Whether it’s because of the unstable employment nowadays or more sensitivity to society’s needs, more young people in Japan are preferring career development in non-profit organizations. NPO workers claim that working in organizations with advocacy to improve society can still be rewarding, although there is no guarantee for stable employment.
A survey conducted by the Cabinet Office in 2012 revealed that 36 percent of around 8,300 NPOs in the country depended on donations as well as subsidies. Although a lot of NPOs are dependent on donations, young people still opt to work for a cause with little return. According to Professor Hideo Yamagashi from the Hosei University, more young people are working for the sake of their happiness as being a company or government employee is no longer stable. This may be their best shot in pursuing their passion for an advocacy. “Because NPOs face tough challenges that cannot be addressed by means of capital or publicity, support from [members’] families and friends is important,” Prof. Yamagashi said.
One of the workers of Terra Renaissance, an NPO advocating that “all lives can live in peace,” is 26-year old Yoshinori Kurita, a graduate of Ritsumeikan University. Kurita has been a volunteer of the NPO even when he was still in college. He was even sent to Uganda when he was still in his third year of college. His volunteer work involved helping children who have become child soldiers of the country. Now in charge of Terra Renaissance’s public relations, Kurita said, “What we can do is limited, but I feel we are contributing to the future of children.”
Collable, an NPO based in Tokyo, was founded by Sayuri Yamada. The NPO aims to encourage interaction between physically and mentally disabled people, as well as those without any disability. The 24-year old, who graduated from the University of Tokyo, has brothers diagnosed with autism. The development disability has always been misunderstood by most people and society, an event that Yamada herself witnessed. “I opted for independence to pursue my own vision,” Yamada said on her intention to make Collable her “lifework.” But she claims that she’s still learning how to manage the NPO, including her five volunteers, while taking charge of Collable’s accounts.