[APPLICATION CLOSED] HANDs! Project for Disaster and Environmental Education + Creativity 20172018

Application Deadline: 4.30 p.m., 28 July, 2017

What is the HANDs! Project?

A product of The Japan Foundation Asia Center, the Hope and Dreams (HANDs!) Project serves as a platform for mutual learning, knowledge-sharing and collaboration among young Asian leaders who actively address social issues through their work. The first two editions of the annual programme saw Fellows explore best practices in tackling disaster education, preparedness, and post-disaster recovery in order to apply them in their respective communities. Participants from the third cohort onwards take on an additional dimension, looking at how environmental protection is vital towards reducing natural disaster impact.

HANDs! aims to get the younger generation more involved in region-wide issues of common interest. To this end, the fellowship focuses on solutions that utilise the creative arts, including animation, architecture, dance, drama, design, film, fashion, graphics, journalism, literature, and music.

Two Malaysians will join counterparts from nine other countries in research tours of the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia to observe past and ongoing local efforts, as well as develop project proposals for funding consideration. If approved, they will be awarded grants to implement the plans.

What Happened at Past Editions of the HANDs! Project?


Year 1: 20142015 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

Year 2: 20152016 Site visits to areas struck by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami Dialogue with survivors of Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami Lectures on post-disaster recovery by UNICEF and local tourism & culture office Community-based activities with rehabilitative arts group Komunitas Tikar Pandan

Year 3: 20162017 Lectures on cross-disciplinary, community inclusive, and age-appropriate projects Site visit to an environmentally sustainable farming village Discussion and ideation sessions with non-profits Kopernik, TEMESI, STEP and Green School Hands-on management of disaster education festival for pre-school children


Year 1: 20142015 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

Year 2: 20152016 Lectures on social entrepreneurship, systems thinking, design thinking, civic engagement and alternative forms of disaster risk reduction Discussion with Disaster Education and Experiential Learning (DEEL), a project by first-year HANDs! Fellows Workshop on research tools

Year 3: 20162017 Lectures on systems thinking, design thinking, ethnography, and impact measurement Site visit to disaster refugee community Dialogue with disaster displaced persons and attendant organisations Workshops on prototyping and data analysis


Year 1: 20142015 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

Year 2: 20152016 Discussion with Thai PBS on the role of media in DRR Dialogue with Save The Children Thailand and Roo Su Flood on creative methods of information dissemination Workshop on using gamification for disaster education Hands-on management of disaster education festival for two different audiences of children Site visits to high-risk villages and dialogue with local leaders

Year 3: 20162017 Site visits to mangrove reserve and at-risk fishing village Cultural mapping with local leaders on community-run disaster risk reduction Dialogue with survivor of Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami Workshop and lecture on educational gamification Hands-on management of disaster education festival for children of disadvantaged backgrounds

Lessons From The Phuket tsunami The 2004 tsunami devastated the island paradise of Phuket, Thailand. Now, a group of young disaster survivors from across Asia are drawing inspiration from how the locals have rebuilt their communities. Watch the full multimedia documentary: Posted by R.AGE on Thursday, 15 June 2017


Year 1: 20142015 Symposium on creative approaches to post-disaster recovery Site visits to areas hit by the Thoku earthquake and tsunami Dialogue with local people and disaster-related NGOs

Year 2: 20152016 Site visits to areas hit by the Thoku earthquake and tsunami Dialogue with local people Hands-on management of disaster education festival for 300+ local children

Year 3: 20162017| Dialogue with persons of interest related to Toga river flash flood Site visits to flash flood area and Kobe earthquake memorial Hands-on management of disaster education festival for local children

What are the Action Plans of Past HANDs! Project Fellows?

1. DEEL Project by 2014-2015 Philippines and Thai Fellows 2. KIDSASTER EDUAKSI and KIDSASTER Movie Teller by 2014-2015 Indonesian Fellows 3. Safe Travel Tips by 2014-2015 Thai Fellows 4. Children Safety Learning Games by 2014-2015 Indian Fellow

What to Expect in Year 4?

First phase

1. Research tour #1: 10 days in Philippines and Japan (819 October, 2017) 2. Research tour #2: One week in Indonesia (February 2018)

Second phase

1. Build a network of contacts pertinent to disaster education and environmental protection issues. 2. Propose a new disaster education and/or environmental protection 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, creative worker, journalist, etc.) with at least one year of work experience.

2. Applicants must be interested in or have experienced community engagement in such fields as disaster risk reduction and environmental protection. Individuals who have worked on other issues of interest are also encouraged to apply.

3. Applicants must be eager to learn from other countries’ experiences with regards to natural disasters and environmental issues.

4. Applicants must exhibit a willingness to utilise the creative arts in their planned disaster education and/or environmental protection related project.

5. Applicants must be aged 35 years and below at the time of application (28 July, 2017).

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

7. Applicants must be able to commit to the full length of the programme: a) 819 October, 2017 b) February 2018 (TBC) c) March 2018 onwards (for project proposal and implementation)

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


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, graphic designs, illustrations, photo essays, videos, etc.

All documents should not exceed a cumulative 10MB. Should you 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.


Attach the documents to an email and send it to press [at] with the subject line “HANDs!/Applicant’s Name” by 4.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 28 July, 2017.


Please contact the Malaysia Programme Coordinator, Tristan Toh, via email at press [at] or call 03 2284 6228.

This call for applications is for Malaysian citizens only. If you are an overseas national, please contact your local participating Japan Foundation office:

1 JapanFor Japanese applicants The Japan Foundation Asia Center TEL: (+81 3) 5369 6025 | WEB: | E:

2 IndonFor Indonesian applicants The Japan Foundation, Jakarta TEL: (+62 21) 520 1266 | WEB: | E:

3 PhilFor Philippines applicants The Japan Foundation, Manila TEL: (+63 2) 811 6155/56/57/58 | WEB: | E:

4 ThaiFor Thai and Myanmar applicants The Japan Foundation, Bangkok TEL: (+66 2) 260-8560-4 | WEB: | E:

5 IndiaFor Indian and Nepalese applicants The Japan Foundation, New Delhi TEL: (+91 11) 2644 2967/68/71/72 | WEB: | E:

For Cambodian applicants The Japan Foundation Asia Center Phnom Penh TEL: (+855) 023 214 581 | WEB: | E:


1. Application form (docx/297kb) 2. Application guidelines (pdf/417kb) 3. HANDs! Project 2015-2016 programme booklet (pdf/3.32mb) 4. HANDs! Project 2015-2016 action plan reports (pdf/8.61mb) 5. Flyer (pdf/632kb)

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HANDs! Website | HANDs! Facebook page | HANDs! Medium blog | HANDs! 20162017 Malaysian Fellows' reports | HANDs! 20152016 Malaysian Fellows' reports |

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