KAWASAKI — When Rosemarie Salvio began taking care of children at the Fureai-kan public welfare facility in Kawasaki in 1997, Filipino mothers started showing up to talk with her.

"A lot of Filipino mothers came here not only to discuss problems they faced but also just to speak in Tagalog," recalled Salvio, who moved to Japan in 1992 at age 23 with her son to marry a Japanese man. "There was no place where we could feel at home in this town."

The Manila native and several other Filipino women took the initiative to create the Kawayan Group Information Center for Filipino Women's Community and Sari Sari Store.