30 June 2015
Washington, D.C., USA

The quadrennial World Children’s Festival (WCF) was kicked off on Tuesday, June 30th at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony at “The Ellipse” – “President’s Park” – adjacent to The White House. It included the World Children’s Award 2015, which recognizes leaders who have made significant contributions toward empowering children and young people to take a leadership role in their communities.

Following awe-inspiring dance performances by the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble and Ms. Corrinne Calhoun, International Child Art Foundation (ICAF), the organizer of WCF, announced the World Children’s Award for Akira Foundation.

Hirofumi Yokoi, President and CEO of Akira Foundation, said: “Thank you very much for the warm welcome and it is my great honor to receive the award…” ICAF and its Youth Board recognized Hirofumi for his “support for their world festival and (his) leadership role in Japan in building bridges across cultures, as epitomized by the work of the Akira Foundation and youth exchange programs such as TOMODACHI.”

The other winner was Mr. Frank Furlan, President and CEO of The Swatch Group USA, Inc.

The World Children’s Award is the sole tribute that the world’s children confer on creative leaders and empathic organizations. Instituted at the WCF2007, the children presented the inaugural Award to LEGO for fostering children’s creativity since 1932. At the WCF2011, the children presented the Award to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for putting children’s first in all its investments since 1930.*

*Source: International Child Art Foundation HP
(http://www.worldchildrensfestival.org/)

16 May 2015
Tokyo, Japan

The jury was invited to the second floor conference space in the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Global Plaza, Tokyo, Japan, on May 16 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to evaluate 68 paintings and digital art works submitted by children aged 8-14 from across the country.
The jury followed guidelines provided in terms of creativity/inspiration, expression/execution, color/shape, and artistic skills/techniques. The members also took it into consideration whether the artworks comply with the theme that the organizer, ICAF, proposed “Sport and Art for Peace” and the concept of “STEAMS Education,” which “integrates art and culture (signified by the “A”) and sport and play (the “S”) with STEM disciplines for children’s holistic development.”*
The jury will select winners in late May for the “5th World Children’s Festival (WCF) 2015” and their art works will be exhibited at “The Ellipse” – “President’s Park” – next to The White House where WCF takes place between June 30 and July 3. Akira Foundation supports the festival as a host committee member.

Jury member:

Chief Judge:
Toshiharu Hisatsune (Kaga Yuzen artist)
Judges:
Nozomi Kondo (President, International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) Japan)
Hisara Kondo (Lecturer, Kanazawa University)
Sophie Bocklandt (General Manager, The Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan)
Hirofumi Yokoi (President and CEO, Akira Foundation)
Makiko Takemura (Founder and President, International Women’s Club JAPAN)
Ikuko Tsuboya-Newell (Founder, Tokyo International School)
Eri Sato (Vice Chairperson, Peace Field Japan)
Mamiko Inahata (President, Nature’s Chest Japan)
Kensuke Mori (Board Member, Akira Foundation)





About International Child Art Foundation (ICAF)*

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) serves as the national arts & creativity organization for American children and the international arts & creativity organization for the world’s children.
Established in 1997, the ICAF is today independently ranked among the 25 Top Children’s Charities in the United States. Our Arts Olympiad has grown into the world’s largest and most prestigious children’s art program and the World Children’s Festival has become the world’s premier children’s celebration.

*Source: International Child Art Foundation HP (http://www.icaf.org/)
For more information, please click here.

27 April 2015
Washington, D.C., USA

President Hirofumi Yokoi has been awarded the World Children’s Award 2015.

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) and its Youth Board said he won it for his “support for their world festival and for (his) leadership role in Japan in building bridges across cultures, as epitomized by the work of the Akira Foundation and youth exchange programs such as TOMODACHI.”

Yokoi will participate in the 5th World Children’s Festival (WCF) that ICAF holds between June 30 and July 3 at “The Ellipse” – “President’s Park” – next to The White House. He will open the festival on Tuesday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m. with a keynote address.

The World Children’s Award is the sole tribute that the world’s children confer on creative leaders and empathic organizations. Instituted at the WCF2007, the children presented the inaugural Award to LEGO for fostering children’s creativity since 1932. At the WCF2011, the children presented the Award to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for putting children’s first in all its investments since 1930.


About International Child Art Foundation (ICAF)*

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) serves as the national arts & creativity organization for American children and the international arts & creativity organization for the world’s children.
Established in 1997, the ICAF is today independently ranked among the 25 Top Children’s Charities in the United States. Our Arts Olympiad has grown into the world’s largest and most prestigious children’s art program and the World Children’s Festival has become the world’s premier children’s celebration.

*Source: International Child Art Foundation HP
For more information, please click here.

6 April 2015
Tokyo, Japan

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF), a non-profit organization which enhances academic performance and imbues global citizenship by nurturing children’s creativity and developing their empathy, is seeking art works from children aged 8-14 who live in Japan for the 5th World Children’s Festival (WCF) 2015. The deadline is approaching on May 8, 2015, and the jury will hold a meeting to evaluate all the submitted paintings and digital art works on May 16.

Akira Foundation supports the festival as a host committee member.
For more information on the application process visit the ICAF Japan website.


About International Child Art Foundation (ICAF)*

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) serves as the national arts & creativity organization for American children and the international arts & creativity organization for the world’s children.

Established in 1997, the ICAF is today independently ranked among the 25 Top Children’s Charities in the United States. Our Arts Olympiad has grown into the world’s largest and most prestigious children’s art program and the World Children’s Festival has become the world’s premier children’s celebration.

*Source: International Child Art Foundation HP
For more information, please click here.

12 January 2015
Tokyo, Japan

Social Enterprise English Language School, or ‘SEELS,’ one of our investees, was featured in a recent article in the Japan Times. The story profiles their microfranchising model that “helps Filipinas set up and run international kindergartens and eikaiwa” – English conversation – schools, and the project that Kathryn Doria Goto and Cesar V. Santoyo, founder and president of SEELS, teamed up to work on for making a film titled “Accept Us Maybe.” The Toyota Foundation provides funding for its film development and production.

The article also explained the backdrop of the Filipino community in Japan and how the public’s perception of them has been changed. Santoyo admits that it “has been gradually improving.” He is concerned, however, that “…some middle-aged women are married to older Japanese men who are working class. They are already retired. Living off their pension alone is not enough.” He stressed, “So, for these reasons, a number of women could use assistance. The government should permit them to apply for welfare benefits if they are needed. The release of this film is timely, because this is something we want to advocate for. This is what we mean by social acceptance.”

The full article can be found below.

SEELS was founded by Santoyo in May 2011, shortly after the Great East Japan Earthquake hit northeast Japan. Since then, the social enterprise has been supported by Akira Foundation, financially and non-financially. SEELS creates job opportunities for more than 6,000 Filipino living in Tohoku, the northeastern part of Japan, by educating and training them to become English teachers. It provides English and international early childhood education services at an affordable price, which may fit well in the severe financial hardship condition of the families who fall under the middle income bracket, as well as in need of global-minded human resources.
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