Last week, we announced that Ashinaga’s Japan Headquarters would be providing 150,000 yen (approximately $1400 USD) to each of the 6,500 current scholarship recipients. This decision was based on a survey conducted with guardians of scholarship receiving families. Today, we want to share those translated survey results with you.
COVID-19 has struck the world in an unimaginable way. Many Ashinaga scholarships go to students of families that have lost a father. In a high proportion of these families, the mother has a part-time job or is a contract employee, and a reduction of tens of thousands of yen will hurt their livelihood. Even families with the stability of regular employment, many of those people are nurses, medical assistance, nursing home workers, or in the hospitality business, thus have a high risk of COVID-19 infection.
Historical numbers of people are currently unable to work, with nowhere to turn for extra support. Ashinaga is coming together compassionately with the students and families who are feeling this impact extra hard. We want to share the message of encouragement, hope, and a light at the end of the tunnel.
Many have spoken up. Please see some of their concerns below.
“Even if I don’t have money, I have to feed my children. I am worried but I don’t know if there will be a financial aid from the government. In the first half of April, I have to pay various fees for my son who is a high school student. Honestly, I cannot afford to pay for it.”
-Anonymous, Hokkaido Prefecture
“I ask [the government] for stronger regulations so that the virus won’t spread. I want them to provide everybody indiscriminately with money for sustenance. And for those people who can make it without the money, it would be nice to have a portal where they could donate it back. To make sure nobody is left behind, I think it should first be delivered to every citizen.”
-Anonymous, Okinawa Prefecture
“Will the University’s exam be held as usual? Will he be able to apply for a scholarship?Why do they want to reopen the school now, when the number of cases is growing by the day? My son too scared of having to go to school. The timing is wrong.”
-Anonymous, Okayama Prefecture
“Since my sons have stopped going to school, I wanted to find a job, but the school I was trying to get a job at has closed, and because of the stay-at-home orders, I haven’t been able to go to the unemployment office. At the moment I have no salary, and my sons who are at the age where they eat a lot, are always hungry and this makes the grocery expenses skyrocket.”
–Anonymous, Nagasaki Prefecture
For the full report, please see the translated PDF document attached.
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