Bridge For Smile

Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 107-0062 Japan

Mission Statement

児童養護施設から社会に巣立つ子どもたちが、未来への希望を持って生きられるよう支援する活動を、持続的かつ発展的に行っています。Bridge for Smile (B4S) supports foster children who cannot depend on their parents to overcome disparities in “hope” and “security” and gain the courage to face the future.We envision a society in which every foster child can live in happiness.

About This Cause

虐待、貧困、親の病気などの理由で親と暮らせず、児童養護施設や里親家庭などで過ごす子どもたちは、18歳になると一人で社会に巣立ちます。お金や仕事のちょっとしたつまずき、寂しさ、不安……。悩みに直面したときも、一人で抱え込み、孤立してしまうことも少なくありません。 子どもたちの明るい未来をつくるのは、大人の責任です。私たちは、親を頼れない子どもたちが、安心して巣立ち、希望を持って歩める社会を目指しています。 ◆親を頼れない子どもたちの巣立ち支援 社会に巣立つ子どもたちが健全に自立できるよう支援します。子どもたちが巣立ちの際に直面する「生活スキルが足りない」「相談相手がいない」「働くことがイメージできない」などの課題を解決するためのさまざまなプログラムを提供しています。 ◆巣立ちをガイドする伴走者の育成 子どもたちを支える大人が、必要なスキルや知識を身に付け、継続的に伴走できるよう、研修や運営体制を整えています。長年の支援でつちかったノウハウを活かした、ボランティアのスキルアップ研修や、児童養護施設職員・里親向けのセミナーも行っています。 ◆広報・啓発活動 社会的養育への正しい認識と関心を広め、親を頼れない子どもたちが安心して社会に巣立つことができる社会をつくるため、情報発信や広報活動、調査研究などを行っています。 In Japan today, the child guidance offices cannot keep up with the continuing increase in child abuse. There are not enough group homes and foster families to take in the abused children. While some children go unnoticed in their homes and are not even put under temporary protection, 45,000 others who cannot live with their parents due to reasons such as abuse, parental illness, and/or parental imprisonment live in group homes or with foster families. When these children turn 18 years old, they must leave their foster placements (“nests”) and stand on their own two feet. In most families, the parents (“parent birds”) teach their children (“chicks”) how to “fly” and “feed themselves” before sending them off on their own. However, foster children who cannot depend on their parents must leave their “nests” when they turn 18 without proper preparation or practice. In addition, they are no longer eligible to receive governmental assistance. Financial problems, small stumbles at work, loneliness, anxiety… When faced with these issues, many children struggle alone, keeping their thoughts bottled up inside. Unable to confide in anyone, they often find themselves in deeper trouble. Once these children leave their foster placements, they lose their “nests” to return to for temporary comfort when they become ill or lose their jobs. In order for youths to maintain their motivation and feel secure facing the world on their own, it is critical that they are prepared. Bridge for Smile programs teach junior high and high school students living in foster care the skills necessary to live on their own. We also aim to boost their interest in, and motivation towards working. Below are our representative programs: ◆“Sudachi” (leaving the nest) Project A program that teaches high school seniors basic skills for living independently This is Bridge for Smile’s flagship program for high school seniors facing independence in the immediate future. It is a series of 6 seminars, 1 seminar every month for 6 months. Bridge for Smile has been running this program ever since its establishment. Same-aged youths from various group homes gather for this seminar together with almost an equal number of adult volunteers to support them. They gain knowledge and skills necessary to live on their own including how to move houses, keep track of finances, and protect themselves from danger. The youths also learn how to build relationships with people they meet for the first time. These seminars serve as a place for the youths to find fellow peers with whom they can confide in after “leaving their nests.” ◆Internship A multiple day internship experience to learn about interests and strengths This is a program where youths go “into the field” for a few days as interns and learn about a job firsthand. Together with Bridge for Smile’s contact at the internship company, the youths’ group home staff, and Bridge for Smile staff, the youths set their goals before the internship and review their experiences afterwards. This program not only nurtures perspectives on working but also gives the youths confidence that they have been “trusted” and “recognized,” leading to growth. ◆Training Guides to Support Departure We ensure that adults supporting children acquire necessary skills and knowledge to accompany them continuously by organizing training and operational structures. Utilizing expertise accumulated over many years of support, we conduct volunteer skill enhancement training and seminars for staff of child care facilities and foster parents. ◆Public Relations and Awareness Activities To foster correct understanding and interest in societal childcare and create a society where children who cannot rely on their parents can confidently leave the nest, we engage in information dissemination, publicity activities, and research. ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー Benevityを通じたブリッジフォースマイルへのご寄付につきましては、ブリッジフォースマイルから領収証の発行はしておりません。寄付金控除などの税制優遇措置をご希望で、ブリッジフォースマイルからの領収証をご希望の方は、ブリッジフォースマイルのホームページから直接ご支援をお申し込みいただけますと幸いです。 Regarding donations to Bridge for Smile through Benevity, please note that Bridge for Smile does not issue receipts. If you wish to receive a receipt for tax deduction purposes or any other reason, we kindly ask you to support Bridge for Smile directly through their website. Your understanding and cooperation are greatly appreciated. ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

Bridge For Smile
Pasona Square, 3-1-30 Minami-Aoyama Minato-Ku
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
Phone 81-3-6842-6766
Unique Identifier B_5J5R6MX9C3