In the late 1980s the Tokyo International Learning Community began in a very small way as a support group for parents of children with special needs. TILC opened a school in a church room, where children suffering from a wide range of disabilities were brought together in a learning environment.

Since the early days, 87 children from more than 20 countries have passed through the school. The school moved from the church to premises in Mitaka, and ran into accommodation problems.

"We decided to buy the land that the school stands on," said Jane Marwick, a member of TILC's fundraising committee. "It is a huge commitment. We have incredible support from the Tokyo community, from companies and churches and individual persons. At the moment we have 17 children in attendance, aged from 18 months to 17 years. The school is self-sufficient from its fees, and so can function well."