1. Goodwill from the Local Community
Intensive care homes for the elderly that provide classroom space believe that helping out poverty-stricken children is their mission. Thus, they wanted to provide free assistance. Moreover, other prefectural residents such as university student volunteers, business managers from small and medium-sized businesses, and real estate agents wanted to help those in need within the community. Thanks to these expressions of goodwill, Asuport outreach activities are flourishing.
2. Newspaper, Television, and Magazine Coverage and Recognition from Government Assemblies
Since its inception, Asuport’s innovative programs and scale of operations have been reported by newspapers, television programs, and magazines (a total of 103 reports from 39 media organizations). Regarding the education division’s projects, Nippon Television produced a documentary entitled Miracle Classrooms and the education division published a book entitled Prescription for the Times: Assisting 2 Million Welfare Recipients in Japan, Saitama Prefecture’s Challenge. As a result of this coverage, Asuport garnered recognition from national government representatives (e.g. Vice Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and an executive officer of the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare) and local government assemblies (a total of 305 visitations to Asuport support offices by government assemblies and agencies).
3. Expansion of the Asuport Support System Nationwide by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and
In order to handle the rapid increase of welfare recipients, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare announced a new countermeasure plan for those in need entitled the “Strategy for Livelihood Support” in April 2012. As an integral part of this plan, provisions such as cooperation with and assistance from the private sector, securing various work opportunities and stable housing, and strengthening support for middle and high school students are included. Thus, Asuport is making a large impact on national policies for welfare assistance.
4. Making Support Activities Visible
Traditionally, providers of support programs for welfare recipients were restricted to public organizations, and people outside of these organizations did not know who provided assistance, when assistance was provided, and what kind of assistance was offered.
Asuport has a support structure where (1) necessary information can be provided to private organizations and (2) relevant organizations can participate in assistance activities. Furthermore, through individual consent, Asuport provided news organizations with successful support examples, and in turn, these organizations reported the value of this program’s efforts. As a result, the activities of Asuport became more visible to the public, and this project was able to garner success.