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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

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

Thank you for your continuous support of the Youth Impact in 2017. Without your donations, we would not be able to achieve our goal of creating socially conscious young adults. Your generosity allows us the flexibility to invest resources and time to causes our students care deeply about. Since the beginning of 2018, the students have come together to decide on possible projects that we would like to engage in and that we hope to put into action before the close of the year.

With the rapid increase of Youth Impact volunteers, it has become a major challenge to meet the demand for volunteer opportunities. Therefore the Youth Impact team will create a new model that we are excited to share with you.

Part of what makes Hands On Tokyo volunteers unique is that they have a strong understanding of how to work with variety of different demographics, whether that be visually impaired young adults, special needs individuals, or vulnerable children. This experience and knowledge allows them to work in different sectors, and we have been speaking with several NPOs who seek to integrate Youth Impact volunteers into their programs. What this means is we will outsource our volunteers to other NPOs. We believe that there are two benefits to this model: 1. The students will have more opportunities to volunteer and expand their knowledge 2. NPOs will get the assistance they need. The ultimate goal is to create a network of NPOs that all seek to empower and educate youth. The core idea is that NPOs are stronger together, versus when we are all competing for donations and volunteers. Our students have also responded well to this model and are eagerly waiting for this system to be finalized.

Some example of collaborations with other NPOS are: support for homeless and poverty ridden communities, digital literacy programs and English lessons at children`s homes, beach cleaning in Fujisawa, creating a food truck that is run by special needs people and supported by high school and college students. Besides these collective projects we will offer, youth will continue to volunteer at the 27 community projects posted on the Hands On Tokyo website.

We wanted to make you aware of our most important collaboration with the LIVES, which we are working hard to fully fund and implement as early as fall 2018.

In 2017, Hands On Tokyo launched the LIVES Project, a one day event that focused on opening up dialogues about how to empower people with disabilities and how to create inclusive working and living environments for all people in Japan. The program was held in Tokyo Midtown Roppongi and thousands of people attending, spreading the word about tolerance and creating accessibility in Japan.

In 2018, Hands On Tokyo wants to carry this mission one step further by creating a food truck that will circulate between campuses. The food and beverages sold on this truck will be created by special needs people, and high school and college student will support the workers. We hope that through exposure and collaboration, our young volunteers will learn how to empower and assist special needs individuals. Change is achievable when the next generation has knowledge about how to shape an inclusive working and living environment. To learn more go to the global giving page for the LIVES food truck:

Finally, in an effort to increase awareness and volunteer participation, the Youth Impact team has been speaking primarily with Japanese campuses and trying to incorporate them into this program. Our current Youth Impact volunteers are mostly bilingual, global students; many of them have lived abroad or attended international schools. We feel fortunate to have people of this type of background, but we also want to make sure the Youth Impact program is accessible to native Japanese speakers as well. Therefore, we will be organizing several bonding experiences for our current members and potential new Japanese members. We will be sure to tell you how it all unfolds in the next report!

Thank you again for your interest and investment in the Youth Impact program. We hope that we can continue to peak 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

Thank you for your generous support of our Youth Impact program. Your contributions are helping us to create meaningful volunteer and personal growth opportunities for high school and college students in Tokyo.

 The Youth Impact program has continued to expand. Before the office closed on December 23rd, we were able to reach 195 students, visiting 2 new schools in December. The demand for volunteer projects has never been higher. In 2017, we had 130 students affiliated with the Youth Impact project volunteer at Hands On Tokyo.

 There are many NPOs that offer programs for youth. What makes Hands On Tokyo unique is our accessibility. Young people can immediately sign up to volunteer without being subjected to prolonged process. We offer 27 projects that range from athletics with down syndrome, education for visually impaired, and tango therapy for senior citizens and our young volunteers have taken full advantage of the wealth of programs we offer.

 Our young volunteers` favorite projects are teaching English to visually impaired individuals, institutionalized children, and athletics with special needs individuals. They continue to return to these projects and develop relationships with the recipients of services. Some are even in the process of becoming volunteer leaders. Our volunteers have remarked that there is nothing quite like the feeling of being recognized by a community partner despite months of being away and being responsible for positive outcomes of projects.

 Another way Hands On Tokyo is meeting the demand for volunteering opportunities is by creating new projects that students have requested.

 We had a very positive start to the project creation program with the English lesson with down syndrome students at Shinagawa Aquarium. Every volunteer was able to build a one on one relationship with a down syndrome recipient, as they taught vocabulary about the colorful fish and playful dolphins at the aquarium. The Youth Impact volunteers were delighted to see a program they had created come together so smoothly, and they gained confidence in their ability to lead a project. In addition, our high school volunteers were deeply moved by the experience and loved spending time with their partners. The day ended with volunteers and their down syndrome students walking back to the station hand in hand, chatting and laughing together. It is moments like these that linger with our volunteers and the reason why their commitment to volunteerism becomes deeper.

