Personal Project – Raising Awareness About the Barriers of Escaping Poverty in Japan and Cambodia

As part of my Personal Project, I decided to raise awareness about the barriers poor people face when escaping the poverty cycle in Japan and Cambodia. A poverty cycle is when a poor person lacks access to more than one areas of basic needs such as water and food, creating a cycle that is very hard for them to escape from by themselves. To achieve this goal, I decided to make a choose your own adventure that provides a simulation of poverty in both Cambodia and Japan, showing what kind of barriers the poor face even in their daily lives. The reason I chose to Cambodia and Japan is because firstly, I am in the HOPE Cambodia Service Club and secondly, because I am Japanese and I recently learned how Japan has an unexpectedly high poverty rate. This goal was a challenging goal for me because I have never made anything like a choose your own adventure book with this much research put into it. As the topic of poverty is an issue that requires very specific and accurate knowledge, I had to make sure that I had reliable sources that I can trust as well as some opinion sources from different perspectives. In order to collect these research, I searched online for news articles, reports, websites, videos and other secondary sources as well as conducted an interview with Ms. Elena Omura from HOPE International Development Agency. The interview was especially hard for me because it required me to use my communication skill to a high level, but it was worthwhile because I was able to gain meaningful insights on the issue of poverty that I would not have gotten anywhere else.

When planning action for this project, I made an action plan, as you can see in the screenshot below. I used a table format because I find it easy to organize information this way. It is also easy to readjust the plan as it is digital. This action plan really helped me get through the project because I knew what I had to do by when and become organized with other school tasks or extracurricular activities. In the action plan, I have several columns: tasks, the time required, resources, notes/reflections and date completed. Although there were times when I had to change the action plan, it was still helpful.


Screenshot of Action Plan

Throughout the project, I recorded what I did on each step in my Process Journal, which can be seen in the screenshot below. In the Process Journal, I included reflection on what I did, what learner skills I used, and what I might do for the next step.

Screenshot of A Process Journal Entry

Here is the product I made, which is a choose your own adventure of the situations of poverty in Cambodia and Japan:

Personal Project Product

I am very proud of the accomplishments that I managed through this project because I have never done anything like this before and all the research that I conducted were very new to me. Moreover, the creation of the product itself was new to me too, and the time management that this project required of me was also another challenge that I was able to overcome. Through this project, I learned a lot of new knowledge on poverty, especially in Cambodia and Japan, and how it is extremely difficult for people suffering from extreme poverty to escape the poverty cycle by themselves. Therefore, the experience made me more interested and motivated to help combat the issue of poverty around the world through advocacy, donations, and other forms of services.

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