The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake unveiled the multi-layer conditions of child poverty in Japan. Its poverty rate is high amongst other developed nations, reaching 14.3%. The social disparity negatively affects educational attainment, mental health and living conditions, enhancing the risk of child abuse at home. Asuiku addresses the inter-generational vicious cycle of poverty, targeting middle school students and guardians receiving public assistance.
Asuiku provides comprehensive support services in three core areas: education, extracurricular and consultation. By creating a safe space where children can learn and gain confidence through counseling, Asuiku’s study support have reduced dropout rates from school and increased college entrance rates. The extracurricular programs empower youth to gain real-world experiences, such as starting a small business. The local social workers provide consultation (financial management and mental health support) to children and their parents. These programs involve the community, which creates a larger support network. This has led Asuiku to establish partners with food banks, community centers, and local governments.