Learn to Leap
Hana Takatori is a youth advocate in the areas of social justice, poverty alleviation and children’s rights.
When she was 11 years old, my Social Studies teacher showed us two pictures: the amount of food the average Japanese families consume in a week vs the amount of food average African families who are refugees consume in a week. She was shocked at how different they are, and from that, she became interested in inequality and poverty issues.
At 16, Hana moved to the US to expand her perspectives and meet with people with various backgrounds. Her current favorite extracurricular activity is volunteering at Youth Community, a Japan NPO, where she carries out project management work and teaches elementary school children whose parents cannot afford tutoring. She enjoys this activity because she can learn a lot of things from them. These children always make her happy, and make her realize that one's parents' salary should not limit one's future.
On a higher-level perspective, she believes that the world needs to focus more on child poverty, and she presented on this issue at the Catalyst 2030 annual conference in 2022. The reason is that it is very hard to break the poverty cycle since the poverty cycle starts when one is born. If one's parents are poor, he or she cannot receive an adequate education even though it is a children's basic right to receive the same level of education as others. When he or she also cannot have a chance to make friends outside of school because of one's family’s financial difficulties, it is hard for them to learn how to build good relationships with others outside of school, which often leads to their mental health problems.
In the future, through Learn to Leap, she wants to research the effect of early childhood education on children through learning developmental psychology and design an online platform to faciliate education and employment opportunities. When she is 25, she wants to find the best way to help children escape from the poverty cycle through education.