Rakuten Institute of Technology in Talks with NPO After School to Provide Technology Focused After-School Activities for Children
Recently we made a visit to an NPO named After School that organizes after-school activities for children. In recent years, the amount of families in Japan in which both parents work has been increasing, meaning that children often need to spend time somewhere else after school until the parents get off work. This time is also when most crime targeting children happens, and there is a lack of safe places for children to spend time with their friends. Even though this time after school is filled with potential, it is rarely used to give children a meaningful time for them to enjoy, so After School’s goal is to provide enriching and safe after-school activities for these children.
Because of this vision, After School was selected as one of six organizations in the Rakuten Social Accelerator program, where they worked together with and supported by Rakuten for a period of six months. Rakuten Social Accelerator works similar to regular tech startup incubators, but with a direct focus on organizations with a strong social mission to support entrepreneurs that are determined to solve social challenges.
As part of the program, a coordinator from Rakuten Institute of Technology worked together with After School and the Rakuten Robotics Club to help provide technology focused after-school activities to the children as well. This was presented the other day, at a Demo Day for the Rakuten Social Accelerator, and after seeing the things we could achieve together we decided we wanted to find a way to continue the collaboration.
Nothing concrete has been decided yet, so we are not sure what will come out of it, but we have high hopes after the initial conversations. The reason why we decided to meet with them and try to get involved, is that we believe our technology may be used to give even more enriching experiences to the participating children. We hope that this can lead to a great collaboration to support many children in the future, and peak their interests in technology, so stay tuned for more updates!
For more information on After School and Rakuten Social Accelerator Program, see the links below.