Growth of Future Generations
ITOCHU supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Children’s Rights and Business Principles. We respect the four pillars of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - a child’s right to life, development, protection and participation. ITOCHU has adopted “Growth of Future Generations” as one of the ITOCHU Group Basic Activity Guidelines on Social Contribution. We perform activities to support the healthy development of the young people who will be responsible for the future generation.
Support for ITOCHU Foundation
Since the foundation was established in 1974, we have been supporting children’s reading activities.
Support for KnK’s “Youth House” in the Philippines
Through KnK, we have been supporting youth self-support facilities since 2007.
TABLE FOR TWO
We support school lunches for children in developing countries.
Support for Child Chemo House
We support the operation of residential facilities for children with cancer and other incurable diseases and their families.
Offering Environmental Programs
We provide a place for children to learn about environmental conservation.
Hosting Company Visits
We provide an opportunity for children to get to know ITOCHU.
Hosting Chinese University Students for Homestays
We have been cooperating with the program organized by The Japanese Chamber Commerce and Industry in China since its inception.
Donation of Tablets to Children
In order to help children continue their studies in the COVID-19 crisis, we donated terminals with electronic books installed.
Three-site Workshop at ITOCHU SDGs STUDIO
Elementary school students from Tokyo, Shiga Prefecture, and the U.K. presented their SDG initiatives online and exchanged information.
ITOCHU has promoted social contribution activities aiming for the sound development of young people since setting up the ITOCHU Foundation (which became a public interest incorporated foundation in 2012) in 1974. The foundation engages in activities for contributing to the healthy growth of children, such as two current major projects: subsidizing development of children’s literature collections and promoting development of an e-book library.
Children’s Literature Collection Grant
Since 1975, ITOCHU Foundation has subsidized some projects by private organizations and individuals to encourage children to read. While adapting to the changing times, the project has paid for book sets and run programs to encourage reading among children in special needs schools. In addition, while expanding the assistance provided, it has provided approximately 1.2 billion yen in funding to pay for 2,698 children’s literature collections in Japan and abroad. The table below details the 103 collections funded in FYE 2023.
We held a presentation ceremony for the FYE 2023 Children’s Literature Collection Grant project in March 2023. This was the first time since FYE 2019 (March 2019) that recipients from all over Japan were invited to the actual event and approximately 140 participants gathered on the day of the ceremony.
|Number of Subsidies
|Children’s book purchase subsidies
58 (of which, 2 overseas)
|Reading activities subsidies for children in hospital facilities
20 (of which, 0 overseas)
|100 Children’s Books Subsidies
23 (of which, 5 overseas)
|Award for distinguished service to children’s literature collections
103 (of which, 7 overseas)
- We supported schools in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and other disaster-affected areas through the 100 Children’s Books Grant we make with our shareholders. We donated 100 books each to 14 schools in FYE 2023.
Project for Promotion of E-book Libraries
Editing and Distribution of Multimedia DAISY Books
Multimedia DAISY is an international standard for e-books. By enlarging texts and narrating, it is used to make e-books more accessible to those who face challenges in reading. With a computer or tablet, a user can enjoy reading with both their eyes and ears. The Digital Book Promotion Division edits picture books and children’s books into Multimedia DAISY. It calls these books the Waiwai Bunko and donates them to special needs education schools and public libraries all over Japan. It has so far digitalized 804 titles and sent the books to a total of 1,413 locations in FYE 2023.
|Number of titles produced
- This is the total from FYE 2012 to FYE 2023
In FYE 2023, 17 publishers, the Japanese Para-Sports Association (JPSA) and individuals provided reading materials. We asked the National Network of Volunteer Readers for the Blind and members of the troupe to record narrations of the texts. 53 volunteer editors helped to complete the works.
79 Titles in the Japan Folk Tale Journeys Series (Nihon Mukashi-banashi no Tabi)
Japan Folk Tale Journeys, which is a digitalized series of local folktales produced in collaboration with community libraries and other partners, added 13 new titles.
