Feb 20, 2012

Feature Story

Japan's First Private Aid Program: Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa

In 2010, Panasonic launched the Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa, the first Japanese private aid program for Africa, in order to help the realization of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the sake of international society, and to fulfill its corporate social responsibility to help African nations.

Panasonic first set up the Panasonic NPO Support Fund in 2001 under the concept that strengthening the infrastructure of civil society is needed to realize a sustainable society in Japan. The Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa was then founded in 2010 as the first Japanese private aid program for Africa. This fund specifically provides aid for the public relations infrastructure.

Previous Results of Aid for NPOs/NGOs

Terra Renaissance
Terra Renaissance, active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Uganda, has used this aid to learn about websites from a professional organization and has greatly increased the number of visitors to its site. And, by increasing the number of its public relations staff from one to three, the NPO has been able to improve the frequency with which it communicates information, increase fund-raising activities and become more active in Africa.

CanDo, a citizens' association working for African development in Kenya, has published an e-book on the problems facing Kenyans and the role of participation-based cooperative development, reaching more people and helping to raise concern over Africa.

  • 00_supportafrica.jpg
    A Scene of Activities

Community Road Empowerment (CORE), which develops roads using sandbags, has held meetings for ordinary people to report on its work and increased its public relations work to establish a firm base for its fund-raising activities.

Constant improvement of public relations to increase understanding among more people about the situation in Africa and what these organizations are doing will lead to more members and supporters for them, plus strengthening their financing too, giving them more robust business foundations.

2012 Aid Organizations and Their Activities

The following are the five aid organizations for 2012.

ADRA Japan (NPO)
"Listening to local people through PhotoVoice"
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ADRA Japan is active in South Sudan and Zimbabwe. Using this aid, it will describe these countries using the medium of PhotoVoice to communicate information with photos of local people themselves, creating a place where local people can talk among themselves in recognition of problems in the community through these photographs.
URL: http://www.adrajpn.org/

CARE International Japan (Public Interest Incorporated Foundations)
"Developing mobile applications"
  • 05_supportafrica_care.jpg

CARE International Japan supports people's independence through action focused on girls and women while also giving humanitarian support in times of disaster in Africa and other countries, working to eradicate poverty. Giving priority to the aging of its members, the organization is aiming to establish public relations channels to reach youth with concern for Africa by creating mobile applications aimed at the smartphone market.
URL: http://www.careintjp.org/

Terra Renaissance (NPO) (second continuous year of aid)
"Fully enhancing the visual aspects of our website"
  • 06_supportafrica_terra2.jpg

Terra Renaissance is involved in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Uganda in empowerment projects for victims of conflict and vulnerable members of society, rehabilitation of former child soldiers, and a campaign to block illegal trade in small arms. The organization intends to show with images the problems besetting these two countries to awaken the responsibility toward the future of each citizen, gain new members and maintain existing ones while ensuring steady financing.
URL: http://www.terra-r.jp/

CORE (NPO) (second continuous year of aid)
"Activities to communicate the voices of Kenyans using sandbags"
  • 07_supportafrica_core2.jpg

CORE is a unique organization seeking to bring about the realization that Japan's spirit of construction and technology of sandbags can lead to better lifestyles and sustainable development. Promoting understanding and generating a sense of familiarity with Africa by using video letters to communicate, focusing on the similarities rather than the differences between the children and everyday life in Japan and Africa and emphasizing the need to make as many people as possible hear the voices of people living in Africa.
URL: http://michibushinbito.ecnet.jp/

Rocinantes (NPO)
"Creating DVDs to introduce our activities to elementary school students and junior high school students"
  • 08_supportafrica_rocinantes.jpg
    Photo by Junji Naito

Working from the perspective that Africa's great problems cannot be solved by the current generation alone, Rocinantes hopes to create DVDS containing its activities and everyday life in the Sudan as an opportunity for children as the next generation to learn about life in Africa. The aim is not only to create DVDs, but to link this to seminars with elementary and junior high school students.
URL: http://www.rocinantes.org/

Panasonic will continue to provide this NPO Support Fund for Africa in the future.

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