Showing posts from 2007

speaking at a networking event Dec 17

Below is info on one of the groups here in tokyo that does networking - or rather they found me through the introduction of Jane Best from RIJ. I am going to go next week and sus it out. The schedule is not exactly set yet (except for the NPO networking time). But there will be 5 or 6 speakers and each get 30 min - 15 to present and 15 for discussion - some will be in E and some in J. From Jan they will do this once a month and asked me to help find ngo npo speakers - might be a good merger for our monthly happy hours/luncheons.
Actually - I was just asked to give a short presentation on Nonprofit NGO outreach at this event on Monday night. come along and please do share the info with friends!
12/17 (Mon) BIZ NITE MARKET! - STEREO @ Nishi Azabu The Baron Art Nite Artists show and discuss their work
19:00 - 19:30 NPO Nite Organizations share successs stories and best practices.
Net Nite: Starling CEO Curt Sampson discusses the advantages of agile software development ( www.starling…

human rights day 2007

I was looking for events to promote as part of huamn rights day...

i found that I AM SAM is showing at my local city hall
and i found out about several event but nothing too big or well publicised.

after the fact i found out about a parade(demo or march have negative connotations) iwas surprised it did not come to me through Amnesty's mailing list:

* Burma and the finger printing issues took main stage this year.

I think article one of theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights is the base of all other HR documents - but why the first sentence was not enough is telling about all the challenges we face:Article 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
for more info:
"Human Rights Day 2007 marks the start of a year-long commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."http://www.un.o…

End of another class

First semester of a class on Japan’s social issues and the work of nonprofit NGOs here.

Reaffirms my need to keep studying and the importance of knowing how to explain things to people who come from different backgrounds – people who might be mobilized but might not have the opportunity in their busy lives to think deeply about world issues.

So much work to do and so many people need motivation and a tug to get started.

Climate change and dollars and sense

What will the Climate change conference in Bali bring?

After hearing from the nonprofit NGOs involved in this I am concerned mostly about co-option rather than lack of power or influence.

so much in the news about the environment and climate change ... in dollars and sense terms not sure if this is the way it should be....

perhaps with out the "pocket book angle" there is no real impact?

Dec 1 World AIDS Day 2007

So many events going on in Japan and all over the world. Will the Japanese media again miss the chance to highlight this very serious issue?

I need to hold back and not be so judgmental – but it is hard for me to understand that into the third decade of AIDS so many people here think it is a foreign disease – no relationship to them or to Japan. this idoes not only apply to Japanese but to non-Japanese people as well who come ot live in a bubble of security. we take on the "island mentality" as our own. (Does that make us assimilated??!!??)

Many still do not see AIDS as a sexually transmitted disease. I was only reminded about this as focused on AIDS in two or my workshops just before and after WAD. Participants were quite different but still the distance shocked me. Like 1984 in the US…

it starts here ...with your action

Saturday, December 1, 2007 , World AIDS DAY in Shibuya - Shibuya Red part 1: RED WALK, 2:00-4:00 Location: Miyashita Park in Shibuyah…

Thanksgiving 2007

We have lots to be thankful for and it seems that we forget this.

Our lives in Tokyo are so busy, people rushing here and there and people around us in Japan always focus on the things we cannot do rather than what we can.

The nonprofit NGO world here too has much to be thankful for ... we will have the international media spotlight.
2008 will be a good year we have the TICAD and G8 – lots of attention will come to Japan. How we use that lime light is up to us.

Peace Winds Japan

On Nov 17, Marc Saito from Peace Winds Japan was a guest speaker at my TUJ course on the Japanese nonprofit NGO sector .

After introducing the organization and the background info - he foucsed on two areas he has been involved in - Water and education support in Afghanistan and Liberian refugee support in Sierra Leone.

Everyone learned so much about what goes into developing an emergency relief project. We understand the difficulties people in the field face but the real face of it is hard to imagine. His sharing of his own experiences has invaluable.

Support from governments and the public in places where security is an issue is something many of us had not thought deeply about before this talk.

