Education | Apr 04

Scholarship Shortfall Hitting Orphans

TOKYO, Apr 04 (News On Japan) - The Ashinaga Scholarship Foundation, known for supporting students who have lost their parents, is experiencing its lowest scholarship acceptance rate ever.

Last month, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance donated approximately 15.7 million yen to the foundation, raised through various events.

Atsushi Nakamura, Vice President of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, expressed his hopes for the donation: "We hope to contribute to improving access to education and supporting the dreams of young people."

The Ashinaga Scholarship Foundation is a private nonprofit organization that supports children from families where a parent has passed away or cannot work due to illness or disability, mainly through scholarships. Much of its funding comes from donations, and during the award ceremony, the acting president expressed gratitude. However, he also highlighted the challenging circumstances facing the scholars.

Acting President Haruji Murata spoke on the issue: "In many ways, disparities and poverty are becoming more severe. We had 1,800 applicants for the high school scholarship program for the 2024 academic year but regrettably, we could only accept 800."

Despite receiving a record 1,800 applications this year, the foundation could offer scholarships to less than half due to a lack of funds.

Officials suggest that the increase in applicants seeking support is due to rising prices and reduced household incomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation is intensifying its efforts to solicit donations to prevent an increase in non-acceptance.

However, there's a perception that Japan lacks a culture of donation. Posts on social media reflect this sentiment, stating, "In Japan, making a donation is often criticized as self-promotion or hypocrisy" and "Because the spirit of charity is weak among Japanese, actions are dismissed as hypocritical."

Source: ANN

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