Students in foster care group homes visit Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare

BEYOND Tomorrow runs the program “Endeavor” for high school students protected from such dangers as abuse and neglect into foster care group homes. The one-year program provides financial aid as well as leadership opportunities for these youths. On October 21, 2019, 3 members of the programs along with 2 alums visited Katsunobu Kato, Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The 5 members made a presentation on their learning from the series of summer programs including the Summer Retreat in Minister’s Office. Under the theme of how high school students in foster care group homes would be able to proactively pursue their future career, they presented the outcomes of their discussion and action plans moving forward. The presentation included the proposal to share the experiences of foster care group home alums who made it to higher education with high school students currently in foster care group homes. They also emphasized the importance of communication between foster care group home staff and children across different homes.

Takaharu Fukuzawa, Faculty of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, alum of Aoyama High School, participated in this meeting. He moved to Southeast Asia when he was a junior high school student due to his family’s financial crisis and spent two years there without being able to go to school. With a strong desire to go to school, Takaharu returned to Japan by himself and entered the foster care group home. He took night classes to get a junior high school diploma, and got into high school. He started his freshman year at Hitotsubashi University in the spring of 2019. After the meeting with Minister, Takaharu commented, “I told Minister about my experience in Summer Retreat and also my project to open tutoring classes for junior high and high school students in foster care group homes. I was able to make a presentation to Minister with the special friends of BEYOND Tomorrow; I can talk about all my thoughts and past experiences with BEYOND Tomorrow friends – even things that I have never told my close friends in school. I received supportive words from Minister, and am so excited about making my new project a great success.”

*You can learn more about Takaharu’s project here