Projects Summary : Support children in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake

Besides donations and fundraising activities, we provide support leveraging the characteristics of our businesses. We aim to conduct continuous support activities with the aim of fostering the sound growth of children who as adults will lead the reconstruction of the affected areas.

Provision of free educational supplies and materials

Benesse representatives visited elementary, junior high and high schools in the disaster-hit region to identify the needs of each school. We supplied supplementary lesson materials such as drills and dictionaries, and other educational supplies free of charge. Benesse cooperated with other educational suppliers in this relief effort to obtain items that the company could not provide by itself.

Study Support Provided by Employees

In areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake many children still face impediments to studying schools and households. In fiscal 2012, approximately 40 Benesse Corporation employees responsible for Shinkenzemi Junior High School Correspondence Courses participated in NPO activities providing support in these places. They provided support for junior high school students' studies.
UP Inc. offered video lessons free of charge to junior high school students in Miyagi Prefecture whose school had been damaged in the disaster. The students accessed the lessons using 40 PCs provided by an electronics company.

Shimajiro visits the earthquake-hit region

To provide young children with much-needed activity and enjoyment, Benesse organized events featuring the "Shimajiro" tiger character, who features in Benesse lesson plans, at 60 locations in the earthquake-hit region such as Yamadamachi in Iwate Prefecture. Some 13,000 children and their parents attended these events.

Support for Orphans

The Great East Japan Earthquake also prompted Benesse Corporation to establish the Benesse Correspondence Course Scholarship Program. This program provides free educational materials to orphans throughout Japan, aged 0 through senior high school (up to age 19).

Effort Prize Donations

Benesse Corporation started the Effort Prize Donation program just after the Great East Japan Earthquake, when the Shinkenzemi Editing Department received enrollee feedback asking, "What support can I give right now?" The Effort Prize Donation program allows Shinkenzemi enrollees to elect to donate their Effort Prize Points to support children of the same generation living in disaster affected area. The points are received when the enrollees complete and submit a task in their Shinkenzemi studies. From the first round of support in fiscal 2012 through to fiscal 2015, Benesse Corporation’s Shikenzemi provided various forms of tangible support to people living in affected areas.
In fiscal 2016, the program started offering enrollees the option of donating their points to Benesse Foundation for Children. The foundation uses the donations for activities to support children wrestling with various difficulties, and reports on the activities widely.
We hope that this kind of activity will give children the opportunity to think about the various difficult situations faced by other children of the same generation.

Support through the Benesse Fund

In March 2011, soon after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Group established the Benesse Fund in response to suggestions and encouragement from employees and customers. The fund solicits donations, mainly from employees, customers and Benesse Group companies, and uses the funds to help children, elderly people, and women on an ongoing basis. Benesse Corporation has introduced a system of automatic payroll deductions for employees wishing to make donations, and a matching gift program where the Company matches the amounts donated by its employees.
Recipients are selected through the recommendations of an advisory board that includes outside experts to ensure transparency. In an effort to shift to more community-based support in response to diversifying regional needs, in fiscal 2014 the Benesse Fund began publicly soliciting organizations interested in receiving donations, and has contributed a total of ¥10 million in donations to eight organizations to date.

  • *The Benesse Fund was dissolved as of May 31, 2015. Its activity principles have been carried on by the Benesse Foundation for Children, which has greater public benefit and transparency, and its activities for supporting areas affected by disasters in particular have been continued.
    Benesse Foundation for Children (Japanese only) : https://benesse-kodomokikin.or.jp/