1 person is all it takes at YouMeWe to make a difference and that person is Iva Mekki. She started on a journey from Nihonbashi to Kyoto because she heard that only 5% of the children living in institutional homes have access to WiFi. She learned that only 16% vs the national average of 60% go on to university. She walked.....for 30 days from Nihonbashi to Kyoto along the 53 stations of Tokaido 459 kilometers spreading the word of www.youmewenpo.org There are over 600 homes in Japan with 30,000 children.
YouMeWe is a NPO to help the children not only gain access to WiFi but once they have access, to take a career assessment test to open up their eyes to the horizon of possibilities in their futures. We request all children in the homes we have relationships with at 15 years old to take the career assessment test and once completed, we offer English training through www.nightzookeeper.com and are currently in the process of matching them with mentors in the community who can work with them from 15-18 in order to prepare them for a job after they leave high school.
Iva Mekki is started her Iva C.A.R.E.S. (Curiousity, Action, Reflection, Embracing and Sharing) 1 year journey across the 47 Prefectures in March 2018.
Starting from watching NHK documentaries with an elderly friend every morning, Iva's deep curiosity of Japan and its people has been sparked and she has now made it a mission to visit every prefecture of Japan by foot.
Along the way, she stopped by homes and spread the news of YouMeWe NPO and collected origami cranes from children with their own curiosities written on it, so that they may be inspired to explore what deeply interests them too.
Below are origami cranes and curiosities collected from children in Matsubaen homes in Tokyo.
Her journey started by from the historical Nihonbashi in Tokyo, and followed the Tokaido route to Kyoto, along the famous 53 stations. This trip has brought us to our 10th anniversary of Designing Artists Academy in Summer "The HeART of the city" where we have artists volunteering to teach the children of the homes various art forms over a week and a half.
Our 53 Stations of IOT
In order to scale the DIGITAL CITIZENS program for YouMeWe NPO , we endeavored on a funding campaign along with Iva to raise funds for the orphanages.
With the funds raised we will support the children’s homes between Nihonbashi and Kyoto (or homes in Tokyo and Nagoya) in collaboration with Santa & Friends through the purchase of items or services that they need for the homes, and for our annual DAA Arts Camp.