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.
“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
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.
Place To Grow Values:
Inclusion in support
Shared experiences bring people together, “ working together for a common goal connects individuals and fosters community beyond the small problems of everyday life.
People Inspire People
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.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Fitness is a basic foundation for a healthy life, we believe children who learn the simple fundamentals of fitness will become more confident and empowered adults.
Place To Grow programs create life-changing opportunities for children – fostering communication and confidence through fitness & language exchange.
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.
The leadership Team of Place To Grow consists of three work streams:
Volunteers join according to personal interests and skills. Self development courses from public speaking, networking to NGO management are held throughout the year.
Kai Goldstein – Program Manager
Alexandra Fisker Van Venn – Marketing
Go Yabuno – Marketing
Claire Kim – Programs
Naomi Ledell – Marketing
Miray Waki – Administration
Ryusuke Suehiro – Administration
Programs workstream: the development and activation of serves our beneficiary & support communities.
Marketing workstream: exists to raise funds for the programs, and drives awareness of our work.
Administration workstream: acts towards welcoming and training volunteers, who lead and participate in Place To Grow projects.
Internship program with the American School In Japan engages high school students who are passionate about service learning, self development and Japan social impact. For more information please email email@example.com
Volunteer hours by “Role”
Takahara Building 4A, 1-6-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
22 Tomarihama, Utatsu, Minamisanriku-cho, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi, 988-0444