Young people are facing great social and relational challenges in Japan today. They are in many ways the most vulnerable group in society. As many as one million young people are hikikomori. Hikikomori is a term to describe the large numbers of people refusing to study or work or even leave their homes during the day in total rejection of society. Young people are the fastest growing portion of the more than 30,000 people who commit suicide every year. In addition social problems such as ijime (bullying) and enjo kosai (teenage prostitution) make life feel unlivable or dangerous for many young people today. CBI Japan is seeking to establish a “safe space” for young people in the downtown Nagoya area called “The Heart & Soul Cafe.” This will be a place where young people can come to receive tutoring, practice various languages with native speakers, have fun in a safe environment, get to know others, receive counseling and learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will include an English school, multi-media, and educational resources aimed at improving the lives of young people in downtown Nagoya. The cafe will be staffed mainly by staff (seminary students) and volunteers (both Japanese and foreigners).
Funds will go toward the building of the cafe kitchen, furnishing the cafe, and supporting Japanese cafe staff.