Ashinaga began 50 years ago with orphaned students advocating on their own behalf. This rich tradition of activism continues today. Student-led activism is a powerful means for conveying the situation of orphaned students to the general public and is central in fostering the qualities of leadership and teamwork in Ashinaga students.
Bokin, or Japanese-style street fundraising, has been a core component of Ashinaga since its inception. For two weekends every spring and fall, more than 10,000 Ashinaga students congregate at 200 central points across Japan. The students raise awareness through sharing their personal histories with passersby, as well as relating statistics regarding orphans. People then graciously place any amount of money—be it ¥1, ¥1,000, or more—in the boxes students are holding.
The funds raised at bokin go directly to a cause of the students’ choice. One year, for example, in response to the earthquake in the Kumamoto region of Japan, students directed all of the money they collected to the region’s recovery.
Since 2016, the students have made the monumental commitment to donate half of all funds raised to help support the education of orphaned students across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Causes supported in previous fundraising drives:
- HIV/AIDS orphans in Uganda
- 1999 Armenia, Colombia earthquakes
- 1999 Izmit Earthquake in Turkey
- 1999 Jiji Earthquake in Taiwan
- 2001 El Salvador earthquakes
- 2003 Bam earthquake, Iran
- 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and Earthquake: India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar
- 2015 Nepal Earthquake
- 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes
We are always looking for eager volunteers who want to get involved with Ashinaga’s fundraising activities. As long as you have the motivation and a positive attitude, you are more than welcome to join us!