- Kinkei Choja (Komoro, Nagano)
- Hinoppara no Kitsune (Hino, Tokyo)
- Omoi no Mori・Koi no Mori (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
- Oitekebori (Sumida, Tokyo)
- Shita wo Nukareta Oshishi (standard Japanese/local dialect) (Inagi, Tokyo)
- Kappa no Wabi Shomon (Tokorozawa,Saitama)
- Tonbo no Yadorigi (Tokorozawa,Saitama)
- Takitsubo ni Ochita Katana (Mino, Osaka)
- Tengu Yama no Tengu (standard Japanese/local dialect) (Shimotsuke, Tochigi)
- Kaze no Kami to Kodomo (standard Japanese/local dialect) (Tsubame, Niigata)
- Katakoyuri to Gifucho (Kobe, Hyogo)
- Daija to Shijuhattaki (standard Japanese/local dialect) (Takayama, Gifu)
- He Koki Yome sa (standard Japanese/local dialect) (Takayama, Gifu)
Donations of Waiwai Bunko to the National Diet Library
There are 573 Waiwai Bunko* titles available via the National Diet Library’s Data Transmission Service for Persons with Print Disabilities. This service allows the visually impaired and other persons with print disabilities that create challenges for reading normal printed text to read books from home, the National Diet Library, or a library offering the service.
- Waiwai Bunko means “Exciting Book Collection.” It is a nickname for the ITOCHU Foundation’s Multimedia DAISY Books. The concept is to instill confidence in children with special needs and help them lead more enriched lives by enabling them to enjoy cumulative small successes through reading.
Viewing Waiwai Bunko
ITOCHU Foundation’s website lists works that are available for trial playback of the “Waiwai Bunko” Multimedia DAISY books.
New Information in Video
ITOCHU Foundation’s website has the following two videos of online seminars: “How to Use Waiwai Bunko” and “Barriers to Reading and Barrier-Free Reading Materials” (Speaker: Professor Takenori Noguchi, School of Letters, Senshu University). Please have a look for details.
"Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi" ("KnK"; Meaning "Children Without Borders") Support Activities at the "House for Youth," a Home That Helps Young People Become Independent
Since FYE 2008, ITOCHU has been supporting the "Wakamono-no-Ie (meaning House for Youth)," a home that helps young people become independent, located on the outskirts of Manila. Support was provided via Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (KnK: meaning "children without borders"), an authorized Japanese NPO that supports street children, children who are victims of major disasters, and other children in developing countries.
In the Philippines, an economic crisis triggered unbalanced economic growth, which hindered the balance of income distribution. Many children from underprivileged families suffer from abuse and neglect. Such serious problems have forced them to become street children, work for a living, steal, and/or engage in delinquency or acts that violate the law. Under such background, KnK’s House for Youth serves as a shelter for children. The House for Youth provides protection for children exposed to danger and youngsters violating the law and supports their lives and education. It provides comprehensive support such as healthy environment and education, meals, mental care and job training, allowing the children to maintain their dignity and become independent citizens. Additionally, the shelter provides educational activities for children, young people and their guardians in the communities from which the children come to prevent abuse, neglect and crime, and to raise awareness.
Endorsing KnK’s activities, ITOCHU Itochu started to support KnK for the reconstruction of the aging House for Youth building in 2007. In December 2009, the new building was completed and the House for Youth was reopened. ITOCHU also provided support when House for Youth was again renovated in 2012 into a job training facility that helps children achieve independence. In 2013, the underground floor and the roof of the house were renovated, enabling the facility to provide more job training courses, which allows more young people to acquire practical skills.
Since FYE 2016, ITOCHU has been once again providing financial support related to the operation of the House for Youth (4.5 million yen for three years). The funds are used to provide education, meals, mental health care, job training, and other necessities so as to restore the dignity of children in the House for Youth and help them grow into adults who can contribute to society. The facility provided online training for members of staff to deepen their understanding of appropriate relationships with children who have problem behavior during the lockdown and regional quarantine due to the spread of COVID-19 in 2020. It also further enhanced care for children with external psychologists.
The support from ITOCHU is highly evaluated as a great foundation that leads to the stabilization of KnK Philippines’ activities and enables them to continue.
Volunteer from ITOCHU Manila branch
Employees from ITOCHU Manila branch regularly visit this facility for volunteer activities and other purposes.