In the talk about refugee camps it also became clear to us all that one of the most difficult parts is resettlement. there is little funding or government support for this long process which is integral to the establishment of stable communities.

There also seems to be a misconception that peopl…

Darwin's Nightmare

This movie was very intense and seeing it a second time was very good for understanding more details. But I still feel a bit lost. I am not sure what we can do. Unlike Invisible Children, which seems far away but a more concrete problem. but the problems are so huge - where is the iriguchi to making a change?

We talked about contacting heads of airlines and requesting they start an inquiry in to where the fish they use comes from. It might take time and lots of voices before there is any response but I think there is some way to push the envelop on this. just like they do with sports clothing companies.

Most poignant comments to me were about developed countries allowing conflict to go on and that this helps business. But this was not just in reference to arms or fish but also to the humanitarian aids business becoming such a big business. These emergencies allow UN jobs to flourish … hmmm what do you think? Makes sense to some degree.

Find out more at
Other site…

Brad Adams from HRW - PC in Tokyo

Brad Adams, the Asia Director from Human Rights Watch was recently in Tokyo meeting with various NGO, government and press people. This was mostly an adovcacy trip and his main focus at the press conference was on Japan's diplomatic role and the importance of Japan's role.

He focused his talks on Myanmar, China, and Pakistan, and based his talk on the concept that Japan's role and prominence in the region could make a real difference.

Get more info from HRW's Burma report here :

He also talked about the fact that no one from the Japanese government would meet the Dalai Lama during his nine-day visit here. Not surprising but after the visits to the US and Germany, we know that the China bark is worse than the bite. it is interesting than much of the press that followed this PC lead with this issue and not the meaty ones - Burma or Pakistan or even the local HR issues.

But several reporters were in terested in more local…

JSRPD training for leaders with disabilities

I just finished another training with JSRPD for the JICA’s leadership training program. This program aims to equipe people with disabilities with some basic skills to make a change in their communities. (Maybe this is more of my agenda - also the aim is to how how wonderful things are in Japan.)

This year we had another great group of people. On Nov 2 we focused all day on how to write an action plan. Then on Nov 8 we reviewed plans and I went over areas of concern. In the afternoon we focused on how to present the action plan. Then on Nov. 13 - I reviewed everyone’s narrative draft while they practiced the presentations.

Some excellent ideas and plans for action were generated. These included developing employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Chile, Zimbabwe, and Nepal, with the aim of financial independence. Sports programs for youth with disabilities in Honduras and Yemen aim for both social integration and health – mental and physical promotion. Other action plans f…

International Career Fair

I have been planning for years to attend the annual international career fair SEE FLIER organized by IDJ (international development journal)

I was surprised at how few people there were and how basic the seminars were. I did an intro to TUJ NGO mgt course but really most of those people would not know what ngo really was.

Next year I can do a workshop. I already have a plan to give to my boss at Temple University Japan Campus continuing education program. We have a good program on NGOs but I am sure there will also be people interested in the business certificate. (

* Kaori and Nadine introducing the NGO mgt program to a prospective student.


Dave Mori recently spoke at my NGO mgt course about entrepreneurship and networking. I knew he would be the right choice Dave is such a good speaker and so warm and concrete – hE was spot on and inspiring for the class.

Dave is involved in a number of interesting orgs besides running a company called English ok!

He ALSO runs the Entrepreneur Assoc of Tokyo which features interesting speaker – all of whom are entrepreneurs in very different fields. People learn skills, share mistakes and good practices so that everyone benefits.

The timeline was really right too they are just starting on their class projects – outlining an NGO structure, vision mission, project etc

Some of the other groups Dave is involved in: Net Tokyo, Gourmet Night
Check them out!

NGO Forum meeting

I joined the Nov 6 meeting as an interpreter for the staff from Oxfam UK. It was very interesting. There are so many things I forgot the importance of – Japanese “group setting”, the intro period taking more time with a group of people who do not know each other … everyone has to understand where we all stand in the pecking order before we can define what we say and how to say it.

