Showing posts from July, 2007

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…

Last CGP Fellowship training

on Saturday i completed my last training for the CGP nonprofit Fellowship.

It has been fun and useful for me too to meet new people and share ideas in order to help them with thier fellwoships. Sad that this is the last Fellowship program. I think we could still use more study and intenraitonal collabroation support but i am not sure of the environment for this now.

When JUCEE finished its 6th NPOP and 7 th IP programs it was sad but the numbers of people still communcating and working in the nonprofit sector here are quite large.

The last time we talked about this was in 2005:

FYI - don't bother looking atthe JUCEE website - it is a mish mash of old info. sadly JUCEE closed down in 2005.