1. Ashinaga Foundation (Ashinagaikueikai/あしなが育英会) Tohoku Rainbow House
We have had extended discussions with the Ashinaga Foundation in Tokyo. There are a well established charity based in Japan who have been helping children who have lost parents.
They have been involved in projects all over the world, especially in developing countries. After the Kobe earthquake in 1995 they built Rainbow House, a building with facilities and counselling for children who had lost parents.
They now have a 2 year plan to build a similar Tohoku Rainbow House for children who have lost parents in the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. They have been leading the investigation in the affected areas just to establish how much children may have been affected in this way. The figures are still largely unknown, nearly 2 months after the disaster. One of the most noteworthy aspects of this charity is that more than half of the people who work for them are “graduates” of the charity, having lost parents during childhood themselves.
July 2011 Update: In our last meeting with Ashinaga Foundation in Tokyo we were given further details about their proposed Tohoku Rainbow House. Due to the geographical scale of the disaster they have decided to have a central Rainbow House based in Sendai with satellite Rainbow Houses in Ishinomaki, Rikuzen Takata and Minamisoma. Although they initially raised over USD$20 million, this money was all ring-fenced to be paid directly to the orphans, so they fundraising for the Rainbow Houses has only begun recently.
Full details of the financial plans can be accessed here.