Having to explain this however is not easy if you do not understand Japanese social structure and communication style.

We did a group exercise that could have easily taken 1 hour but we only had 10 or 15 min. our groups was to talk about whether or not it was Japanese NGOs should have an organized campaign for the G8. A problem quickly came up – some people were talking about slogans and messaging without even considering the Q at hand and/or what the goals and objectives of a campaign would be.

Part of this might be simple- understanding what a campaign is and the basics of project campaign and strategic plan …

Nov 3rd - part 2 PEACE KIDS SOCCER

The Nov 3 Juan Cole talk was also a good chance to support a local groups with some small funding. Through an open selection process we chose Peace Kids Soccer (PKS), which has programs, focused on developing trust and dialogue through sports for Israeli and Palestinian youth. Mari Maruhashi save a really great intro to their work – I hope they will find more supporters to support their work!

Find out more by visiting their website or contact them directly:

info from their proposal:



Nov 3 Juan Cole talk

Professor Juan Cole’s talk was enlightening. His demeanor and humor helped make a talk that could have easily been dry and depressing, very engaging.

The US just uses up too much petroleum products. Really – no mystery there but the historical background and his introduction to the connections between people in the current US government and oil businesses and related interests was very easy to understand and put the light on many things that were previously vague.

His research into napoleons incursion into Egypt is hauntingly familiar to the US approach to Iraq. It is clear that we humans do not learn form past mistakes but this made it even more clear how we can already see it repeating itself in front of our eyes.

Professor Juan Cole is a noted expert on the modern Middle East, and has spent the last 30 years putting the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His award-winning blog Informed Comment is a daily must-see for an in-depth and alternative view o…

NGO face-to-face day 2

Oct 30 started with a review of key events between now and the G8 with the expectation that we select 2-4 dates for common action/campaigning. These were to be events that were of international significance and not limited to some of any nations.

Key goals were for the launch of the campaign, a mid-term point and just prior to the G8.
to the right is the sheet explaining the goals and principles of the G8 NGO forum for 2008

A fellow from Germany did an extensive talk on the advocacy and lobbying methods. This was very interesting and very comprehensive. It gave me many ideas for our

The overview of the different collations and networks in Japan was a bit confusing to be sure. While introducing organizational priorities, point people and structures sometimes I felt people were a bit lost as to why with so many small groups did Japan need so many different network groups which often had many of the same members. I found this to be very informative and useful for giving a base to all discuss…

G8 NGO face-to-face meeting day 1

Oct 29-30 face-to-face meeting of NGOs from each of the G8 countries except France.
Very interesting and informative.
Get info about the G8 NGO forum here:

It started with an intro to the Japanese nonprofit ngo sector and the status of advocacy in Japan. Takumo from Oxfam J apparently did a great job and I wish I had not missed it. I would love to have him as a speaker in 2008. Reps from each of the other countries followed up with info on the progress of their work related to the MDGs and/or increasing ODA. This was very informative.

Session 5 started with an overview of objectives and the pillars of campaigning. Participants on the campaign we then started a break out session where groups of people from different countries shared campaign experience and talked about what worked and what did not. I worked with people from Japan and Italy. Very interesting!

A list was then compiled of the various tactics. When the lists were reviewed, the most apparen…

Sympo on migration and integration in Japan

This was an interesting 2-day event run by the German Institute for Japanese Studies

Drawing upon EU experience, they talked about demographic change and labor migration in Japan. Reflecting on their experience with rapid economic growth several speakers addressed the struggles faced with migrants. I missed the session on policy but I had low expectations of the government speakers. I wish I had heard more about the “guest-worker” system which has been controversial in many countries. Here in Japan, it is not such a talked about issue ミ yet.
I have one lingering question and that is if there is still any desire for the integration of immigrants in Japan. I did not sense that but I only attended two sessions.

I also agree with Prof Keiko Yananakaユs idea that it might also be good for Japan to look to other nations in the region to see how they have been dealing with migration and immigration. The EU examples presented seemed too …

Dangers from the right

I have often wondered about how the right wingers work and I still do not know but I do know that they do affect people working in the area of human rights and those more forward looking on migration. They must have a lot of free time on their hands but I was surprised to hear that people at some groups felt threatened.

