September 16, 2017


NPO Kids' Door Supports Learning to Help Kids Escape from Poverty

Keywords: Civil Society / Local Issues Education Well-Being 

Kids' Door website
Kids' Door website

Kids' Door was established in January 2007 to support children in Japan. The Japanese non-profit organization offers learning support programs for children, in collaboration with businesses, municipalities, corporations, individuals and students under the theme of "for the smiles of children across Japan." It works to build a society where all kids, even kids growing up experiencing poverty, can have dreams and hopes for the future.

Their ultimate goal is to make this a society where all kids know that they can play an active part in society, have hope for the future and not give up their dreams, regardless of their circumstances.

Child poverty is becoming a serious problem in Japan. According to the National Livelihood Survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in 2015, the poverty rate of children with a single parent was 50.8 percent, meaning that about one in two was facing poverty. A child in difficult living conditions may have no choice but to give up on higher education, which could lead to disadvantages when seeking a job, and in this way poverty can be passed on to the next generation. Kids' Door's tries to break this cycle by providing study support to kids so they can fully participate in society in the future.

Kids' Door has four main program activities: study support, Tohoku reconstruction support, creating an educated society, and information services.

The study support program offers learning opportunities for all kids. "Tada seminars," meaning free seminars, are run by student volunteer tutors to provide classes to prepare kids for school entrance exams. They are offered to kids who cannot go to cram schools because of their parents' financial situation. The seminars are popular because volunteer students support kids by talking and giving advice based on their own experience. The program also gives support for educational events and global education programs, by which participants can gain English proficiency and IT skills.

The aim of the Tohoku reconstruction support program is to encourage children in the disaster-affected areas to have future dreams and hopes. Besides the study support program, this program sends counselors to schools to deal with urgent cases and supports the rebuilding of communities in the affected areas, all in collaboration with central and local governments.

The program to create an educated society significantly expands support programs for kids in Japan. Under the Gakubora project, the office registers university students as volunteers and promotes volunteer activities by matching them with facilities, organizations, schools and households that need support for kids.

Under the information services program, Kids' Door compiles content from the enormous amount of information publicly available for children, parents, and guardians. The portal site includes a compilation of lists companies, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and other online sources of information for and relating to children.

These programs can help children benefit not only through study, but also by building strong emotional foundations. We hope to see the further expansion of their activities and efforts to solve child poverty problems in Japan.