News from the “US-Japan Alumni Project”

♦♦US-Japan Alumni Teams’ collaboration continues with brand new objectives!!

IFCA Alumni Project  “2013 Year in Review”, Current Activities and Future Plans

In 2013, IFCA had a year filled with new friendship and adventure.

The most memorable event was our trip to Japan in September.

IFCA’s 3 talented foster care alumni members, Tim, Janice and Valerie, travelled with us during the extraordinary 12 days.

In Tokyo, the alumni team did 3 separate workshops for audiences that included foster youth, foster parents and child welfare professionals. After just a few days of hiking in Mount Fuji and strolling in the ancient cities of Kyoto, and Nara the alumni members met the 4-member IFCA-Japan Alumni Team in Osaka where the International Foster Care Organization’s (IFCO) World-wide Foster Care Conference was being held.

Sang-Won and Tim in Osaka, Japan

Sang-Won and Tim in Osaka, Japan

The two teams collaborated on a workshop focused on aging out of the foster care systems in the US and Japan.  Being able to share their past foster care experiences and to discuss issues surrounding “foster care to independence” with peers beyond their cultural and linguistic differences gave these young people a strong bond and feelings of confidence and resilience.

The 3 US Alumni Team members have years of youth leadership experience.  Using their own voices and abilities, they advocated for the improvement of their peer foster youth’s rights and the foster care system.  Learning about the Japanese foster care reality was a revelation for these American alumni.

In Japan, unlike in any other economically advanced countries, 90 % of foster children still live in large-scale institutions until they age out of the system. In addition, foster youth and alumni are not given adequate opportunities to voice their viewpoint. Due to the consistent isolation from the outside world of these facilities, youth have difficulty earning livable wages.

Back in their own countries, the US and Japan Alumni Teams are moving forward with their brand new steps.  They will start with building a bilingual blog to continue their foster care discussion and to maintain their connection.

IFCO-Workshop Leaving the Foster Care System by IFCA US-Japan Alumni Teams

IFCO Workshop titled 
“Leaving the Foster Care System”  by the IFCA US-Japan Alumni Team Panelists

As Japan faces United Nation’s warnings to improve its treatment of children, the US alumni team will help the Japanese alumni team write a UN counter report focusing on the difficulties that they face during their youth-adult transition.

We are focusing our fundraising on the IFCA-Japan Alumni Team’s first visit to the US in the spring of 2014.   The team’s goal is to gain knowledge from the American youth advocacy and youth leadership development programs to bring back to their own country.     Onward!

Please see the DONATION page of this website for our new fundraising campaign!    

IFCA-Japan Alumni Team needs your help in sending their members to the US.             

 

How to Submit Your Work

Currently, our NPO is inviting foster youth and alumni to send their essays, poems, and art works. A stipend ($100) will be given...

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