Junko Association
2000winners international contributions
Continuing activities in support of education for children in Vietnam, across three levels
Junko Association

Founded: September 1995

Award summary

Some 850 students are now studying at the Junko School, a public elementary school established in a village in central Vietnam in 1995 according to the dying wishes of the late Junko Takahashi, a student at Meiji Gakuin University. Her parents used condolence money and other sources to build the school, which was named by the villagers.Continuing the work begun by Junko's parents is the Junko Association, which was formed soon after the school opened by Junko's former teachers and classmates. The association does not stop at raising funds for school buildings, but also supports tuition, and currently has about 50 members, consisting mostly of Junko's junior classmates. The association's fund-raising activities include the sale of Vietnamese products, and the scope of its activities is spreading to other countries in Southeast Asia.

Reasons for this award

The work has been carried out over three stages, by Junko, her parents, and Junko's campus friends and teachers, and the selection committee wanted to recognize the ongoing nature of these activities and the way they are expanding in scope. The committee was also impressed by the way the association raises funds entirely on its own initiative, without requesting support from any quarter, and felt this was a good example of the way students today participate in society.

Comments from the winner

For us, this isn't just about providing aid but about growing as human beings and deriving satisfaction from what we are doing. If we were relying on donations, we wouldn't be able to continue, so in order to generate funds we are running a business handling miscellaneous goods from Vietnam. We intend to continue our activities in accordance with Junko's wishes, and we won't just stop at the Junko School or Vietnam but hope to extend our activities further afield. We regard this award as a present from Junko herself.