Supporter's Message

Akira Foundation has been supported and encouraged by socially- and like-minded people in many ways, and every day we make every effort to live up to them.

Dr. Gary Kendall | South Africa
"What a dilemma we face!  Three short centuries of extraordinary human progress have been enabled by our releasing millions of years of ancient sunlight through burning fossil fuels.  Unfortunately, this activity has been quietly undermining the very progress it helped to create, while fooling us into believing we could triumph over fundamental physical laws. 

With a clear understanding that this development pathway is no longer available to us, humanity is united by the challenge of how to sustain human progress and create flourishing, equitable societies within the hard biophysical boundaries imposed by our home planet.  Such global-scale challenges – and opportunities for international collaboration – have no historical precedent. 

Given this context, I consider myself immensely privileged to be exploring potential solutions with people and institutions of vision, integrity and courage.  Atsufumi and the Akira Foundation fall squarely in this category.  I was honoured when Atsu invited me recently to participate in a colloquium on African Urbanisation at Sophia University, Tokyo.  Akira Foundation was instrumental in constructing a high-quality event, facilitating a rich exchange of ideas between experts in Japan and the African continent.  I am convinced that dialogues of this nature will be essential if we are to succeed in cracking the code for this next phase of human development."

Here you can find some stories that may inspire you: a role of leadership, message from a once-marginalized person, and others.

12 January 2015 | Tokyo, Japan
Social Enterprise English Language School, or ‘SEELS,’ one of our investees, was featured in a recent article in the Japan Times. The story profiles their microfranchising model that “helps Filipinas set up and run international kindergartens and eikaiwa” – English conversation – schools, and the project that Kathryn Doria Goto and Cesar V. Santoyo, founder and president of SEELS, teamed up to work on for making a film titled “Accept Us Maybe.” The Toyota Foundation provides funding for its film development and production.

The article also explained the backdrop of the Filipino community in Japan and how the public’s perception of them has been changed. Santoyo admits that it “has been gradually improving.” He is concerned, however, that “…some middle-aged women are married to older Japanese men who are working class. They are already retired. Living off their pension alone is not enough.” He stressed, “So, for these reasons, a number of women could use assistance. The government should permit them to apply for welfare benefits if they are needed. The release of this film is timely, because this is something we want to advocate for. This is what we mean by social acceptance.”

The full article can be found below.
Staff Blog
Hirofumi Yokoi | Tokyo, Japan
At the site of an evacuation center in Tokyo, Filipino people attended memorial services and discos on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the tragic disaster which destroyed the north east (Tohoku) of Japan. More than 70 Filipino took a long, exhausting trip by bus from the disaster-hit Tohoku region and reunited their families and friends at a Catholic church, Tokyo, and shared their personal stories with one another in remembrance of the disaster.

The honorable Ambassador of the Philippines to Japan, Manuel Lopez, along with the officers at the embassy, also attended the ceremony to pray for the victims and their families of Japan earthquake and tsunami and danced with an encouraging song for them and the audience. Chris, a board member of Akira Foundation, and I was also invited to the event and met Cesar Santoyo, Executive Director of SEELS and Kathryn Doria Goto, Chairman of Hawak Kamay Fukushima, to share together some updates on the ongoing project of opening a first pre-school for children of Filipino migrants in Fukushima.