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.

I enrolled in a PhD program at a Japanese national university and had researched the possibility to implement the life skills education programs effective in developing abilities to avoid sexual risk behaviors. Luckily enough, I was awarded an Social Innovation Scholarship (SIS) from Akira Foundation, which helped focus my entire time on conducting literature reviews and field researches for my dissertation.

The past research findings on the preceding topic in and out of Japan show that the status of risk behaviors among youth, reflects individual and environmental factors. In particular, self esteem that manages personal risks represents social and psychological constructs that have been found to underlie multiple risk behaviors.

With this most claimed research result in mind, developing life skills is essential to preventing adolescent and any other types of risky behaviors among youth. Following this proven line of argument, I have conducted with school teachers vairous field research and workshops in the life skill training program related to sexual development and risk behaviors, as well as having been examining the effectivness of the program.

Last, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Akira Foundation for kindly providing Social Innovation Scholarship to me. May as many foreign students as possible obtain such support and asssitance as Akira Foundation offers, which helps follow through with their research activities, addressing and solving many of the societal problems.

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.