Summer camps for Ashinaga Student Loan Recipients
Summer Camps for Ashinaga Student Loan Recipients
Each year, Ashinaga holds summer camps in 11 different venues across Japan for students who receive Ashinaga student loans. At the camps, students with traumatic histories spend time together playing games and sports in a supportive atmosphere. The camps also feature a “life history” program, where students form small groups to talk about the experience of losing a parent. By sharing their often-suppressed grief, the children come to realize that they are not alone in their struggles. This experience in turn helps them start on the path of healing and building a brighter future.
International Summer Camps for Children who have lost parents
Children who have lost parents need to be able to talk and share their feelings. In doing so, they learn that that they are not alone. According to “Children on the Brink 2004,” a joint report by UNAIDS, UNICEF, and USAID, there are at least 143 million children in 93 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean who have lost parents to causes such as war, terrorism, natural disasters, and AIDS. Most of these children do not have the chance to receive psychological or emotional care. From 2000 to 2007, Ashinaga hosted a number of these children at International Summer Camps for Children who have lost parents. At the camps, children from similar backgrounds had the chance to meet and talk about their experiences--often for the first time in their lives. The feelings they expressed transcended differences in language, nationality, religion, and ethnicity. Through the camps, children discovered that they were not alone, and this helped them start their journey to the future, carrying with them a bag of hope woven by their newfound friends from across the globe.