THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY
By unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
proudly confers upon
The Pag-Asa Group, Japan
MEDAL OF MERIT
for Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion
The Pag-Asa Group, Japan was established In October 1989 with the earnest desire to help support Fr. Pierre Tritz’s tireless efforts to provide access to education for the less fortunate children of the Philippines. This group of Japanese women decided to volunteer their energy and time, many of them at one time or another had some association with the Philippines either through living there or witnessing the situation in which many children were unable to go to school.
Pag-Asa (meaning hope in English) expresses its earnest desire to create a situation in which less fortunate children of the Philippines have hope for a better life in the future.
Soon after the establishment of Pag-Asa, articles describing its activities were printed on Sankei Newspaper and the Tensei-jingo column of the Asahi Newspaper. The publicity led to donations from more than 3000 people all over Japan which greatly helped lay the foundation for the organization.
Pag-Asa Group’s primary objective has been to help support ERDA Foundation, Inc. (Educational and Research and Development Assistance Foundation) in its endeavors to alleviate the plight of street children and to help dropouts return to school. Since 1990, Pag-Asa began its educational assistance for out of school children coming from poor families, providing them with school supplies and uniforms including social workers’ fees. Pag-Asa also provides financial assistance to grade school graduates to continue their studies in high school preferably in technical school, so that in addition to academic training, they would acquire vocational skills to help them obtain jobs upon graduation and some of them to pursue a college education.
The Pag-Asa Endowment Fund A (20 million yen as of now) has continued to carry out its educational assistance to benefit the most needy children of SABANA (ERDA’s project for former child scavengers in Tondo, Manila) at the elementary school level, while Endowment Fund B (5 million yen as of now) has been providing scholarships to its SABANA elementary graduates to help them pursue a high school education. Pag-Asa Endowment Fund C (5 million yen) for college scholarship was entrusted to ERDA Foundation with the aim of giving a few of the brightest high school graduates the opportunity to pursue a college education under its Endowment Fund B sponsorship.
To date, Pag-Asa Group, Japan have extended its financial support from 1989 to 2007 to 21,752 beneficiaries totaling to Y118,959,985, as follows: Elementary Level – 20,970 students; High School – 724 students and College Leve l – 58 students.
Pag-Asa Group shares the ideals set forth by Article 28, Section 3 of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Pag-Asa Group, Japan believes that the education of a child is a long-range commitment that takes at least a decade or more hence, they are very happy and fortunate to have been able to continue its voluntary work for the past 18 years.
Pag-Asa Group, Japan have been recognized and awarded with coveted distinctions and commendations such as: The 1992-1993 Presidential Award for Filipinos and Private Organization Overseas given by President Fidel V. Ramos in Manila; The Woman Volunteer Award given by the Japan Soroptimist Foundation in Tokyo in November 1997 and The Medal of Merit given by the Philippines-Japan Ladies Association in September 2000 on the occasion of its 25th Founding Anniversary to Madame Masako Sumiya, its dynamic founder.
In deep appreciation therefore of the invaluable dedication of the Pag-Asa Group, Japan to the enhancement of friendships and the promotion of understanding among Japanese and Filipinos – through its unparalleled work in the education of thousands of underprivileged Filipino youth, and in gratitude for the dedicated service and unflinching commitment of its officers and members, to our common mission of close bilateral relations, the Philippines-Japan Society hereby confers upon the Pag-Asa Group, Japan, the 30th Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit, the highest award within its gift to convey.
Given this 29th day of February in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand Eight in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines on the occasion of the 30th Philippines-Japan Friendship Celebration, and the 36th year of the Philippines-Japan Society.
FRANCIS C. LAUREL
BENJAMIN C. LAUREL