe working environments for the three mentally disabled food truck workers who make and serve food to the public. The students` roles was to encourage the workers, lead interactions between customers and disabled employees, and intervene if it was necessary. Learning the empathy, the skills to support and build relationships with mentally disabled individuals proved to be a meaningful experience for our students. Our youth are learning the careful balance and constant awareness the role entails, and flourishing.

 Our debut was ultimately a test for our youth and LIVES Food truck staff to try out their new roles, and because of serious preparation and training, they passed. Inevitably, there are ways we can continue to improve, but the team is committed to learning from their errors and improving.

 Finally, the number of students participating in the 27 monthly programs offered on our website and Youth Impact specific projects has steadily increased. The increase is in large part because of recruitment efforts and students networking amongst themselves.

 On September 8th, we offered a networking event between students, our staff, and board members. We had 30 students attend, half of whom have never volunteered with Hands On Tokyo before. Since the event, 3 volunteers have attended projects in September with special needs children and senior citizens, along with another becoming our intern.

 All of the progress and awareness we have raised would not be possible without the support of our donors and sponsors. We are grateful that you have chosen our project to invest in, and we will continue to work hard to engage new students. We look forward to updating you again in the winter.

Thank you to all our donors and supporters of the Youth Impact program. With your help, we have been able to fund several projects for our Youth Impact high school and college students. This includes the self-creation initiative and our LIVES Food Truck. In this letter we hope to convey the actions we are taking to ensure that our programs are evolving and meeting the goals of our community partners and student volunteers.

 We rely on your donations to ensure that our youth can create and lead projects they have thought up as part of our self-creation initiative. This opportunity for our students to create their own programs with communities in need is the primary reason why youth choose to volunteer with us.

 The leadership and logistical skills they acquire by hosting their own projects is an uniquely Youth Impact feature; there is no other youth centered program that allows as much creative freedom as our organization. We not only encourage our youth to test out their ideas, but we also provide support and mentorship along the way. We believe that this mentorship is an essential element of the self-creation program; we want our students to be responsible for the programs, but we also want youth to understand past strategies that have worked with our community partners and how to incorporate them into the project. This careful apprenticeship has proven to be a successful model; ultimately, we hope that our youth learn this system, and then implement the same mentorship for our younger youth who want to create a project.

 From late May through to July 42 youth have participated in the self-creation programs which include: English lessons with our special needs and vulnerable children, beach cleaning in Fujisawa, and an aquarium visit with vulnerable children. We will be taking advantage of the summer vacation to plan other self-creation programs with our Youth Impact team. On the horizon is a partnership with our down-syndrome community partners, special needs elementary school children, and vulnerable children. We are looking forward to telling you more about it in the next Global Giving update.

 Finally, we have made significant strides with the LIVES Food Truck. In order to build off of the momentum of the LIVES event last year, our LIVES team and Youth Impact core members are working together on the food truck idea. The food truck will be run by people with disabilities and supported by students, who will aid workers and raise awareness about the truck. We believe that if youth have more exposure to working with disabled individuals, they will learn how to create inclusive business models. As of now we have seven universities represented on the planning team, and five schools have agreed to host the truck on their campus. For our donors and supporters who are interested in participating or wish to help sponsor the Food Truck please take a look at our global giving page (, and follow us on facebook at (

 Thank you again for your interest and investment in the Youth Impact program. We hope that we can continue to pique your interest and hope that you will consider making another contribution to this program. We look forward to updating you again soon about all of these developments. Should you have any questions, feedback, or require more information, please reach out to us at


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Organization Information

Hands On Tokyo

Location: Tokyo - Japan
Project Leader:
Marie Gray
Tokyo, Japan
$11,860 raised of $40,000 goal
64 donations
$28,140 to go
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