Named for the 1912 American novel, Daddy-Long-Legs, Ashinaga focuses on educating and nurturing future leaders who will contribute to society via caring attitudes, open minds, the energy to act, and an international perspective.
Ashinaga got its start over 40 years ago, reaching its current form in April 1993 under original founder and current President Yoshiomi Tamai. Since the "Association for Natural Disaster Orphans" (the predecessor of today's Ashinaga) was established in April 1988, as of December 2012, the organization has provided scholarships of 33,598,025,000 Japanese yen to 35,023 orphaned students, including children who lost parents in the Great Hanshin Earthquake in January 1995 and the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011.
In fiscal 2012, Ashinaga provided scholarships of 2,370 ,000,000 Japanese yen to 4,130 high school students, 1,479 college students, 297 vocational school students, and 18 graduate school students, for a total of 5,924 students.
Immediately after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, Ashinaga announced to provide one-time emergency relief grants to children who had lost parents to the disaster. As of March 31, 2013, Ashinaga has received donations of 5 billion 935 million yen from Japan and overseas and disbursed the total amount of 5 billion 914 million yen to provide a uniform 2,821,964 yen to each of 2,075 children ranging from newborns to graduate students.
In addition to providing scholarships, Ashinaga provides emotional support by holding day programs and camps for younger orphaned children at Ashinaga Rainbow Houses in Kobe and Tokyo.
We are now building another Rainbow House in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and two satellite facilities in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture and Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture to provide emotional care to children bearing wounds in their hearts due to the sudden loss of their parents to the earthquake and tsunami. We expected these facilities to be completed in 2014.
There are also camps for orphaned high school and college/university students in the summer. Nearly 150 orphaned college and university students live at Ashinaga residential facilities in Tokyo and Kobe, where they receive room and board for a mere 10,000 yen per month.
Additionally, in 2003 Ashinaga established a "Rainbow House" in Uganda, Africa, to provide educational and emotional support to children who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS.
We are also trying to raise funds throughout the world to implement “the 100-year vision of educational support for orphans in Africa”, a project to provide orphans in Africa with the opportunity to obtain higher education so they can become leaders who can contribute to their communities and nations in the future.