[APPLICATION CLOSED] Hope and Dreams Project Year 2

Application Deadline: 31 July, 2015

What is the HANDs! Project?

Developed by the Japan Foundation Asia Center, the Hope and Dreams (HANDs!) Project is a biannual exchange programme for young Asian leaders to learn best practices in tackling disaster education, preparedness and post-disaster recovery in order to apply them in their respective communities.

HANDs! aims to create broader access to disaster-related programmes for uninitiated but concerned members of society, as well as transform disaster education into an accessible and memorable experience for the younger generation. To this end, HANDs! focuses on solutions that utilise the creative arts, such as animation, architecture, dance, drama, design, film, fashion, literature, music and the visual arts.

Successful applicants from Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and India will have the opportunity to join study tours in Indonesia and Philippines (5–15 October 2015) as well as Thailand and Japan (February 2016) to observe past and ongoing creative efforts by local organisations. At the end of the study tours, participants will develop project proposals and given seed funding to implement the plans.

What happened at the first HANDs! Project?

IMG_1494Indonesia (6–30 September, 2014)

Film screening and discussion with prominent Indonesian director Riri Riza
Site visits to the Mount Merapi post-eruption area and national broadcaster TVRI
Dialogue with people displaced by the Mount Merapi eruption
Disaster simulations and disaster education festivals

IMG_2197Philippines (1–5 October, 2014)

Lectures on the impact of Typhoon Haiyan
Community-based activities with Philippines Communitere
Dialogue with students of San Fernando Elementary School and Leyte Normal University

IMG_7037Thailand (16–21 February, 2015)

Discussion with national broadcaster Thai PBS on the role of media during disasters
Workshop on using gamification for disaster education
Site visits to areas affected by the Chiang Rai earthquake
Dialogue with a revered Buddhist monk on religion’s part in post-disaster recovery

IMG_7859Japan (22–26 February, 2015)

Symposium on creative approaches to post-disaster recovery
Site visits to areas hit by the T?hoku earthquake and tsunami
Dialogue with local people and disaster-related NGOs
Presentation of action plans

What does being a HANDs! participant entail?

First year

1. Study trip #1: 10 days in Indonesia and Philippines (5–15 October, 2015)
2. Study trip #2: 10 days in Thailand and Japan (February 2016)

Second year

1. Build a network of contacts pertinent to disaster education-related issues.
2. Propose a new disaster education-related project to the Japan Foundation Asia Center.

Who can apply?

Applicants must fulfil ALL of the following criteria.

1. Applicants must be a young professional (social worker, journalist, creative worker, etc.) with at least one year of work experience

2. Applicants must have a interest or experience in performing community engagement in such fields as disaster education, preparedness and post-disaster recovery. Individuals who have worked on other social issues are also encouraged to apply.

3. Applicants must be eager to learn from other countries’ experiences with regards to disaster education, preparedness and post-disaster recovery.

4. Applicants must understand and agree to the aims of HANDs!.

5. Applicants must be aged 35 years and below at the time of application (31 July 2015).

6. Applicants must have fair English proficiency and good communication skills.

7. Applicants must be able to commit to the full length of the programme.
a) 5–15 October, 2015
b) February 2016 (date TBC)

7. Applicants must be in good physical and mental shape.

What must I prepare and submit to apply?

1. HANDs! application form (download here)
2. CV in English (must not exceed 5 pages)
3. Two work samples, e.g. short essays, news articles, journal articles, poster designs, illustrative works, photo essays, videos, etc.

All documents should not exceed 5mb. Should any exceed this file size, please upload them to the relevant hosting website (e.g. Youtube for videos, Behance for illustrations) and send us the link.

When and where should I send these documents?

Attach the documents to an email and send it to press [at] with the subject header HANDs!/Applicant’s Name”, by 4.30 p.m. on Friday, 31 July, 2015.


1. Please DO NOT wait until the last day to submit your application. In the past, many have done so and crashed our email system due to heavy traffic. If we do not receive your email, we will not screen your application. The earlier, the better.

2. Upon sending your email, ensure you do not receive a delivery error message. If your email bounced, please resend your application. Should the problem persist, please do not hesitate to contact us via phone.


1. Application form (xlsx/15.7kb)
2. Application guidelines (pdf/3 pages/297kb)
3. HANDs! Project 2014-2015 programme booklet (pdf/11 pages/1.2mb)
4. Poster (jpg/603kb)

For further enquiries, please contact:

Tristan Toh
Cultural Affairs Department
The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur
18th Floor, Northpoint, Block B, Mid Valley City,
No. 1, Medan Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T +603 2284 6228
F +603 2287 5859

Event Archives

Organizing an event?

More information at our grants section