Lexues Inc. and FOURDIGIT Inc., in collaboration with the support group Single Mothers Forum Okinawa, have launched “MOM FoR STAR,” a project to provide single mothers with web design skill learning and employment opportunities. This project aims to support single mothers to improve their skills and careers and to create an environment where they can work with financial stability and a sense of fulfillment.
This project has been selected as an organization to be implemented for the Okinawa Single Mothers Activity Promotion Infrastructure Building Project, a fund distribution project by the Orionbeer Scholarship Foundation.
What is the MOM FoR STAR Project?
MOM FoR STAR is an employment and collaboration project for single mothers, centered around three activities: learning, working, and connecting. Through collaboration with digital design companies and support groups, this project helps single mothers with no previous experience acquire skills and become active in the web industry.
Learning: Acquiring Web Skills
Training programs are available for single mothers with no experience in web design work to learn what they need to know, from the basics to practical use. Web directors who are currently active in the field of web production will be in charge of direct instruction.
[Examples of training programs] Basic Computer Operations / Basic Web Knowledge / Basic Design Training / Basic Coding Training, etc.
Working: Web Operations
After completing the training, participants will be placed in charge of actual web operations work occurring outside of Okinawa Prefecture, mainly in Tokyo. Participants can gain practical experience that can lead to a career in web design while receiving up-close support from digital design companies.
Connecting: Creating Communities
This project forms a community of single mothers who mutually encourage and support each other with the challenges they face. In cooperation with support groups, participants will also have access to general daily life support so that they can work with peace of mind.
A Powerful Tag-Team of Design Companies and Support Groups
collaborating to create an environment where single mothers can learn and work. The support group Single Mothers Forum Okinawa will manage the community to connect with participants, giving them the support they need to take on the challenge of new learning.
The 2021 fiscal year is the first year of this project, which will run for one year starting in April. After completing the training program, participants will be involved in actual web operations. In addition to monthly social gatherings, events such as parent-child ICT experiences and inspection tours to other prefectures are scheduled as efforts to bring participants in touch with the cutting edge of digital design.
While the employment rate of single mothers in Okinawa Prefecture is over 90%, and the percentage of mothers who work multiple jobs is high, their income is 7% lower than the national average (*1). The average income from employment by single mothers themselves is close to welfare level, and many of them are living in poverty. The cause of this lies primarily in the labor environment in Okinawa Prefecture, where most of the jobs are in service industries with low wages and the minimum wage is low.
On the other hand, when single mothers were asked what kind of work-related support they particularly want, the most common response was “support for acquiring skills and qualifications,” indicating a great deal of interest in skill and career development. At the same time, however, roughly 80% of respondents said that their current living conditions were “somewhat difficult,” “difficult,” or “very difficult” (*1), indicating that household finances and difficulties in life are obstacles to learning new skills.
The MOM FoR STAR project addresses these issues by taking the following approaches.
- Increase wages by acquiring specialized skills, and lift single mothers out of poverty
- Establish mechanisms to work for wages at out-of-prefecture levels by performing work for companies outside of Okinawa
- Provide hourly wages during skill acquisition programs (*2) to support an environment in which participants can take on new challenges
- Single mother support groups provide general and emotional support and help eliminate isolation
*1: Okinawa Prefecture Survey of Single-Parent Households, etc., FY 2018
*2: Requires being involved in post-training work and completion of the one-year program as prerequisites
A Better Future through Design and Technology
FOURDIGIT has been involved in digital design for 20 years with the vision of “making a better future through design and technology.” The realm of digital design is evolving at a tremendous rate. We believe that acquiring digital skills now will surely open up future possibilities for single mothers.
Through MOM FoR STAR, we hope that single mothers can work with a sense of satisfaction and pride, which will serve as inspiration to their children and give them hope for the future. We would like to work together with them to create a better future through design and technology.
Reports on activities going forward will be made available on the official website and elsewhere. Please look forward to future updates.