Ashinaga fundraising relay raises ¥61 million

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The poster of the Ashinaga Foundation

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A relay across Japan to raise educational funding for children who have lost one or both parents due to illness or disaster was completed on Saturday, collecting about ¥61 million, according to the Ashinaga Foundation, its organizer.

The relay, in which students receiving support from the foundation appealed for donations on streets across the country, started in May.

Full-scale street fundraising activities had been halted since October 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 3,000 students on Ashinaga scholarships and volunteers took part in the relay that visited all of the country’s 47 prefectures over about seven months. On Saturday, about 20 Ashinaga scholarship students gathered near JR Shinjuku Station and expressed their gratitude for the donations.

“The situation involving bereaved children has come close to the critical point due to the pandemic and price increases,” said Ryusei Teramoto, the 22-year-old director general of the Ashinaga Students Fundraising Association, who himself is receiving support from the Ashinaga foundation.

“We want people to be concerned even a little [about the situation] and listen to our voices,” Teramoto said.