PRESS RELEASE:Knights in White Lycra Celebrates #GivingTuesday and Pledges to Start Partnership with YouMeWe NPO to Help Vulnerable Children in Japan



Knights in White Lycra Celebrates #GivingTuesday and Pledges to Start Partnership with YouMeWe NPO to Help Vulnerable Children in Japan

Tokyo, Japan November 20,2018 – This #GivingTuesday, KIWL will celebrate giving by formally  partnering with YouMeWe NPO in 2019.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events [Black Friday and Cyber Monday], this year’s #GivingTuesday will take place on November 27th and will kick off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back.

About: Knights in White Lycra

The Knights in White Lycra is an amateur international group of men and women of all ages based in Japan who 'get fit and give back' through sport and social events. KIWL chooses a charity to support each year and specifically aims to provide funds to help improve the lives of children living in institutional care (children’s homes) in Japan. These are kids who have been abused, neglected or orphaned.

KIWL was formed in 2012 by long-term Tokyo resident Rob Williams and a few fellow overweight friends, realizing they needed to get fit but also wanted to give back. During a lively karaoke session, the famous 60’s hit ''Nights in White Satin'' gave birth to a name for a bicycle ride they never thought they would repeat.

In April 2013, they completed their maiden 330km cycling voyage to Minamisoma to raise funds for the Tohoku recovery. Six annual rides later, and after many fringe events, the Knights have raised over Y51 million for disadvantaged children in Japan.

Running KIWL in his spare time with Andrew Abbey and William Ramsay, Chair & Founder Rob Williams is often asked why KIWL continues to be so successful. “Seeing participants gain great personal satisfaction from achieving big physical feats, and the people who are moved and inspired by actually meeting the children for whom they are raising funds, are the key factors why KIWL continues to grow and participants keep coming back year after year”.

In 2019, KIWL is delighted to partner with YouMeWe as it helps disadvantaged kids living in children’s homes in Japan. This is a natural pathway for KIWL, given its recent association with Mirai no Mori, another excellent NPO working with Japanese children’s homes. In particular, the manner in which YouMeWe provides children with practical and employable skills for adult life, are the main driving factors behind KIWL’s decision to partner with YouMeWe next year.


“Our flagship fundraising event is the 4-day 500km bicycle ride which will take place between June 13-16 2019” said Williams. “We expect up to 50 people to participate in the ride. Each cyclist is expected to raise funds and the corporate sponsors featured on the official jersey are major contributors to funds raised”. KIWL will also host a walk, quiz, golf, marathon running, and a futsal event as part of its year-long calendar -- a little something for everyone.

KIWL is holding an information night on December 5th at Rapha’s store in Tokyo to allow new riders who are interested in the 500km event to learn more and ask questions. Formal commitment is not requested until end of January 2019, after which the final selection of riders is made if it’s over-subscribed. If you wish to join, please email Rob Williams,

About YouMeWe NPO


Our primary mission is to help children growing up in institutionalized homes prepare for life outside the home once they reach the age of 18. We offer support programs that increase a child's opportunity to become a productive and financially independent young adult in their community. This means helping kids develop and hone critical skills such as language, writing, digital literacy, etc., and ultimately increase confidence levels that can lead to new opportunities and choices in the future. Providing tutoring support, internship opportunities, as well as guidance on university/technical school options will offer children another critical layer of support as they start to make plans for their future. Developed skill sets, solid communication abilities, and a thorough understanding of their options will help set kids on the right path towards successful independence.

This is no easy task for any child, but it can prove especially challenging for kids without continual 1:1 attention. It is our hope that by providing educational and mentoring-based support, we will be improving their overall chances.


For the past decade we have been working closely with many children's homes in the Tokyo area to better understand each home's needs, unique environments and the interests of their kids. Further, we continue to learn about the various challenges each home faces and try to determine how we can best work together to develop support solutions. It is important to note that without first understanding the dynamic of each home and getting to know the staff and children, we would not be able to create effective and lasting support programs. The other element to achieving our mission is engaging the local community - through volunteering their expertise and time - as well as specific financial donations across the different programs.


Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y – a community and cultural center in New York City − #GivingTuesday inspired millions of people to give back and support the causes they believe in. Over $300 million was raised online to benefit a tremendously broad range of organizations, and much more was given in volunteer hours, donations of food and clothing, and acts of kindness.

“We are incredibly inspired by the way the #GivingTuesday community has embraced this concept for a worldwide movement,” said Henry Timms, founder of #GivingTuesday and Executive Director of 92Y. “As we prepare for November 27, we’re energized and encouraged by the community’s generosity. The levels of creativity, effort and the quality of the new ideas people have contributed and shared are phenomenal.”

Those who are interested in joining this #GivingTuesday initiative can visit Peatix: For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (, Facebook page ( or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter.

To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit: