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Seminar: Current Situation and Issues surrounding Single Parents and Children (Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture)

JEN has been supporting dining kitchens for children, “Shiokaze Kitchen” and “Shiokaze Dining”, operated by Social Welfare Council of Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture.

One out of seven children suffers poverty in Japan; especially the poverty ratio of single mother families exceeds 50%. “Shiokaze Kitchen” is a place where single parents, their children, volunteers, and staffs from Social Welfare Council of Miyako gather every month, cook, eat, and spend enjoyable time together, sometimes giving counsel each other. We are also aiming to have “Shiokaze Dining” which will be proactively held by those in the Miyako region.

About half of the participants of “Shiokaze Kitchen” are from families of single parents. This time, we invited Ms. Chieko Akaishi, President of “Single Mothers Forum”, to hold lectures named “Current Situation and Issues of Single Parents and their Children” and “Group Seminar for Families with Single Parents”, targeting those in the region who are supporting “Shiokaze Kitchen” and “Shiokaze Dining”.

Many people including social workers and governments joined this program!


We held a lecture in the morning. The former half of the lecture touched on the current situation and issues facing families of single parents and key points for supporters in offering counseling to them. In the latter half, we did “self-respecting training” where two people form a team and try to express shortcoming of each counterpart as strength. For instance, if someone’s shortcoming is “slow at work”, they can express it as “carefully and politely doing work”. Participants learned how important it is to focus on other people’s strengths in counseling and supporting others.


In the afternoon, we held “Group Seminar for Families with Single Parents”. Participants learned practical things such as the way to hold group seminar, key points in counseling, useful systems for families with single parents.

We were able to have a very meaningful seminar with positive comments from participants which will be useful for our activities going forward: “I was not able to proactively counsel others for the fear of hurting others’ feelings with my comments. Through this lecture, I felt encouraged to proactively counsel and support others going forward!”, “I’ll utilize what I learned from the seminar today in counseling others”, “I will learn about the systems for single parent families!”

workshop 01
workshop 02

August 14, 2018 in Tohoku earthquake |