Cancellation in response to COVID-19, compromises scholarship funding
The Ashinaga student fundraiser (街頭募金) has been held every spring and autumn since 1967 to support children who have lost one or both parents. Street fundraising events are held twice a year in approximately 200 locations across Japan, with the participation of more than 20,000 volunteers annually. The event was scheduled to reach its 100th anniversary this April.
After considering the Japanese government advisory against gathering in groups to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Ashinaga has decided to cancel the coming street fundraising event to protect students, staff, and volunteers. This is the first time in over 50 years this has happened.
The extent of Ashinaga’s support to orphaned students is dependent on donations collected during street fundraising events. In the last 55 years, Ashinaga has been able to support more than 110,000 students with financial support and emotional care. This was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Japanese public, who contribute to 87% of Ashinaga’s annual income.
Since 2018, Ashinaga has seen a sharp increase in the number of scholarship applications. In 2019, over 6,500 students in high school, vocational school, university, and graduate school received scholarships, amounting to over 4,800 million yen. In 2020, applicant numbers are expected to rise, bringing estimated total scholarship costs to over six billion yen.
The cancellation of the street fundraising this spring compromises Ashinaga’s ability to sustain those students who depend on scholarship funding to pay for high school or university fees. Ashinaga is calling for public support, aiming to gather the donations it needs to continue offering to support orphaned students in Japan.
Marketing and Outreach Coordinator
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