We are Dream times Possibility(DxP), a certified non-profit organization based in Osaka in Japan.
We strive to provide high school students who are unable to feel hopeful about their future with opportunities to experience success, and to communicate and bond with people.
(Photo: Our members and supporters at our 3rd anniversary party)
What we want to achieve with this project
We have two objectives of things we’d like to change in Japan: a high dropout rate of part-time high school students, and providing employment guidance and financial support to these types of students. There are a significant number of part-time high school students in Japan who struggle because of low-income situations and domestic violence. The dropout rate for first year students is 21%- 14 times the average rate for full-time high school students. Many of these cases are due to circumstantial, regretful reasons. In Japan, not having a high school diploma severely limits future employment options. Moreover, without a place or an organization to belong to, such as a school or a workplace, it becomes even more difficult for these types of students to move forward in life, causing higher rates of unemployment.
Secondly, it’s difficult for students who have financial issues to secure employment after graduating high school.
Many students in this situation are unable to pursue further academic studies or secure long-term employment and end up settling for less-stable, casual, or unofficial positions. For these reasons, many students feel pessimistic about their future as they hold little prospect of higher income.
The reason why I decided to start this project
D×P came about by Noriaki Imai because of his own life experiences. Noriaki used to be a Hikikomori (defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as an "abnormal avoidance of social contact") in Japan between the ages of 18 to 23 years old. It all started in 2004 when Noriaki was taken hostage in Iraq by the Iraqi Resistance. When he returned to Japan, he was told: “you should not come back to Japan,” and “you should die because the Government tried to help you using our tax money.” Due to this terrible experience, Noriaki became a Hikikomori. When he recovered from this condition, he met many other high school kids who had dropped out or had poverty issues, which inspired him to start this NPO.
(Photo: Noriaki Imai at the time of foundation)
Activities so far
We think the cause of the high dropout rate is because students are not able to build human relationships, that is to say, people you can trust and talk with. So we help build human relationships within schools by holding a class called “Crescendo,” where students can meet up and talk with volunteer members of the community. These classes are designed to foster a positive mindset towards the idea of “working” by creating an opportunity to meet trustworthy adults and lowering the stumbling block to communicating with others.
The number of students who have participated in our program reached 800 people in 2015. Our program has improved the social capital index (supportive human relations for students to take action), which was measured from surveys. The criteria for measuring social capital was developed in collaboration with a professor from Nagoya University and includes criteria such as “a sense of belonging within a classroom”, “close friends at school”, “close friends from previous schools”, and so on. Due to our efforts, the percentage of students who answered that they wanted to move forward with their lives after graduation increased to 70.8%.
(Photo: Students enjoying talking with volunteer members of our program)
Use of funds
We will use these donations for holding classes in public high schools in Osaka, mainly because there are many students who live in poverty, especially in Osaka, and the schools there have no budget or time for supporting such activities. Through these donations, we can introduce our program to more schools that don’t have a budget for this kind of program. The outcome of our mid-term classes (social changes we aim to introduce in the mid- to long-term future) shows improved grade advancement rate and has reduced the number of students dropping out. We plan to introduce the same program into other part-time high schools. We aim to reduce first-year dropouts from the current 21% to under 10% in part-time high schools across Japan.
(Our future map in Japan)