Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kanto International High School Study Abroad Programme Special Guest Lecturer

Kanto International High School Study Abroad Programme Special Guest Lecturer
Professor Stefano Tsukamoto
Visiting Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
National Director, Habitat for Humanity Japan

On Wednesday 31 January Professor Stefano (Toshiya) Tsukamoto will give a lecture to the first and second year students in the Kanto International High School Study Abroad Programme about poverty and homelessless in Japan and the world. Information about Professor Tsukamoto, Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity Japan can be found by clicking the following links:

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Homelessness in Indonesia
By Tuah Gintang
Takushoku University

Good afternoon gentlemen. Thank for your coming. Have you ever seen homeless people? What did you feel when you saw them? I am here to talk about my research about homelessness in Indonesia. Before we start I’d like to introduce myself, my name is Tuah Ginting and I am a foreign exchange student from Indonesia at Takushoku University. In my presentation I’m going to look at three main areas. First, I’ll talk about the population of Indonesia and what percentage of it consists of homeless people. After that I will tell you about the homeless in Indonesia and the cause of homelessness in Indonesia, and finally, I’ll talk about what we can do to help solve the problem of homelessness in Indonesia. My presentation will take around 10 minutes. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them at the end of my talk.

So let’s start by looking at the population of Indonesia. Indonesia’s 2000 National Census showed that its total population is 203.4 million, of which 3.2 million (1.6%) are categorised as those who do not have a permanent place to live. Under this category are lumped together ship crewmembers, people living in houseboats or floating houses, nomadic groups of people (usually living in remote areas) as well as people who live and spend their nights in marketplaces, bus and railway stations, under bridges, and near city garbage dumps. Ok, that’s all I want to say about the population of Indonesia and the demographic make-up of homelessness in Indonesia.

Right, let’s move on to the cause of homelessness in Indonesia. Why do people become homeless? As in many other places in the world, the biggest cause of homelessness is urbanization. People from outside come to the city in order to realize their dreams and because they want to be successful people without good preparation like an education and a life strategy. And once they are in the big city, they can’t find a job and they can’t earn money for their life. Since they have failed to make their dream come true, they have no money and they can’t go back to the place where they came from, they sleep in any place they can find, and they beg or scavenge garbage bins for food. People like this are called gelandangan. They never wash and they barely communicate with other people.

I interviewed some homeless people in Jakarta, and I asked them why they became homeless. Almost of them came from outside the city, before they came to Jakarta they were farmers, but they weren’t satisfied with the money they got from farming. They thought that they could get a job in the city easily. When they came to Jakarta, the reality wasn’t as good as what they thought, and they faced many problems. They couldn’t earn money and they became homeless.

Some problems are caused by unemployment, or people who lose their job because of the country’s economic condition. In 1998, following the overthrow of President Suharto, conditions in Indonesia got worse, and the most significant problem was the economic crisis. Many companies and businesses closed or they had to decrease the number of employees.

Another problem that caused homelessness is the city’s development. For example, Asian Human Rights Commission made the following report, “… on January 11th 2006, approximately 125 semi-permanent houses were bulldozed by civil and military officers, forcibly evicting 140 families from their homes in Kampung Melayu ,Jatinegara, and East Jakarta. This incident is the latest in a series of forced evictions related to the 35 kilometre Double-Double Track Railway Project (DDT) along East Jakarta-Cikarang. Previous evictions occurred in Pisangan Timur, Jatinegara, East Jakarta on 4 January 2006. Approximately 458 buildings in Pisangan Timur were destroyed and 489 families are now homeless, living in temporary tents”

Ok, finally I’d like to turn to the most important point: what we can do to help solve the homelessness problem in Indonesia. I don’t think that homelessness can be solved only through charity but we have to give them some way to change their lives and be self-reliant. In the Indonesian homelessness situation, the better way to help is to give them a job opportunity or give them job training, and make a fund to start their own little business. One important thing we have to recognise is that poor homeless people are full citizens who have the same rights and responsibilities as other (urban) residents.

In conclusion, let me briefly go through the main points again. First I talked about the population of Indonesia and I hope you can remember that 1.6percent of the population are homeless people. Then I described homelessness in Indonesia and what the main homelessness problem in Indonesia is, and finally I shared what can we do to help homelessness in
Indonesia. Right, I think that’s everything. Let me finish by thanking you very much for your attention. And now, if you have any question, I’ll be happy to answer them.