 In 2018, Hands On Tokyo wants to empower young volunteers to become agents of positive change in their communities. Our volunteers are not just getting experience working with individuals with variety of different needs; they are also learning about how to become advocates for people who are overlooked because of their disabilities. Ultimately the main objective of the Youth Impact program is for young people to use their experiences with us to begin a dialogue about how to empower people with special needs and institutionalized children. With your support, we will continue to create more projects that young people can lead and get in the field experiences with.

 Thus far, we have organized two projects for Youth Impact volunteers: a theater project with a children`s home and providing assistance to students at special needs public high school in Tokyo. We are also hoping to have spring related projects with special needs and children as well. We will be sure to discuss how the projects turned out in our next report.

 Thank you again for supporting Youth Impact. This project has moved forward because you believe volunteerism is most impactful at a young age and we need to invest in educating high school and college students now. We hope that you will consider another donation to creating a socially conscious generation at Hands On Tokyo.

Youth Impact Team
Youth Impact Team

Thank you for your generous support of our Youth Impact program. Your contributions are helping us to create meaningful volunteer and personal growth opportunities for high school and college students in Tokyo. The Youth Impact program has made enormous progress since July when we posted our last global giving report. Your donations have helped us to fund a wide range of experiences, but most importantly the Youth Impact Mixer on October 28th and also the project creation initative which we will describe in the following message.

 Hands On Tokyo staff have spent the fall traveling to schools to raise awareness about our volunteer opportunities, who we work with, and describe the growth students could achieve by working with our NPO. We have encouraged students to continue to volunteer with Hands On Tokyo and also sign up for the Youth Impact newsletter to have access to a greater range of volunteer opportunities and network with people their age. As a result of our in person visits and also staying in touch with students who volunteered over the summer, the Youth Impact program has been able to reach 150 students from 10 schools, and the list is growing; there still remain two schools to be visited!  We now have 25 leaders on the Youth Impact board, who are leading and looking after the incoming members.

 To meet the demand for volunteer opportunities and further deepen the students commitment to volunteerism, we established the project creation initiative, which is funded by your donations. Students are invited to create a project with one of our 25 community partners. They plan the logistics: the time, the place, the activity, and whom they want to work with. Students lead the project, and are supervised by Hands On Tokyo staff. So far we have four submissions, and one just became a reality! On November 5th (Sunday) we will have our first project of this kind.

 College and high school students will visit Shinagawa Aquarium with down syndrome adults. The students will guide recipients through a very simple English conversation lesson based on the different aquatic environments and animals. We will have another project developed by a high school student in December with disadvantaged children; students will have a bonding experience with the children over hot chocolate and pine cone decorations. We anticipate that there will be at least six more to follow in the new year. Your donations are being used to cover expenses for volunteers as well as the recipients of these services. Thank you!

 Another way to meet the demand for volunteer opportunities and to provide more detailed information about Hands On Tokyo, the leadership created the Youth Impact Mixer on October 28th. This is the first time in the history of Hands On Tokyo that a fair specifically for college and high school has been organized, and we are glad we did.

 70 students have signed up for the event, and it will be led by 23 members of the Youth Impact leadership. You are funding this historic event. Your donations have allowed us to pay for promotional materials, t-shirts, beverages and foods, and other supplies we need to support this big event.

 The activities of the Youth Impact mixer have been organized and selected by the students. We will be having 40 minutes of networking and team building experiences, followed by presentations on leadership, volunteerism, benefits of becoming a Youth Impact member, and finally a time for students to create their own project for 2018. It will be an active day for our leaders who have poured their hearts into this project. Hands On Tokyo couldn`t be prouder of their efforts and ideas, and we hope you can take pride in them too.

 Despite how quickly we have grown, the leadership is committed to making sure that we are able to maintain the same sense of community we have had for many years. Our numbers may have increased, by our commitment to each other and the cause remains unchanged and is stronger than ever.

 We have traveled back in time to look at our origins, and figure out what made students engage with us in the first place. Besides the volunteer opportunities Hands On Tokyo offered, it was the community of students that made members stay. With this in mind, the Youth Impact team has selected the theme of inclusivity this academic year. What does that mean to us and how do we achieve that?

 Inclusivity means that ties between our Youth Impact leaders are solid and that we can lean on one another. It also means that we are doing everything possible to make sure incoming members also feel valued and individually acknowledged; that means follow up emails, checking in, and keeping incoming members aware of upcoming events. Finally it represents our commitment to serve our community partners and provide services they need most.

