Ashinaga’s first international office
Due to the outpouring of support Ashinaga received from the international community after the 1995 Kobe Earthquake, Ashinaga began focusing its efforts on expanding its programs outside Japan.
At that time, Uganda was trying to recover from the peak of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, having been one of the countries most heavily affected by the disease. Over half of the country’s 2 million orphaned children had lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, so Ashinaga determined that our international activities should begin here.
Ashinaga Rainbow House
The Ashinaga Rainbow House is a community center opened in 2003 that helps support orphaned children, young people, and their guardians in the Nansana area. Its activities include a terakoya (a system of private education that existed in Japan during the Edo Period) primary school for children who cannot attend state school, a program to instill confidence in and teach life skills to young people, as well as microfinancing and HIV counselling for HIV-positive mothers.
Ashinaga Uganda Kokoro-Juku
The Ashinaga Uganda Kokoro-Juku serves as the core of the Ashinaga Africa Initiative. In this purpose-built facility, selected students from English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries spend six months learning alongside student mentors from some of the world’s top universities. They learn the skills and knowledge needed to apply to universities abroad, and also develop through community engagement projects and classes on leadership.
The building can house up to 50 students, and the architect, Ikko Kobayashi, was a former student of Ashinaga. The building was completely constructed using local materials and employed local builders.
Overseas Training Program for Japanese students
Ashinaga runs two Uganda programs for our students in Japan.
The first is a short, 11-day program in November, which teaches students about life in Uganda and what Ashinaga does there. Students have the opportunity to visit different parts of the country, learn from residents in the Nansana community, and undertake a homestay with a Ugandan family.
The second program lasts for one year, and is part of the Overseas Training Program. Students work and learn alongside Ashinaga staff at the Ashinaga Rainbow House, supporting the Ugandan kids who study there. Students on this program also develop their own project related to their interests. Accommodation is a long-term homestay with a Ugandan family, to best understand the local way of life. During the course of the year, many students obtain a high level of English proficiency through everyday conversation with Ugandan students and people.
Internships and Volunteering
Ashinaga Uganda offers an internship program for university students interested in becoming mentors for our Ashinaga Africa Initiative participants. This is an opportunity to support the education of orphaned students coming from all over Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Ashinaga Uganda Kokoro-Juku
P.O. Box 16864, Kampala
TEL: +256 (0)756-970148 / +256 (0)712-682053
Ashinaga Uganda Rainbow House
Kagga Road, East 2 Zone
P.O. Box 71533, Kampala,
TEL: +256 (0)414-535610