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Minori Itabashi

Minori Itabashi

Program Coordinator, Ashinaga Uganda Rainbow House

Most of my research at college focused on cross-cultural differences specifically with regards to special needs support and the perception towards mental disabilities. After graduation, I flew to Barbados where I gained opportunities to work with at-risk children in educational settings such as special needs units in the schools, a psychiatric hospital, and both public and private organizations where I volunteered as a teaching assistant and a tutor and assisted in statistical research on the diagnosis of behavioural disabilities. I also began to do home visits for comprehensive support for children and guardians. There, I have witnessed the amazing strength of children, who are surviving poverty, neglect, abuse, or the death of their family. Throughout this, I believe children can be incredibly resilient. Indeed, their unique struggles can make them stronger, but only if they are adequately supported academically, financially, and mentally.

After my incredible year in Barbados, I started to work as a behavioural therapy practitioner in Japan where I learned to create educational plans based on children’s current skill set. Now, I work as a program coordinator at Ashinaga Uganda Rainbow House where I organize psychosocial care and literacy education programs. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work with children who are highly motivated to learn. Their smile and pure heart keep me passionate to create a safe space for them to dream and explore their possibilities freely.

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