Through international cooperation, TPAK seeks to maximize the number of children across Asia who can access an education. Exposure to the warm hearts of those we empower provides us here in Japan with a valuable opportunity to rethink our own privilege and worldly desires. By honoring a spirit of mutual cooperation, we believe that we can actualize our vision of a plentiful global society.
TPAK is an acronym for “Terra People ACT Kanagawa”. “Terra” means “Earth” in Latin, and our name “Terra People” reflects our strong belief that we are citizens of the world. The inclusion of “ACT” in our name reflects our belief that we should always try to transform our feelings of sympathy towards social problems unfolding across the world into “action” to help the world become a better place.
Our appreciation for the concept of a “world citizen”, lies in the hope that when one is able to conceptualize him or herself as a citizen of the world, rather than of a specific regionality, national borders no longer function as a divide between humans and the societies in which they live their lives. If everyone imagined themselves to be citizens of the world, rather than of a particular nation, we believe that the problems present in certain regions of the world will transform into issues of collective concern, and that we would recognize a collective responsibility to tackle them.
What do we do?
The founding principle of Terra People ACT Kanagawa, is the principle that because we are all citizens of the world, the distance between the territories in which we live should not determine the boundaries pertaining to our aid and support.
TPAK is a Japan-based NGO which:
How it all began…
In 1991, three residents of Yokohama visited a massive orphanage in Ayutthaya, Thailand. The orphanage, operated by a temple, at the time housed 2000 children under 5 caretakers. Abandoned by their parents, the children were subjected to terribly inhumane living conditions and ravished by disease. Every single child was malnourished. The appalling lack of hygiene in their living quarters resulted in the mass proliferation of skin infections as well as lice infestations in children as young as three. The temple, which was staffed one to four hundred, could do little more than to ensure that each child had some food to eat every day, and was in no position to care for them. This left many of the orphans wandering the grounds of the orphanage, scared, crying out, and covered in their own filth.
Horrified by the sight that they had witnessed, the Japanese visitors demanded to know why the Thai government was not doing anything to appease the situation. They soon discovered, that the Thai government was not providing social support to the orphanage because all the orphans housed within it were all considered “stateless” (essentially, “non-citizens”) in the eyes of the government. At the time, many ethnic minorities in Thailand were ostracized populations which faced many social obstacles to living a fulfilling life.
The three Japanese visitors decided in that moment, that if no one would help these children, they would. They returned to Japan fully convinced of the need for international cooperation, and established TPAK (Terra People ACT Kanagawa), a non-profit which empowers children of ethnic minority populations across Thailand, Myanmar and India.
Over the course of twenty five years, TPAK has transformed a small group of Japanese citizens scrambling to raise funds for a single orphanage in Thailand, to a government certified non-profit organization active in improving the lives of the socially vulnerable in three Asian nations across the world. While we remain a small organization, we proudly retain a volunteer force of over 3000 individuals aged 10 to 90, and have planned and actualized dozens of empowerment projects across Asia to contribute to the betterment of living standards in the areas we are active in. We currently have active projects across Thailand, Myanmar and India. All our initiatives would not have been actualized without the strong, unwavering force of our volunteers and monthly supporters.
Over the years, we have carried out dozens of…
- Leadership Training Projects
- Documentary Creation Support and Screening Projects
- Hygiene Products Provision Projects
- Stationary Provision Projects
- School Construction Projects
- Dormitory Construction Projects
- Sustainable Meals Projects
- Hygiene Reform Initiative Projects
- Nutritional Reform Initiative Project
- Book Provision Projects
- Health Center Construction Projects
- Clean Water Initiative Projects
- And so much more, across three Asian nations.