One issue is that government officials might not know which orgs are legit or not and allow. If A organization says we are NGOs representing X view and B org says we represent another view they do not necessarily have the sophistication, experience or perhaps interest to discern the quality of data or information.

Another issue is the idea that ngo means anti- government to some people still. Not seeing that freedom of speech is important and that disagreement naturally comes out in dialogue. Sometimes in Japan it is not okay to agree to disagree ミ so disagreement puts you on the "outside".

the fear of threats or danger can still put our work in danger. even if …

Volunteer motivation workshop

I learned a lot from doing the Volunteer Mgt workshop on Sept 30

Reading a number of manuals on management and motivating people got me to rethink how much what Kyoko at JUCEE did was right on track and kept people coming back. i am so bad at the "valuing" part of the volounteer mgt. bit.

as one person said in my NGO mgt class recently - i am a bit too corporate - expecting people to do as much as i do and expect that everyone sees that volunteering is juts one type of job. you have outcomes to achieve and it is a commitment. a bit too idealistic maybe?

Keeping abreast of events supporting the people of Burma

On the afternoon of Sat. Sept 29 there was a Demonstration in front of the Burmese (Myanmarese) Embassy. I heard different reports on numbers but there were a lot of people there. There was also a march on Sunday Sept 30.

Funny that a picture of the candle light vigil made it to the cover of the IHT but not the Asahi.

The Japanese MoFA response to the murder of the Japanese journo seems very weak but reading the US media there is a clear lack of understanding of the region and spheres of influence. The boycotts and embargos will not work as long as they come from the minor trading partners. The US can stop all its trade and it will not have an effect. (like before)

Like with Sudan, we need to work with the Chinese government and others in the region. Nonprofit NGOs also need to play a role in pushing our governments to be more negotiation oriented.

Also of note - after the march on Sunday, approximately 20 members of the Burmese pro-democracy movement in Japan started a 48 hour hunger st…

The Elephant Man

Tokyo International Players announces their 111th Season Opener:

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance
Directed by Hamilton Armstrong.
Venue: Shinjuku Sun Mall Theater
Dates: October 12th, Friday 7:30 pm October 13th, Saturday 2:00pm* and 7:30 pm October 14th, Sunday 2:00pm* and 7:30 pm

A touching drama based on the life of Joseph Merrick, a remarkably sensitive and intelligent man trapped inside a hideously deformed body. This is an overwhelming story of immense human suffering, abuse, and final salvation thanks to largesse, kindness and humanity.
*There will be a special director's talk following the matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday.
For details see the flier or visit:

Steps to getting involved

Summary of the Japan Times article:
Simple steps to getting involved in the work of nonprofit NGOs here in Japan -

There are many opportunities and you do not have to start your own group. Despite the growth in interest by people young and old in volunteering people surveyed all noted that they need volunteers with the previously listed skill-sets.

Assess your interests, skills and experience. Ask yourself what you can offer an organization. Clarify your availability and commitment possibilities. Be honest about your ability to work in Japanese and in a Japanese environment. If you have no Japanese communication skills there are still groups out there - they are just fewer.

Get information: Foreign Executive Women’s Volunteering Directory ( and JANIC (Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation have information in English introducing organizations.

Take action: Go to even…

Trying to do a workshop (in English)

One of the most frustrating things about doing workshops in English is the fact some people will come thinking it is for English "brush up".

Three examples that make me what to holler:

1. Tonight I was asked how long I was an English teacher and I said that the class was not a language class but she did not get the point.
2. I did an all day workshop and the first person in talked about brushing up her English. Activist skills workshops will not help your English.

3. I kept getting emails from a woman who wanted me to check her grammar although after repeated attempt I had to tell her that this was not an English course but a course about the MDGs. It was in English because it was a training course for people who want to work in international orgs.

I just need to get used to this I guess.

