January 29, 2004


Dropouts and Reclusive Students Given Help Through Environmental Education Programs

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Education Government NGO / Citizen Policy / Systems 

Programs based on experiencing the natural environment are becoming more popular in Japan as a way to help dropouts and reclusive students end their self-imposed isolation. The Youth Support Center (YSC) in Fussa City, Tokyo, a non-profit organization that has been giving support to young dropouts and recluses for nearly 30 years, started a 3-year pilot program commissioned by the Japan Environment Corporation (JEC) this year.

This pilot program, called the "Natural Wind Partnership Program," embodies the hope that relationships based on mutual respect between nature and children can be built. Through home visits, the center provides information on the program and invitations to join its activities to students under 18 who shut themselves up in their rooms and their families.

The program offers two kinds of field activities in which participants can learn about the wonders of nature and perceive changes in nature and themselves. The center organizes camp activities such as making bamboo charcoal and composting fallen leaves, but intends to eventually allow the children to plan and implement activities on their own, in the hope that they will steadily regain their interest in life.

Posted: 2004/01/29 09:08:18 AM
Japanese version