Living Dreams is about doing more than one can even imagine. Living Dreams was established as a non-profit organization with the dream of making a real difference in the lives of orphans living across Japan’s 552 “Children’s Homes.” With more than 30,000 orphaned children and a continued rise in reports of child abuse, there’s a lot of work to be done.
The reality for these children is discouraging:
- More than 50% of these orphaned children are victims of child abuse
- Most of them suffer from a general lack of motivation
- Only about 8% go onto higher-education programs (the national average is 49.7%)
- Once the kids leave these homes, most can only get low-wage jobs that often won’t even cover rent
- The homes are unable to ensure that every child gets constant personalized care from a positive adult figure
However, the tough work these homes have undertaken should also be recognized:
- They are typically well-run institutions
- They provide a safe and clean environment, as well as the basics of food and clothing
- Even the most institutionalized homes try to provide some semblance of family life
- Staff members often go the extra mile: raise money for field trips,buy presents, contribute towards college or rent when kids leave the home
he safe, caring and clean environment is a basic but falls short in addressing finer issues. Most of these kids still lack the guidance, skills and tools that will give them the courage to dream of a better life. They are still trapped in a life that will be mediocre, at best. It’s an even bigger challenge to reach out to those children who are dealing with issues of guilt, abandonment and anger due to abuse.
This is exactly where somebody—somehow—needs to go the distance for these children: Break barriers. Feed their brains. Fire their imagination. They most truly deserve a real opportunity to express themselves, realize their potential—and to dream big.
Our mission at Living Dreams is to do just that: to create consistent opportunities for children to help them find inspiration, build confidence and receive critical guidance and support. Through Learning, Sports, Arts, and Technology, children can acquire expansive skills and enjoy positive experiences. It is our hope that these programs will help shape their dreams and give them the courage to follow them through.
Today Living Dreams works closely with 33 orphanages in Tokyo—identifying specific needs for each home. Yearly interviews are conducted to assess the home’s greatest needs, and from there, we work with the community to provide each home with varied access to enrichment programs.