In May 2016, we participated in a ceremony held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of KnK Philippines’ activities.We formed deeper connections with the children, including those living on the streets of the slums, by giving them Christmas presents and organizing a small basketball tournament.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold our Christmas party in FYE 2021 and FYE 2022, but in December 2021, the Tokyo Headquarters gave notebooks, Coupy Pencils, handbells, and boardgames as Christmas presents for children who come to the House of Youth and the Children’s Center.*
- Children’s Center: A facility that engages in non-formal education and awareness-raising for children who cannot attend school.
Comments from the children:
- They played many games and danced and played basketball together with us. We also received presents from them. That made us truly happy.
- I am glad when they all visit House for Youth. I look forward to December when they all visit every year.
Geo’s father was killed in a campaign against drugs by the government. Geo himself was also housed in a facility run by the government for two years. He still cannot accept the fact his father was killed in front of his eyes. Moreover, after his father was died, his beloved grandmother also passed away. This further deepened his sorrow.
After entering the House for Youth, Geo was struck by deep sadness and anxiety. He endured sleepless nights and started talking about revenge for the death of his father and ending his own life. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This was due to the death of his grandmother and living in a detention facility for more than two years in addition to witnessing the death of his father at the hands of the police.
Geo was provided counseling with a psychological care professional and medication prescribed by a psychiatrist at the House for Youth. He now speaks with a positive outlook on his life. He has become able to solve problems without using violence. It is possible to see major changes in him. He has patience and displays leadership skills. He is now waiting on the results of an assessment on his uncle’s ability to take custody of him. This is the final requirement necessary for a release order by the court.
Bob was always being beaten by his drunk father. His father died in 2015. After his father’s death, his eldest son became rebellious and taught Bob how to steal. Bob was also physically abused by his brother. Bob felt unloved by his family. He felt rejected by his siblings. He began stealing inside and outside his home. He made many friends on the streets and made money by picking up trash and stealing things.
Bob self-harmed, had insomnia, revealed suicidal intentions and had tantrums in his life at KnK’s House for Youth. He also had difficulty adapting to his life at school. For example, he couldn’t concentrate and he didn’t follow the instructions of his teachers. The school told him to take supplementary lessons at the House for Youth without coming to school until he was able to adapt to life at school.
Bob’s self-esteem improved through his life at the House for Youth. He is no longer self-harming or revealing suicidal intentions. He is now attending school. His relationships with his family, especially his mother, have also improved. He has also gradually been able to build up relationships with the other younger children he lives with together at the House for Youth. The facility plans to continue to care for him so that he can solve the deep-seated problems he has due to the psychological abuse he endured until he returns home someday.
Tani was arrested for stealing and detained in a government facility for one month. He was 14 years old at the time. Detention in that facility was not allowed for minor offences by children under 15 years old according to Philippine law. Therefore, he was released with the help of another NGO that works with the KnK. It was determined that his father was abusive and so couldn’t raise him. Therefore, he was introduced to KnK’s House of Youth.
Tani is the third of four siblings. The mother he adored died at the age of 40 due to pneumonia. His father worked as a street vendor. However, he was unable to fulfill his functions as a father. For example, he physically abused and failed to look after his children – especially Tani. Tani left home because he was afraid of his father. He made a living by working in a computer shop and occasionally stealing.
Tani was unable to trust people even after moving into KnK’s the House for Youth. He was involved in several incidents of theft at the House for Youth and school. He also displayed violent behavior toward the other children. He was given counseling by social workers and psychological care professionals to solve the problems he faced. He also participated in various activities and attended school. After a year and a half at the House for Youth, he has now found a sense of responsibility. His relationship with his father has also improved and he is able to exercise self-control. Currently, he is continuing to live at the House for Youth to further strengthen his self-control.
- For the protection of privacy, the people in the photos are not the same as the people in each case story.
Voices of the residents of the House for Youth
Raffy (alias, 12 years old)
Raffy started to live on the streets at the age of ten, along with his older brother by four years and two friends. His brother was apprehended for guidance after stealing, then the two brothers were introduced to KnK.
Voice of Raffy
"One good thing about the House for Youth is that we can go to school. My dream of becoming a policeman may come true. I don’t want to live with my father, who doesn’t allow us to go to school. The House for Youth even serves nice meals. I don’t have a favorite but everything I eat is good!"
