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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

Local Charities Making a Big Difference in Japan

As part of a global company, we’re constantly inspired by organizations that are making an impact in the world.  We all know of the great work that’s done by large organizations like the Red Cross or UNICEF which we support, but seldom do we get a chance to highlight the great work being done by local organizations.  As the MasterCard Japan country manager, I don’t need to tell you about the hardships our community has faced this year, but what I do want to tell you about is two local organizations that are making a difference, and why we decided to reallocate some of our funds to support these organizations and their cause.

Ashinaga: Yoshiomi Tamai founded the Japanese non-profit organization, Ashinaga, back in 1969 and since then the organization has raised over $1B from private sources and supported the graduation of over 80,000 orphans.  After the March earthquake, Ashinaga drew upon their long experience to build a “Rainbow House” and help heal associated emotional wounds.  They are currently in the process of building a second Rainbow House in the Miyagi prefecture and have launched a program to enable financial contributions to children who have lost their parents as result of the March earthquake.

International Disaster Relief Organization (IDRO): An American-born, long-time Kyoto-based antiques dealer who mobilized and organized “hands on” volunteers created IDRO Japan.  In the short months since the earthquake, IDRO has conducted many relief trips to the affected region to bring donated goods and supplies, clear debris, rebuild homes, small businesses and provide critical supplies. Their pragmatic approach to immediate relief includes the delivery of not just food and clothing, but also tools, training and volunteer labor to rebuild.

What local charitable organizations have inspired you?