Asian Human Rights Commission (n.d.) Retrieved January 20, 2007 from

Homelessness in Japan By Cheng Ya Bin (Mike) Takushoku University

Good afternoon everyone. Today I want to talk about the homeless in Japan because, whether you like it or not, homelessness is a problem in society that is affecting our lives. After you have heard my presentation, I hope you will decide to care about this special group of people. In my presentation, first I want to tell you about the homeless situation in Japan. Then, I want to talk about the problems ta are caused by homelessness and last I will talk about some solutions to the problem.
Ok, let me start with some information about the homeless in Japan. The population of Japan is about one hundred and twenty-five million and the number of homeless people is about twenty-four thousand. Half of them are in Tokyo and Osaka. According to the latest research in 2006, the number of homeless in Tokyo is less than the year before. Most of the homeless are between the ages of 50 and 60. The youngest is 26 and the oldest one is 78. Also, thirty-one point eight percent of them have lived this kind of life for over 3 years, 14.9% have lived this kind life from between 6 months to a year. The most common reason for them to become homeless is bankruptcy, or something like this, which forces them to be homeless. The second biggest reason for them to become homeless is a family problem. Eighty point four percent of them are searching for work to do. Nineteen point six percent are not. One third (1/3) of them are woman. Fortunately, in Japan there have been no cases of homeless children reported.

Ok, I have told you about the homeless situation in Japan. Now I’ll talk about the problems caused by homeless. Once I wanted to relax in a nearby park during a break from my part time job. How I wished to relax myself at that time, so I walked into the park. Suddenly, a big voice shouted out, “what are you doing here!” I was so astonished. I stopped and looked around, at last I saw that a homeless person was sitting at the top of a chute and staring at me. What a horrifying face! I had to leave straight away. In this case, the homeless person made the public park seem as if it were his private place. So, on the one hand, homeless people encroach on the public’s rights, On the other hand, when people go into parks that homeless people occupy, it seems like people encroach on rights of the homeless. So this situation causes trouble very easily.
The second problem caused by homeless is the urban aspect, because homeless people will stay anywhere they want, Even in center of a city. So that will give people a bad impression of the city, especially the people who come to the city for the first time; they can’t forget it for a long time.
Homeless people do not only cause problems for the public, they cause problems for themselves too. For example, they sometimes can’t get enough food, they can’t get enough clothes, and they aren’t well treated when they are sick. All in all、they can’t get basic things to live. These are the problems that are caused by homelessness. So how can these problem be solved?
Japan has enacted a law to help the homeless to get back into society. The main spirit of the law is, first, helping homeless people to get a job. Second, helping them to get a place to live. Third, taking care of their mental and physical health. However, this is not easily done. There are several reasons for this. First, because most of the homeless are older people, it is difficult for them to master a new skill in order to make a new life. Second, some of them do not want to accept another’s help, even the mental patients who don’t know what people are doing for them and don’t know to accept the help. So there are still many things that need to be done to help carry out the law.
I’ve talked about what the Japanese government is doing for the homeless. And now, let’s think about what we can do for this special group. As far as I know, there are three ways this can be done. The first is to buy the magazine which is called “The Big Issue”, because all the profits from the magazine is helping homeless people to live. Second, the Korean and American churches in Tokyo, always organize people to help the homeless, so you can contact them and take part in their activities. The third thing you can do is take the clothes that you will never use to the church and let them help you give them to homeless people. Homeless people need to change clothes and they need clothes as protection against cold. Of course there are still many more ways to help the homeless. If only you care about the homeless, you will find a way to do something for them.

Ok, I’ve talked about the Japanese homeless situation and the problems caused by it, and what the Japanese government has done for the homeless. Finally, I suggested three ways in which you can help them. I hope from now on, every one of you will care more about the homeless, because they really need your help, and you will be rewarded by what you have done. So every one of us, let’s do what we can to help the world to be more beautiful. Thank you!


Shinia no godouhai e homuresu no shakai fukki wo ooen shimasen ka? [Can you help homeless seniors re-enter society?] (n.d) Retrieved January 20, 2007 from:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Social Issues Project - Homelessness in Today's World Posters

These posters are examples of posters that were made by students in the Study Abroad Programme in 2005. As you can see, the posters have very few words written on them. There are several reasons for this. First, the purpose of the poster is to make the the words spoken by the presenter easier to understand. Pictures make the spoken words easier to understand. Pictures are very helpful to people who can't understand English very well. Also, if there are many words on the poster then the people attending the presentation will read the poster rather than listen to the presenter's talk. It's better for the people attendingthe presentaion to get the information from listening. These posters are very good examples of how students should make posters for a presentation.