Ashinaga is a non-profit educational foundation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan that provides financial and psychological support for children and youth who have lost one or both parents to illness, accidents, disasters, or suicide, or whose parents suffer from disabilities. Founded in 1969, it has provided over $800 million in educational aid to some 80,000 students for their continued education. Ashinaga currently supports children in 21 countries and regions. The name Ashinaga has its origin in the 1912 American novel written by Jean Webster, Daddy-Long-Legs, about an orphaned girl whose college education is financed by an anonymous benefactor. Ashinaga, a translation of “long-legs”, refers to the anonymous donors who support its efforts. The cumulative number of Ashinagas currently stands at approximately 100,000.
Since the earthquake and tsunami hit northeast in Japan on March 11th, Ashinaga has concentrated its efforts on providing support to children and youth who have lost one or both parents or guardians. One program provides relief payments for children, from infants to graduate school students.
Ashinaga also runs the Kobe “Rainbow House” built after 1995 earthquake as a care center of healing through exchange of major life experiences for children and youth. With 16 years of experience running the facility, Ashinaga has the know-how in the psychosocial care of children after a disaster. Ashinaga plans to build a similar center within two years in Tohoku.
The Fiscal Sponsorship Fund for Ashinaga will specifically support children and youth who have lost one or more parents or guardians in the Tohoku disaster. The Fund will also support the building of the new Tohoku Rainbow House.