Panasonic Continues to Provide the NPO Support Fund for Africa in 2013
The Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa is a program created by Panasonic to strengthen the advertising foundations for NPO/ NGOs working to solve problems in African nations. The program started issuing grants in January 2011, and this is its third year of operation. At the event, organizations that received aid in 2012 gave their activity reports, and a grant presentation ceremony was held for those organizations that will receive grants in 2013.
Two Organizations Newly Selected to Receive Aid in 2013
Africa Child Education Fund
The Africa Child Education Fund established an office in Nara, and they are establishing a local office in the suburban city of Embu in Kenya. Under the slogan, “Education for children and medical care for sick children,” they began by donating textbooks to clinics and about 250 schools, followed by establishing vocational training facilities and providing instruction in organic farming methods.
Ehime Global Network
Based in Ehime Prefecture, the Ehime Global Network uses the slogan, “Think for the region, act locally, and you will start to change. Individual human connections can change the world.” They are active primarily in Mozambique. They established cafés that use African crafts and fair-trade products. In addition, they are offering to send abandoned bicycles to Mozambique in exchange for weapons collected from within the country.
Two Other Groups Selected in 2012 Continues to Receive Aid in 2013
From their base of operations in Kyoto, Terra Renaissance is working to remove mines and help child soldiers rejoin society in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Panasonic has been providing grants-in-aid to Terra Renaissance since 2011. In 2012, under the direction of expert advisors, they produced a DVD depicting the lives of child soldiers. This DVD is now being distributed to individuals, groups, supporters, and schools. They also make presentations using the DVD at schools. One of the greatest results of these efforts is the spread of public relations know-how and legal knowledge. In addition, they have established an office in the DRC and have helped 149 child soldiers return to society. Membership and income both increased by 1.5 times compared with 2010.
Community Road Empowerment
Community Road Empowerment (CORE) is active primarily in Kenya, building roads using sandbags. All the side roads in Kenya are muddy and rutted. CORE is teaching the local population how to shore up these roads with sandbags. They are teaching the local people how to fix their roads by themselves. With this grant-in-aid, they held exhibitions in Tokyo and Kyoto to show these sandbags on which Kenya’s children drew their own dreams. They showed videos of Kenyan people telling their own stories to spread the word about how Japan’s sandbag technology is creating a better, richer life for the people of Africa. These information-sharing activities have been very effective, and their operating budget grew from 28 million yen in 2010 to 70 million yen in 2012.
Message from Ms. Michiko Ogawa, General Manager of Panasonic Groupwide Brand Communications Division, CSR & Citizenship Group
“Since the company first began to produce dry-cell batteries in Tanzania in 1968, Panasonic has been providing support to the African continent to help establish an enriched, more sustainable society. I myself have been to Tanzania to donate solar power containers and other goods, and when I saw the realities of areas that did not have electric power, it inspired me to think long and hard about what we can do. Two years ago, Panasonic began its grant-in-aid program to help support the advertising foundations of NPO/NGOs. This time we have selected four groups to support, from among the nineteen applicants. It is through the activities of these groups that we hope to reach a great number of people and educate them about the realities of life in Africa.”
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