This year we have been continuing our sponsorship for Play City Mini Kawasaki, the community program creating a city run entirely by children. Eriko started this initiative in 2018 and has been leading it ever since. This October 9th and 10th, the initiative was fully back to its original in-person event, which Eriko and her team had abandoned for the last two years due to COVID 19.
The event took place at an open-air venue in a public park in Kawasaki, and hosted more than 500 kids, majority of whom were elementary and middle school students. Kids ran their dream businesses in the City, such as a hand-made jewelry shop, an illustrator, a broadcasting studio.
One business gathered many clientele and ran out its inventory pretty quickly, while another tried hard to catch guests in front of its shop. It all resembled a real city in every corner of the world.
Kids love the Play City because it allows them to develop everything from scratch and it provides them opportunity to earn and spend money, instead of being given from adults and consuming. Without recognizing it kids are encouraged to think, organize and act in order to make their surroundings better.
After five years of community-based hard work and three full scale in-person events, Eriko and her team is now at a juncture to upgrade the program, with the goal of letting middle schoolers, instead of elementary school kids now, lead the entire program to deepen their sense of autonomy and independence.
Next year, her team will always remain there to help participating kids. This will also be a great opportunity for us all, supporters and partners alike, to take a renewed look at better, healthier, and more fun user experiences in our life in cities and neighborhoods.
Eriko’s team is always welcome people and organizations who want to help. Interested? Please take a look at the Mini Kawasaki website or contact Eriko.[:]