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In this episode, Nick speaks with Meredith Smith, Media and Public Relations Director for Smile Kids Japan. Since 2008, Meredith has worked as an ALT on the JET Program and has volunteered with Smile Kids Japan since 2009. Smile Kids Japan is a volunteer organization that encourages visits to Japanese orphanages. Through its website and volunteer leadership, Smile Kids Japan helps facilitate such visits by serving as a resource for best practices and activity ideas. This is an amazing organization, and I’m glad to help share their story.
CBS6 News in Richmond, VA talks about Taylor Anderson Fund and relief efforts by Smile Kids Japan and volunteerAkita.
Smile Kids Japan Founder Michael Maher King is going to be speaking at TEDxTokyo: Enter the Unknown.
For more information please see the attached press release.
Find out more about TEDxTokyo here!
There will be a benefit concert featuring the Jammers, XOVA and Frank McComb on 22nd May 2011 at the Hideaway in Streatham, London. There will also be a charity auction and all funds from the evening will be going to Living Dreams and Smile Kids Japan on their tohoku kids support project. Please come show your support and enjoy an evening of world-class music for a great cause!
Even more than six weeks on, it’s still difficult to estimate the number of children who have been orphaned by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11.
The Ministry of Health has registered around 100 confirmed cases, but the number is expected to rise as more of the people listed as missing are confirmed dead. For some of the kids left behind, the path to recovery will be harder than others and they are likely to end up in state care.
Are you a warm-hearted, motivated and organised individual looking for a way to support your community during this difficult time? Can you guarantee that you will be in Japan for at least one more year?
Smile Kids Japan has partnered with Living Dreams to form Smiles and Dreams: Tohoku Kids’ Project. The intention is to build and continue strong relationships with the 18 childrens’ homes in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, in order to set up regular fun and interactive volunteer visits for the children at these homes. Although the Tohoku Kids’ Project focuses on these 18 childrens’ homes, our ultimate goal is to have regular visits set up in all orphanages across Japan within the next 3 years. For this, we need you.
Smile Kids Japan and Living Dreams are looking for Home Communications Managers (HCMs). HCM responsibilities will include:
- Fostering personal relationships with staff members at a children’s home to establish and maintain regular, long-term visits as frequently as possible, but at least every 3 months.
- Conducting needs assessments of the home and acting as a liaison between that home and members of the Tohoku Kids’ Project
- Helping distribute items that are donated to children’s homes
- Attending events organised by the Tohoku Kids’ Project that take place at the home as often as possible
Our goal is to have two HCMs for each home in an effort to make the workload easier for our HCMs. One HCM will require good Japanese, but both coordinators do not have to speak fluently.
As an HCM you do not have to worry about working alone. Members of the Smile Kids Japan team are always available to take questions and give advice and will also connect the HCM community across the country to offer further support and ideas. Any questions or problems that you encounter can be directed to Smile Kids Japan immediately.
If you are interested in becoming a Home Communications Manager, please download and complete the form below. Please return the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Home Communications Manager (HCM) Application (English) – Word Document (798KB)
Children’s Home Communications Manager (HCM) Application (日本語) – Word Document (12KB)
Mike will be on the show “Tonight” on Thursday, April 14 at 7.30pm UK time – ITV (Channel 3).
Try to watch it if you can!
Read more about it here! (Japanese only)
“Five years ago, then 23-year-old Michael Maher King moved from England to Japan to teach English through JET, the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. Two years in, looking for a deeper connection to his community, he began visiting a local orphanage to spend time with the kids there and soon discovered that by serving area youth, he was also enriching his own experience abroad.”
- Tohoku Kids Project (For Donors)
- Tohoku Kids Project (For Orphanages)
- Tohoku Kids Project (For Governments)
After Japan’s horrific 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, through tremendous heartbreak and hardship, the question we have all repeatedly heard — “what can we do to help?” — is being asked by friends, neighbors, and communities around the world.
Countless local and international agencies are on the ground doing extraordinary work for victims in the affected regions, but the road ahead for Japan will be an arduous one that will require endurance, fortitude and resolve. After the initial phase of emergency relief work has been completed, the question will remain, for a long time to come,
Smile Kids Japan and Living Dreams have joined forces to tackle that question and provide specific, effective solutions. Our joint venture, Smiles & Dreams: Tohoku Kids’ Project, will work to support children’s homes (orphanages) affected by the disaster. We will immediately address their needs, the needs of the children who rely on them and will continue to support those children in the long-term.
Our first act will be to restore basic necessities, including both personal and shared items. We will replenish basic needs such as clothing, baby supplies and basic medicines. We will also provide homes with items that will help them rebuild a nurturing environment for the children that rely on them for care and support; items such as toys, computers, books and supplies for a variety of hobbies. We will work directly with children’s homes and the government agencies responsible for them to best assess the needs of each and every home affected by the disaster. Through our combined networks, our organisations will directly purchase and distribute necessary items quickly and efficiently.
Our second act will be to connect children’s homes directly to professional child counselling services and also to provide them with a wide range of activities to help their children emotionally move on after the tragedy they’ve endured. Proper counselling along with activities such as trips to theme parks, camping, going to concerts and various others will improve children’s outlook on their lives and future. Counselling services and activities will be funded and arranged directly through our organisations’ networks.
Your monetary donations will help rebuild lives that were shattered within minutes. You will be replacing necessities, including both personal and shared items that took years for children and homes to collect. You will be providing children with professional counselling and a wide range of therapeutic activities to help them move on past the tragedy they’ve endured. Through your donations, you will allow us to provide children’s homes with the goods and services they need to create safe and nurturing environments once again for the children who rely on them. You will personally be turning these institutions back into supportive homes.
To donate directly to Living Dreams & Smile Kids Japan, please make a wire payment to our NPO bank account. We will be sure to provide you with detailed reports so you can see how your funds are spent.
Bank Name: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Branch Name: Mita Dori Branch
Branch Address: 5-28-1 Shiba Minato-ku 108-0014 Tokyo Japan
Branch Code: 623
Swift Code: SMBCJPJT
Account Type: Ordinary
Account Number: 8104945
Account Name: Living Dreams
Living Dreams is a registered Japanese NPO that has been actively working with 33 children’s homes in the Tokyo area since 2008. Their mission is to help these kids on the path towards becoming responsible, confident and empowered young adults. Centered along the LAST Principle (Learning, Arts, Sports, and Technology), long-term and regularly occurring programs are developed under each category to help improve a child’s overall motivation and confidence. Ultimately, each program works to enrich, encourage, and empower. Living Dreams brings to this joint venture substantial experience in running NPO programs as well as a wealth of resources in both the local and international community.