Readers reach out with fund

by Tomoko Otake

Total contributions to The Japan Times Readers’ Fund in 2000 came to 3,401,372 yen.

PAG-ASA Group Japan received 800,000 yen from the readers’ fund. The group says it has used the money to help needy children in the Philippines.

The group, which has for 12 years helped over 1,000 street children per year attend school, is currently sponsoring 1,761 elementary school students.

The money received from the The Japan Times fund is being used to sponsor 193 of the children, said group representative Masako Sumiya.

Sumiya added that in cooperation with a local nongovernmental organization, the sponsored children have been provided with uniforms, bags, shoes and stationery.

Some of the money has also been used to pay the social workers who visit the children’s homes and monitor their progress, she said.

Meanwhile, Cambodian House, another NGO that received 800,000 yen from the readers’ fund, said it has used the money to help finance a school in a remote village in Banteay Meanchey Province in northwestern Cambodia.

The elementary school, equipped with six classrooms, a teachers’ lounge and a lavatory, is the first for the villagers since the old school was abandoned during the totalitarian regime of the Khmer Rouge.

Fumio Goto, a priest at Catholic Kichijoji Church in the Tokyo suburb of Musashino, leads the school-building drive in Cambodia. His group has completed seven schools. All were donated to provincial governments.