Christian (alias, 15 years old)
Christian lived with six brothers after their father was jailed and their mother passed away due to an illness. At that time, his brother stole to provide for their household. Christian had only attended school until the fourth year before coming to the House for Youth.
Voice of Christian
"I went back to school after joining the House for Youth. That’s the best part for me. Science is my favorite subject. I want to be a physician in the future to help sick people."
- For the protection of privacy, the people in the photos are not the same as the commenting residents.
TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) is a social contribution program based on the concept of sharing meals across time and space to simultaneously solve hunger in developing countries and obesity and lifestyle-related diseases in developed countries. Under the TFT program, for every one meal consumed in developed countries, one meal is donated to a developing country. When you purchase a set meal or food with reduced calories to prevent obesity and lifestyle-related diseases, 20 yen per meal is donated through TFT for school meals for children in developing countries. The 20 yen is equivalent to one school lunch in the region supported by TFT. School lunches play an important role in improving children’s basic physical fitness and disease prevention, as well as increasing school enrollment and academic performance, and building community between schools and parents.
TFT was established in Japan in October 2007, and in April 2008 in the corporate cafeterias in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya ITOCHU introduced the TFT program at full-scale ahead of other companies.
For each healthy TFT meal purchased by employees, a donation of 20 yen is automatically made. ITOCHU has introduced a matching gift program under which it donates an additional 20 yen per TFT meal purchased by its employees. This means that a total of 40 yen per meal is used to provide school lunches for children in developing nations via the TFT program.
Currently, the cafeteria at the Tokyo Head Office serves TFT dishes daily. In FYE 2023, 40,374 meals were purchased, which together with ITOCHU’s matching donation resulted in a donation of 1,614,960 yen (equivalent to 80,748 school lunch meals).
Child Chemo House is a residential facility for children with cancer and other incurable diseases and their families, located in Kobe Medical Industry Development Project (Port Island). It provides long-term support for children and their families during and after hospitalization and treatment, which can last from several months to a year. To support the operation of Child Chemo House, we have installed Chemo House-specification beverage vending machines in our Tokyo and Osaka headquarters, and donate an amount equivalent to 4% of the sales from all beverage vending machines installed in both buildings. 3,917,802 yen in total has been donated through FYE 2023.
Every summer since 1992, ITOCHU Corporation has been holding a summer school program on the environment for local children and employees’ families as a means of raising awareness of environmental issues. To date, we have provided a cumulative total of more than 1,300 elementary school children with opportunities to learn about environmental and biodiversity conservation.
Class on the SDGs and the Environment
On October 29 of FYE 2022, we held an online class on the SDGs and the environment led by Monofactory Co., Ltd. to inquire into the nature of garbage and recycling. Elementary school students in lower grades could join the class from home with a tablet. There are 17 goals in SDGs, and the students enjoyed learning with familiar items at home to gain a deeper understanding of SDG #12: Responsible Consumption and Production. It was a great opportunity to share ideas about how to utilize items with secondary use and recycling of waste.
Special Class on Mangrove and Ocean Plastic Recycling
Please click here for details.
Lake Biwa Environmental Study Tour in Shiga Prefecture
Please click here for details.
In concert with the teaching guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology incorporating company visits into curriculum, ITOCHU Corporation has accepted company visits by elementary and junior and senior high school students to support “students understanding social roles and occupational lifestyles, and encouraging independence as a full-fledged member of society.”
Please check ‘Social Contribution Activities with Shiga Prefecture’ and ‘Social Contribution Activities in Minato City’ for details.
ITOCHU Corporation has been supporting the “Visit Japanese Enterprises and Feel Japan” program organized by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China since its inception.
The program is designed to deepen mutual understanding between Japan and China by giving Chinese university students, who will lead the next generation, a firsthand look at Japan through visits to Japanese companies and universities, cultural tours, and other activities. Not only ITOCHU employees, but also Group employees and alumni have cooperated as a host family for students to share them the experience of living with a Japanese family.
FYE 2024 marked the 26th time the program was held, the first time in four years since the COVID-19 crisis.