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: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/designing-artists-academy/
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.