Fall events for everyone!

September 30: the People for Social Change (PSC) will run its 10th forum including a panel discussion featuring speakers from NGOs working in the field of disaster prevention and relief and workshops –on education and volunteer management - all in English (

October 6 and 7: annual Global Festa, in Hibiya Park a 2-day event showcasing nongovernmental, international and governmental organizations working in international cooperation and development

October 27 & 28: the International FESTA Yokohama, another weekend with booths from many types of organizations. (

There are many events listings online in Japanese such as Yahoo Volunteer and NGO-Net - for English, try The Tokyo Community News:

Information about both of the Japan Times articles in Japanese

Tomoko from QQ*Respect Campaign recently wrote me about the JT articles.
She linked both on her C is for Curiousity Blog & wrote a short intro to the articles in Japanese.
Have a look:

An interesting point in reading this is that she assumes the article is for non-Japanese people only - even where there are general statements like - people not knowing where to start when they want to do some volunteer work.

Actually the Japan Times has a readership that inlcudes many - if not a majority - of Japanese readers. (It is much easier to read than the IHT/Asahi, for example, in terms of both language and issue information.)

So much work left to do here!

JICA's sports program for PWDs

On Tuesday Sept 25 I will do a workshop on action plan development for JICA's sports program for PWDs (people with disabilities) .

I will overvew program development including :
Background: local issues, needs statement, preconditions and possible obstacles Overall Goal developmentSetting Concrete ObjectivesIntroducing the BeneficiariesDescribing the impact on beneficiariesCreating an Action plan outline: step by step description, timelineDrawing up a budget needed, how to raise fundsHighlighting the Impact the Japan training on their Action Plan

Sept 18 Japan Times article

The Japan Times printed my second article on Tuesday Sept 18, 2007.

I had wanted to have something more activist oriented printed buti guess the final version is better for the general public. Will be working on how to get the word out on these .... have a look:

Looking on the bright side:
There's good news going unreported in the Japanese nonprofit sector


Summer surveys and articles - Japan Times Sept. 11

I get tired of people complaining and talking about how tough things are - so I wanted to focus on what things can be done. In the month of August - because i had some free time - i thought i would survey about 50 people i know who work in a wide array of nonprofit NGOs. They all gave me so much valuable information and ideas I could not use all thier ideas and comments - but I tried. I will be using other the data for one more article later on in the year.

Before I left for my summer holiday to Italia, I submitted 4 articles to three publications - 3 are being published this month.

The first one came out today - Sept 11 - in the Japan Times

The JT will print another article this month - on Sept 18.

Being A Broad Magazine is also printing one article in the September edition. See my other posting.

Once "Elephant Man" is done I will started doing a survey on Corporate - nonprofit NGO collaboration.

Being A Broad Article

One of my articles is featured in Sept 2007's Being A Broad magazine

Above is the draft - will pdf the final once I get the mag
If you see it around - be sure to pick it up!

Ueno NGO Matsuri

At this years Ueno NGO Matsuri , the PSC showed "Invisible Children"

I did not even know that our previous showing was covered by the Kyoto Journal, "PSC's screening of Invisible Children in Tokyo shows the spontaneous power of grassroots social change at the transnational level.",000things/123.html

About the Matsuri
This was the 4th annual Matsuri and 2nd time the PSC joined.
200+ people came to whole day open house sponsored by the nonprofit NGOs housed in the Maruko Bldg aka the "NGO biru."

For photos and event details check out:

About the showing:
We showed the DVD twice - at 11am and 2pm the one hour viewing was followed by 30 min. of discussion. Only 25 people attended but 7 NGO reps also joined and asked me how to get a copy.

Viewers were deeply moved and many people seemed interested in spreading the word about the situation these children face.

We had projector cable p…

Downloadable - e-books on trafficking in persons

Some of of you might be interested in finding out more about the background and complexities of trafficking in persons. I read this book which can be accessed by anyone online:

Poverty, gender and human trafficking in Sub-Saharan Africa

Trafficking in Africa: A Focus on Women and Children’ by. Thanh-Dam Truong and Maria Belen Angeles,. UNESCO (March 2005). ...... aspects of migration and human trafficking in SSA.

