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 events and meet people – don’t send emails. Go to volunteer orientation meetings, forums or networking events. Find out how they work, their vision and if this is the group for you. Join trainings and workshops to increase your skills and knowledge.

Make the commitment. Once you know that the opportunities are, stick with the group right for you. Then just get started.

Start now:
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:


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