My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for International Child Art Foundation, Washington, DC, USA
I was a representative of Japan for the 2nd Arts Olympiad held in 2003 at the Washington Mall. I hardly spoke any English, but was fascinated to be introduced to a buddy from Iowa and made several American and International friends there. I am on ICAF Youth Board and wanted the other Japanese children to benefit from WCF: so with Dr. Ishaq (founder & chairman)'s permission, I started ICAF Japan. In 2011, I took the delegation to DC where the children had a splendid opportunity of international communication, homestay along with a privilage to see the ambassador. Upon our return, I had already planned an "Encouragement Art" exhibition at the Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Arts. We had full cooperation from ICAF DC, and had exhibited the winning works as well as encouragement art scrolls created by attendees of the 4th WCF. It was a big success attracting more than 3000 people in 6 days. International Child Art Foundation is the most unselfish and self-giving organization I have ever seen.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
2003 , as a representative of Japan in the 2nd International Art Olympiad sponsored by ICAF at Washington Mall. in 2004, was selected to be the Youth Board Member. in 2010, set up ICAF Japan. in 2011, took the Japanese delegation to the 4th WCF in DC. in 2012, organized the "Encouragement Art Exhibition" held at Kanazawa, Japan.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
want more volunteers and interns from various countries to facilitate deskwork and communication dealing in various different languages. I want this organization to receive more cognition and credit for the good work they are doing.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?
it is not the fault of ICAF, but unfortunately, volunteering and donating are not very well recognized in Japan aside from the famous ones such as UNICEF, Medecins sans frontiers, etc. I truly think that such organization as this should be recognized more.
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
Most definitely. It first taught me that it was all right to speak a different language aside from English. We could make each other understood through body languages, scribbling, drawing, sports, and "just being together." Therefore, I am never scared to make new friends. Art Olympiad is held once in 4 years, but unlike the sports Olympic games, there are no Gold or Silver medalists: everyone is a winner. So I have learned that winning was not the only goal. I have also learned that there are certain things we cannot do alone: such as creating a mural (pyramid in my case)--all of us had to collaborate thus leading to true friendship, not rivalry. Through ICAF, I have learned creativity, collaboration, empathy and leadership.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
That a volunteer is a serious work--not just come and go. Despite being on a Youth Board, I could not participate earlier; as in Japan, there are several exams in order to get into junior high, high, and university. I would like to continue as long as I can--at least until taking the encouragement pictures over to Tohoku and to perform ICAF Healing Arts plan. Perhaps, volunteering will turn out to be a life-long project which I cannot tell at this point. One thing is for sure, and that is that working with someone else for the same goal bears fruit.