About us

The Place to Grow project is a key part of our long term strategy to bring individuals in beneficiary communities together and connect inspired volunteers with survivors. 

OUr mission

Place to Grow is
A 100% volunteer-led nonprofit that strives to connect and inspire a rising generation of leaders in disaster-stricken Tohoku communities.

Founded in 2011 in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear disasters, Place To Grow has developed from a first responders emergency aid organization, to providing long term community support.

Our Mission: To inspire the next generation of Tohoku 

“We believe People Inspire People, and while you cannot empower another human, you can inspire them to choose self empowerment.”  – Angela Marie Ortiz, NGO Founder 

Place To Grow Values:

  1. Inclusion in support 
  2. People Inspire People
  3. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Peer To Peer role models inspire us to pursue a life of self development and empowerment. 

Role models inspire us to choose hobbies, academic pursuits, travel experiences, career paths and more…

Many children growing up in post disaster areas are living in societies recovering from collective trauma. 

The former way of life, the roles and careers are no longer an option. 

The parents are rebuilding,  the infrastructure and also the traditions, events and moments that make up the social fabric.

Outside volunteers bring energy and emotional respite to these survivors by continuing to show up. 

The Place To Grow program creates life-changing opportunities for children – fostering communication and confidence through language exchange and fitness. Parents are included in the learning experiences and in the leadership of program contents.  The combination of regular events that lead up to a larger community wide event serves as a platform for connection that allows survivors to draw strength and inspiration from. Place To Grow Volunteers visit small communities in Miyagi prefecture on a monthly basis, to hold workshops and community planning events with local families; children and the city leaders.

The annual Santa Soul Train project, spans 3 days in December and brings together the wider community – fostering solidarity, community spirit and connections.  1500 children in Tohoku and Tokyo are currently part of this pen-pal style project. 

Inspiring the next generation of Tohoku through language Exchange & Fitness. 

The leadership Team consists of three teams:

Programs; the development and activation of serves our beneficiary & support communities. 

Marketing; exists to raise funds for the programs, and drives awareness of our work.

Administration; acts towards welcoming and training volunteers, who lead and participate in Place To Grow program.

*Interns are students from international schools who support mostly from home/own time, but also meet in person and can visit Tohoku.

Volunteer hours by “Role”

  • Leaders *approximately 6-8 hours per month
  • Interns *approximately 3-5 hours per month

Organization Name: 
特定非営利活動法人Place to Grow
Registration Number法人番号5011005006522

 Tokyo Office:
Takahara Building 4A, 1-6-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
Telephone: 090-6851-5834

Minamisanriku Office:  
22 Tomarihama, Utatsu, Minamisanriku-cho, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi, 988-0444
Telephone: 090-6851-5834