Tokyo Pride Parade 2007

6th Tokyo Pride Parade was held here in Tokyo on
Saturday, August 11, starting in Yoyogi Park

Olivia from Tokyo Amazons wrote an article with some good photos on the Fridae website :
Check it out:

Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP)

looking for applicants - would be great to get some Japanese NGO applicants this year.

The application for the 2008 session of the annual Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) at Columbia University is now available.

HRAP is designed to prepare proven human rights leaders from the Global South and marginalized communities in the U.S. to participate in national and international policy debates on globalization by building
their skills, knowledge, and contacts. The Program features a four-month residency at Columbia University in New York City with a structured curriculum of advocacy, networking, skills-building, and academic coursework.

Since 2004, HRAP has concentrated its support on individuals and organizations that address issues broadly related to globalization.

The four-month intensive capacity building program based at Columbia University in New York focuses on the following key issue areas:

* Environmental injustice
* Labor rights violations
* Abuses by multinational corporations
* Rami…

ICAAP meeting in Columbo

The 8th ICAAP was held Aug 19-23 in Columbo.

Within the theme "Waves of Change - Waves of Hope" the 8th ICAAP aims -
To enhance the local, regional and global response to HIV/AIDS by creating an opportunity:
• to achieve meaningful exchanges of expertise, experiences, advances, lessons learnt, challenges faced and successes achieved in HIV/AIDS programmes
• to form meaningful and sustainable partnerships between stakeholders at all levels
• to showcase achievements and successes and share best practices
• to empower and strengthen political, community and business leadership, adopting a consultative, collaborative and participatory approach
• to ensure that communities that are infected, affected and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and their families are free from stigmatization, marginalization and discrimination by addressing political, social, economic and cultural barriers…

Simple Steps to getting involved

There are many opportunities and you do not have to start your own group. Despite the growth in interest by people young and old in volunteering people surveyed all noted that they need volunteers with the previously listed skill-sets.

Assess your interests, skills and experience. Ask yourself what you can offer an organization. Clarify your availability and commitment possibilities. Be honest about your ability to work in Japanese and in a Japanese environment. If you have no Japanese communication skills there are still groups out there - they are just fewer.

Get information: Foreign Executive Women’s Volunteering Directory ( and JANIC (Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation( have information in English introducing organizations.

Take action: Go to events and meet people – don’t send emails. Go to volunteer orientation meetings, forums or networking events. Fin…

TUJ open house - Sat Sept 8

Learn all about TUJ Continuing Education, our instructors, and courses.
Find out more about the NGO mgt certificate program.

NGO Management Courses Fall 2007
Course No.DayTimeInternational English for NGOs - Introductory (cross listed)NGO101Tue19:10-21:00Local Action for Change - How Non Profit NGOs Tackle Social Issues in Japan NGO202Sat9:00-10:50Management Aspects and Issues of NGOsNGO601Mon19:10-21:00Introduction to Human Rights (8 Weeks)—September 22nd - November 17thIHR101Sat13:00-15:20Community Organizing for Social Change (One-day Workshop)—December 15thCOS101Sat10:00-17:00Environmental IssuesENV101Wed19:10-21:00
For more info and access info visit:

Dancing 4 AIDS orphans

I will be moderating the panel disucssion on Day 2 of the
Dancing for AIDS Orphans3-day fundraising event
A cutting edge event - the first of its kind in Japan.
Dancers are coming to Japan from many countries to help raise money for children in Africa whose futures have been compromised due to the AIDS epidemic.

Proceeds will go to:
Africa Japan Forum
Doctors of the World
Steven Lewis Foundation

You can get more info at:

Read about it in Metropolis:

Join in Yokohama!

