Enjoy your life in Japan more by getting involved in Japan Charities. There are many volunteer opportunities to give time and or money to support great causes. I have curated a list of 10 Japan charities to help you find one just right for you. If you would like to nominate an additional charity, please send me an email via the contact form. Give and enjoy life more!
Japan Charities - Volunteer Opportunities
2. CWAJ – College Women’s Association of Japan – A dynamic, progressive organization, the College Women’s Association of Japan promotes education and fosters multicultural friendships. CWAJ offers volunteer and leadership opportunities to Japanese and foreign women focused on education an intercultural activities. CWAJ’s primary mission is the provision of Scholarships for women wanting to further their studies both in Japan and overseas. Other scholarships are open to both men and women: those for visually impaired students and for Fukushima nursing students. These scholarships are funded by donations and by the proceeds from the annual CWAJ Print Show, an annual exhibition and sale of Japanese contemporary prints which was organized for the first time in 1956. Over the past five decades, more than 800 women from 35 countries have received CWAJ funds to study outside their home countries.
3. Hands on Tokyo was founded in December 2006 by a group of Japanese and foreign nationals who are committed to making volunteer activities more accessible and committed to accelerating the growth of volunteerism in the Tokyo area. Hands On Tokyo collaborates with many local organizations to encourage senior citizens, revitalise playgrounds, deliver food to the hungry, support people with visual impairment, inspire children in children’s homes, and the list goes on. Overcoming language barriers, we developed a bilingual volunteer clearinghouse so that we can work together for a common purpose. Once a year Hands on Tokyo holds a large fund-raising auction and raffle event usually in November. Throughout the year there area also smaller events.
Email for information on how to get involved: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Japan Relief for Cambodia & World Assistance for Cambodia was launched in Tokyo in 1993 to provide humanitarian aid to Cambodia. It was founded by longtime Tokyo-based American journalist, Bernie Krisher. Bernie reported on Cambodia during the early 1960s for Newsweek and became friends with Prince Sihanouk. Sihanouk was ousted by a coup d’etat in 1970 and civil war ensued. Bernie flew to Cambodia with his daughter, Debbie, to welcome Sihanouk back home. What Bernie and Debbie saw was a country decimated by war. That’s when Bernie decided to do something. He has launched a daily newspaper; built a charity hospital that provides medical care free of charge; established an orphanage for children whose parents have died of HIV/AIDS; built more than 550 rural schools all over Cambodia (many equipped with computers and internet access); set up school vegetable gardens that provides meals to students before classes; initiated the Girls Be Ambitious program that now supports hundreds of girls by enabling them to receive an education; and created a magnet scholarship program for academically talented students to pursue higher education.
Email for information on how to get involved: email@example.com
5. Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) was founded in 1973, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing world-class, effective support and counseling services to Japan’s international community and helping to address the country’s growing mental health care needs. TELL offers the TELL lifeline which is free, anonymous telephone counseling and support across Japan. 9:00 – 23:00 daily; TELL Counseling professional face-to-face counseling and psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families in Tokyo and Yokohama; and, TELL Outreach programs and support for international and multi-cultural families. Tell holds an annual wine auction in the fall, a charity run in the spring and numerous other events. TELL offers a training program for volunteers to support the phone lines and also an excellent program called Exceptional Parenting Program which offers 5 seminars each academic year on various parenting issues.
Email for information on how to get involved: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Shine On! Kids is dedicated to making life better for kids with cancer and other serious illnesses in Japan and their families. Shine On! Kids (formerly The Tyler Foundation) was incorporated as a Non-Profit Organization under the laws of Japan in July 2006 and has been supported entirely by private and corporate donations. The creation of the organization was inspired by the smiles and courage of Mark and Kim Ferris’ son Tyler, who spent much of his short life battling a very difficult-to-cure kind of leukemia. After they lost Tyler, they realized there were many ways to take Tyler’s struggles and their experience and create something positive for families going through what they had endured. While the level of medical treatment in Japan is one of the best in the world, the area of patient support is still relatively undeveloped. The organization hopes to redefine the concept of patient support in Japan to create a complete patient support system: from the moment of diagnosis, throughout treatment and even after discharge from the hospital. Shine On! Kids holds two major fundraising auctions/events per year, as also has ongoing fund drives to raise money for the Facility Dog and Beads of Courage® programs.
7. Playground of Hope aims to restore the “social fabric” of disaster-affected and or economically challenged communities through the power of play. Playground of Hope provides cost effective play equipment and the pairing donors with local volunteers to build play spaces that restore community pride and help make communities “livable” again for children, their parents, and grandparents. The project was launched on April 1, 2012, and currently has completed 23 locations – see completed project here. Please make a donation or consider volunteering your physical labor at the next build.
Email for information on how to get involved:email@example.com
8. Japan Association for Refugees – Although Japan has far fewer refugees vs. other developed nations, the number has been growing steadily and now has reached about 1,000 people a year. A refugee is a person who had to escape from their home country to protect his or her life from persecution. However, what they face in Japan is quite different from the peaceful new life that they had dreamed of. They do not understand the Japanese language and laws. In isolation and uncertainty, refugees have to survive while waiting for their refugee status to be granted. It usually takes 2 to 3 years, with some cased taking more than five years. Japan Association for Refugees (JAR)’s mission is to make Japan a safe and hospitable place for refugees and asylum seekers and empower refugees to become self-sufficient residents of Japan for an independent livelihood. There are three ways you can support JAR.
9. Habitat for Humanity mobilizes local leadership and resources to expand access for all people to decent, affordable shelter. Typically, volunteers and home partners work together through Habitat for Humanity affiliates to build or renovate houses. In this process, Habitat forgoes making a profit on loans through interest, putting value instead on meeting human need. Long-term housing security for a family, typically homeownership, is the expected result. Habitat for Humanity offers Japan and Asia volunteer opportunities.
10. Run For A Cure is a registered NPO with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government since 2004. Our mission is to eradicate breast cancer in Japan as a life-threatening disease through education, timely screening, and treatment. Through our activities, the Foundation funds education initiatives, clinical examinations and mammography machines; donates funds to organizations that promote activities specific to the mission of the Foundation; and develops and executes community outreach programs. We have donated six mammography machines to six clinics in areas where women are underserved, more than 14,000 women have benefited from mammograms, with over 3,600 funded screenings. The Foundation holds three annual events open to the general public to raise funds in support of our cause.
Email for information on how to get involved: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: Run For A Cure
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13. ARK (Animal Rescue Kansai) – ARK is a non-profit, non-governmental private organization with the aim of forming a network of people who love animals, believe in sharing their lives with them, and who work actively to rescue them from suffering. ARK was established in 1990 and became officially recognized as an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) in September 1999 and became an accredited nintei in 2016. In 2008, ARK was accepted as an International Associate Member of the RSPCA.
ARK receives all funding for its activities from the donations and membership fees of the general public. We have approximately 30 staff members and receive support from volunteers who understand our activities. Our staff depends on our many volunteers because ARK is dedicated to not only the care of the animals but also to maintaining our facilities for the animals.