 Our elected leadership of high school and college students are working at full capacity to nurture and maintain connections between their schools and the Youth Impact team. They have been advocates for Hands On Tokyo community partners, as well at the link between their schools and our headquarters. Your donations directly affect their ability to do so.

 To stay up to date with the Youth Impact leadership, members, and our projects, follow us on Instagram at youthimpact_handsontokyo or join our mailing list. Send us an email at to receive updates about us.

 Thank you again for your generosity, and please consider another donation to the Youth Impact program, and to developing leaders who care deeply about creating an accessible and inclusive world for all people, regardless of background, disability, or age. They will not let you down.

With gratitude, 

The Youth Impact Team


Youth Impact volunteers in action
Youth Impact volunteers in action
Youth Impact leadership planning mixer
Youth Impact leadership planning mixer

Thank you for your generous support of our youth volunteers. The newly minted Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact project for college and high school students is continuing to grow within our organization.

 The goal of the Youth Impact project has always been to empower students to become change agents in Tokyo. Staff and board members` aspiration is to give youth the resources and support they need in order to achieve their visions. Whether that be leading an English lesson for vulnerable children or working on promoting our organization to fellow students, we invite college and high schoolers to challenge themselves and create solutions and goals on their own.

 Hands On Tokyo is, simply put, the bouncing board for students to realize their own potential. We have been fortunate that our youth volunteers have taken full advantage of our faith in them and pursued multiple trajectories. The primary three primary goals we, staff and youth volunteers, have decided upon are as follows:

 -       Becoming leaders at projects and creating project plans

-       Occupying leadership positions within the peer group

-       Promoting the youth impact project and reaching out to potential partner schools.

 Throughout the summer season, our high school students have taken time to attend a variety of community projects. They have primarily focused on giving English lessons to special needs and vulnerable children. Projects with special needs children or those who have been abused or neglected can be very tedious. We must always consider potential tantrums and be careful not to trigger any painful memories or feelings of the children. The high schools students have treated the children with a gentleness and patience beyond their years. I think of the time a high school student was able to simultaneously soothe and guide an Autistic child through an English lesson. I remember the joy on the child`s face when she felt as though she had mastered the material.

 I think of the ingenuity of our high school interns in June who created a special robotics English lesson. Despite any feelings of self-doubt and hiccups along the way, they remained engaged with the students. They were able to teach them the basic make-up of a solar panel car. I think of one of our new high school member sitting with an elementary school who was, at first, too shy to produce a full English sentence. After two hours though, she could confidently say, ` the dog is brown and black` and create full sentences. These are just a few stories out of many. Hands On Tokyo staff are looking forward to continuing to witness this maturity and awareness in our youth volunteers.

 Finally our students have thought of a variety of ways to promote the Youth Impact program and reach as many new potential partners and sponsors.

 It is essential that the Youth Impact Program grow at an appropriate speed. In order to maintain our membership and connect with new ones, college and high school students have divvied up responsibilities amongst themselves. For example, one of our college students created an Instagram account to help us to promote; please follow us at youthimpact_handsontokyo to catch a glimpse of what we do. Another university student is creating a new logo for the youth impact program.

 Our high school students have also voted for their own leadership: a president, vice president, and two secretaries. They will help guide our high school students this year, and also act as a communicators between the Hands On Tokyo office and students. From September and onward, they are organizing times where we can give presentations at their schools, and hopefully, create new membership.

 We are also planning a student led mixer on October 28th. This four hour event will not only promote our organization and causes, but also establish a mentoring program. College students will groom high school students to take on leadership roles at community projects. The college students will also help high students plan their future.

 There are so many ventures Hands On Tokyo is excited to pursue this fall. It has not been easy communicating across 10 schools, but everyone has risen to the challenge and solidified their commitment to us and each other. Thank you for your past investment in our youth volunteers. These improvements would not have been possible without you.

 At this crucial time of growth, we would like to encourage you to consider a donation. Be a part of helping students create positive change in Tokyo.

 Hands On Tokyo is more than hopeful for the amelioration of the Youth Impact program. We are confident that the youth impact project will nurture deeper ties with individuals in need and fellow students in the Tokyo area. Being a bystander and waiting for things to happen is not a part of our youth volunteers` mentality; they are actively finding ways to improve themselves and this Youth Impact program. We hope we can continue to prove ourselves worthy of your investment and faith in us.


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Organization Information

Hands On Tokyo

Location: Tokyo - Japan
Project Leader:
Marie Gray
Tokyo, Japan
$11,910 raised of $40,000 goal
66 donations
$28,090 to go
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