Basic schedule

Open House and Dress Rehearsal
- Monday August 20, 2007
Open house from 1pm-6pm
Dress rehearsal 6pm-8pm

Open House & Matinee - Tuesday August 21, 2007
Open House 12pm-4 pm
Matinee Performance 5pm-8pm

About the demonstration and panel:
Explanation and demonstration of training children up to professionals. One can learn about the different techniques and styles by watching the dancers displaying what Ms. Char…

Issues to address with regards to advocacy in Japan

In discussing these points, I can understand the problems we in Japan faced with with global anti-TB campaign

1. Gaps between groups 1 => particularly the view that there are "service oriented orgs" and "other or activist orgs"

2. Gaps between groups 2 => Local activity vs. broader/global action/issue focused

3. Lack of funds, staff with experience and training for Advocacy

4. NGOs view of Advocacy leads to the assumption ミ false or not ミ that it should/can or shouldnユt/canユt be part of their work

5. Activities vary by genre (I did not really understand why this was a relevant point.)

6. Many - including funders - see ADV idea as anti-Government not non G

7. Celebrity power not involved in Advocacy (why this was important may have to do with the recent involvement of high profile people in the make poverty history campaign. )

8. Terminology limiting ミ no equivalent term, lengthy explanation often necessary

9. Lack of strong coalitions, the lack of collaboration on ac…

Workshop links

Am posting links for several of the materials I referred to in recent workshops
Find info on

Grant proposal writing
Community organizing
and teaching materials

Charles from Second Harvest Japan in Aera!

Everyone should check out the AERA interview with 2HJ's Charles McJilton. (AERA, July 30, 2007, no. 34, p. 64).
He is a such a charismatic person and it really comes through in the article.

For those of you who don't know, Second Harvest Japan distributes food to soup kitchens, orphanages, the elderly, emergency shelters, single mothers, the homeless, migrant workers, and many others.
Check out the 2HJ site for more info about they do :

Advocacy research

Satoru (from JACO) and i have been talking about putting together a publication on advocacy for about one year now. We have finally been able to get several people together to do some group discussion on some of the key themes such as what is advocacy and why it is necessary.

So much is taken for granted in the English word:
1. people can/should/have the right to speak out
2. speaking out is not "anti" government
* they represent us, they work for us, we pay thier salary, etc

3. people and citizen's groups can/should affect policy change
* we should be monitoring government, wathc dogs are important, so too are is our input for social change policy development

4. policy affects us whether or not we realise it.
* even small things like prioitising things like swimming or criteria for text books...

cathc more later once things come together

Microfinance training program

The Tokyo Distance Learning Center has info for an international micro finance training program

Microfinance Distance Learning (MFDL) package developed by UNCDF is available online at

Japan's new jury system

An interesting article from the NYTimes by Nori Onishi
About the new jury system planned to be implemented in 2009
* interesting for anyone interested in democratic development and citizensユ involvement

Japan Learns Dreaded Task of Jury Duty
Published: July 16, 2007

Tokyo's Refugee Film Festival

Kirill Konin was recently interviewed in the IHT/Asahi on July 14 - have a read about the Film Festival taking place here in Tokyo.

For more information on the Refugee Film Festival, including film times and venues, visit < >

Japan as a land of opportunity for NGOs?

I was told recently that I was " the most positive anti-establishment person X had ever met." I guess I could not be involved in this line of work if I did not believe that 1) we can make a difference and 2) there is a potential for real change.

I get into a discussion that often goes negative - when my aim is to be positive!

I see the fact that certain things many not be happening in a high profile manner -
- Advocacy, individual donors increasing, corp. community programming etc..
to be an opportunity - a chance to do something new.

No, this does not mean that things can be cut and pasted from other contexts from other countries. It does mean that we have many models from which to pick and choose and we can do new things by learning from others mistakes.

Online resources - readings and NGOs

Today i am posting some on line readings for people at Tsuda's intenrational development skills course. I am teaching this course on TU nights.
Since others might be interested in these i figured posting there here might be a good idea ...

July 10 - focus on refugees and related issues
Basic info on refugees - read any two,2

Refugees International

Refugees International Japan

July 17 - focus on Microfinance for poverty alleviation
Basic info…