Friday, January 27, 2012

Tomo Support for Japan NPO Hope for Tomorrow

I'm happy to announce that the Japan NPO Hope for Tomorrow will be the first recipient of funds raised through the sales of Tomo (publication date March 10, 2012). Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with Rieko Tanaka, who serves on the board of directors of this new NPO. We discussed Hope for Tomorrow's activities thus far and their goals for the future.

Hope for Tomorrow aims to fill in the gaps of government funding and to ensure that high school students in the affected areas can further their education. The Hope for Tomorrow program has three main areas of support: Educational Support, International Exchange Support, and Foreign Language Support. Hope for Tomorrow will provide funding for the costs of exam fees, transportation and accommodation associated with taking university entrance exams; enable meaningful intercultural exchange opportunities; and encourage and facilitate foreign language learning. Hope for Tomorrow has already provided funding for Tohoku students in the current winter 2012 round of university exams, and international exchanges have taken place via Internet between university students in the U.S. and select high schools in hard-hit areas of Tohoku. In March a group of high school students from the affected areas will travel to a school in New York for home-stay experiences. "Education is essential. And we really believe that ability in language and ability to communicate with people from other cultures is key to their futures. With people from around the world focusing on Tohoku recovery, and people from many countries coming to Tohoku to help, students in the affected areas need these skills more than ever," Tanaka explained.

Hope for Tomorrow endeavors to enable teens in the the earthquake and tsunami affected areas to hold onto their hopes and see a meaningful future full of opportunities.

Currently the Hope for Tomorrow website has only Japanese explanation, but English pages will be added soon!

Holly Thompson

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