WaNavi Japan is a non-profit organization comprising of professionals of many nationalities living in Japan. We come from diverse backgrounds and expertise. Through our workshops and navigation services, we provide international residents and their families with critical information and support to live comfortable and confidently in Japan. In particular, we hold Earthquake Preparedness Workshops and other Lifeskills workshops to prepare international residents and travelers for life in Japan. In addition, we host shared-learning and networking events to provide meaningful opportunities for Japanese and international residents to interact and build personal ties. Through translation, consultation and research projects, we also support organisations, businesses and artists in Japan by helping to make their services, information and products accessible to the international community.
Another aspect of our work has been to introduce Japanese culture experiences to international visitors. We provide lectures and experiences based on themes unique to Japan, creating an in-depth cultural experience that allows visitors to discover Japan in a special way. We have served clients from various MBA programs, corporate incentive programs, and embassies.
The inspiration for our work comes from the events that deeply affected Japan on March 11, 2011 and the dislocation and concern experienced by international residents in Japan.
What are your top resources when it comes to running your organization on an everyday basis?
We do a lot of ground research to understand what the true needs of international residents are. In addition, as working women wearing many hats, we use the Timetree app https://timetreeapp.com/ to organize our schedules. We also use online meeting platforms like zoom and skype to organize meetings online.
What is your main focus for this year?
Our main focus for this year is to expand our Life-skills workshops series (Earthquake Preparedness, Healthcare in Japan, Eating in Japan, and Personal and Business Etiquette in Japan) to corporate/organizational clients as a full package. This workshop series was developed with a grant by Minato-ku this year, and has received great feedback. By going through the four workshops, participants can really have a solid understanding of life in Japan and are able to settle down into Japanese life comfortably. We are also working on creating online content to make our workshops accessible to the wider public.
If you could meet with one famous woman, who would that be and why would you like to meet her?
Sadako Ogata, Former High Commissioner for Refugees at the United Nations.
Find out more about WaNavi Japan at their website here and on Facebook here. Check out two of WaNavi’s upcoming events: Hinamatsuri and Tea Ceremony Family Workshop on March 3 and an Earthquake Preparedness Workshop on March 8.
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