13 January 2010
Tokyo, Japan

Social Innovation Scholarship (SIS) was recognized in the annual report that Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – Japan (MEXT – “Monbukagakusho (文部科学省)” compiled. MEXT compiled the annual report of the current Japanese educational system and situation to support foreign students in 2009 (「我が国の留学生制度の概要」-平成21年度版).

The document consists of four PDF files and, in the third one, there was Akira Foundation’s “Social Innovation Scholarship (SIS),” proudly listed as one of the programs to support foreign students, who come to Japan for study without any grants or sponsorship.

This could be a great recognition and milestone to Akira Foundation, at a national level, and Akira Foundation is hoping this helps promote the program further, in a more sustainable and integrated way.

20 December 2009
Dubai, UAE

Hirofumi Yokoi came for a short visit to Dubai, UAE to observe a board meeting of the Grameen-Jameel, a social business as a joint venture between Grameen Foundation and Jameel Foundation. During the meeting, Hirofumi had some chances to exchange with their key staff the current state and future directions of microfinance projects they cover across eight countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen).

5-6 November 2009
The Hague/Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Atsufumi was selected as one of the ‘Delegates of Holland Alumni’ by Nuffic (Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education), who was the only, first-time winner from Japan. Atsufumi was cordially invited to the conference, ‘Holland Alumni Conference 2009’, held at the Bel Air Hotel in The Hague on 5 and 6 November, uniting outstanding Holland Alumni from all over the world to reconnect and share their knowledge and thoughts as well as their experiences in their field of expertise. The conference was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Nuffic.

The 100 outstanding delegates were elected at Holland Alumni Conference 2009 and gathered in the heart of the political power in the Netherlands, The Hague.

The two-day conference offered an exciting programme in accordance with the seven areas of expertise, Agricultural Sciences, Management & Business Studies, Geosciences, Water Management, Architecture and Urban Issues, Social Sciences, and IT. In line with these areas, the 100 delegates teamed up and joined the each workshop, networking and much more, hosted by the experts. As one of the selected participants in the field of ‘Architecture and Urban Issues’, Atsufumi attended the workshop together with talented delegates from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, focusing on the theme, “The Inclusive City: Designing Coexistence” referred to the theme of the international exhibition, ‘The 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR)’. In fact, the group of the Architecture and Urban Issues visited the IABR and discussed the topic enthusiastically with a wide range of research and reports across the Global South.

1 September 2009
Beirut, Lebanon

Hirofumi Yokoi started to work for Abdul Latif Jameel Community Services Programmes, in Lebanon, Beirut.

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