RUSAL helps Japan

After the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan on March 11th, 2011, RUSAL made a decision to support the victims of the disaster. Priority was given to assisting the children in the affected areas, as well as to restoring cultural objects, which are the pride of the Japanese nation, and are not included into the governmental rehabilitation programme.

Joining forces with the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the Russian Embassy in Japan, the Japanese Embassy in Moscow, and Russian experts on Japan, made it possible to form a list of local Japanese organisations - children's foundations and unique cultural heritage - which are in need of support. RUSAL's total aid was USD 600,000 and it was transferred to the following organisations in Japan:

  • Ashinaga Foundation (www.ashinaga.org) - helping the orphans of the affected prefectures.

    About Ashinaga Foundation

    Ashinaga is a nonprofit organization based in Tokyo, Japan. For over 40 years, Ashinaga has been providing education-focused financial and emotional support to children whose parent or guardian suffer a serious disability, or who have lost one or both parents or guardians due to illness, accident, disaster, or suicide. Each year, Ashinaga provides financial support to more than 6,000 students in need. Total academic loans and scholarships disbursed per year exceed US$22 million.

    Ashinaga is working vigorously to provide financial, educational, and emotional support for the children who have been affected by the massive March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. For children who have lost their parents or guardians in the disaster or who have a parent or guardian affected by a severe disability resulting from the disaster, Ashinaga has implemented the following measures:

    * Establishment of one-time relief payments for children (from infants to graduate school students) ranging from 100,000 yen (US$1,250) to 400,000 yen (US$5,000).

    * Grace periods for repayment of regular Ashinaga educational loans.

    * Dispatch of staff members to affected areas to identify children in need of psychological support.

    Based on experience with the Rainbow Houses in Kobe and Tokyo (where young orphaned children receive emotional support, room and board), Ashinaga is planning to build Rainbow House in Sendai city and also satellite facilities in other locations.

  • YuI Foundation (www.project-yui.org) - supporting the learning process and the psychological rehabilitation of schoolchildren. Also RUSAL intends to take part in the project of YuI Foundation for the construction of sports ground and recreation centre for children.

    About YuI Foundation

    The purpose of YuI Foundation is to organise comprehensive educational and game process for children affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Part of the personnel of the Foundation is represented by professional educators who conduct one-day training sessions in Tokyo for the volunteers, then the volunteers go to the tsunami-affected areas. YuI Foundation arranges sporting and cultural events for the children with involvement of professional athletes, students from the USA universities of arts, who, together with local children arrange theatrical performances and contests.

    The Foundation works in close collaboration with relevant agencies in the field of education, culture, sports and technology in Japan. YuI Foundation is supported by more than 40 major international organisations.

  • Ishinomori Mangattan Museum in Miyagi Prefecture – supporting reconstruction of one of the main attractions of the city, a symbol of Japanese culture.

    About Ishinomori Mangattan Museum in Miyagi Prefecture

    Manga is an important part of Japanese culture and identity. Ishinomori Mangattan Museum was founded in 1991 in Ishinomaki City and became one of the main attractions not only on a municipal, but also on a national scale. The museum is dedicated to the famous manga creator, Mr. Shotaro Ishinomori, who was born and raised in Miyagi Prefecture, as well as to the history of Japanese manga. Due to the large collection of manga works gathered in the museum, the port city of Ishinomaki became famous throughout Japan, attracting up to 180,000 annually.

    After the devastating earthquake, Ishinomori Mangattan Museum became a symbol of the city's reconstruction, combining the efforts of museum administration, non-profit organisations and numerous volunteers.

  • Financial resources were also targeted for recovery of such unique cultural heritage objects in Japan as the Museum of Sea and Shellfish in Iwate Prefecture, Museum of Science, Whales and Sea in Iwate Prefecture, Aquarium in Iwate Prefecture.

Thus, on the monetary funds transferred by RUSAL, the foundations supporting the children will be able to organise psychological assistance and the continuation of the educational process in damaged prefectures, and the museums of Japan will conduct the necessary remedial work.