English Page

Would you please join our circle of benefactors?

There was a Japanese Sister who had worked to start up a school and dedicated her life to educate children in a small town of a poor West African nation, Sierra Leone.  Today, there are two Japanese Sisters who are making strenuous efforts in the town.  The main purpose of “Walking Together” is to support that school.

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a small country facing the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa. That land is only about one fifth the size of Japan, and the population is about five million people. For about 10 years since 1991, the country suffered from a tragic civil war, and today, its wounds have come to be healed and the country to be peaceful.

Sierra Leone is a very poor country and about 40% of children cannot attend schools. According to WHO World Health Statistics, life expectancy in Sierra Leone is the shortest of the 194 countries surveyed (47  years old), which is the worst in the world.

“Walking Together” supports an education and feeding program at Our Lady of Guadalupe School (OLG School) that has Kindergarten through High School and it’s adjacent to the Maria Ines Vocational Center, making a total of about 2,600 students in the town of Lunsar.

It is a great joy for children that they are able to have lunch at school, while their family may be able to provide only one meal a day at home. Many families had been using children as labor, but many started sending their children to school so that they can be fed at school.

The children's health has been improving and their willingness to learn has visibly been increasing. Meal support plays a key role in their education.

The OLG School is run by“Clarissan Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament” headquartered in Rome.

Japanese  sisters  have been playing an active role at this school in Sierra Leone for about 40 years.

Sister Leticia Negishi, who had dedicated her life to Sierra Leone, paved the way for the support from Japan and built a bridge of hope between the two countries, went to heaven in 2013.

Today, Sister Bernadetta  Shirahata and Sister Clara Yoshida are taking great active parts in the OLG School and we are supporting their work from Japan.  Because of their work, 100% of our financial support is used for education.

Recently, the graduates of the OLG School have been becoming sisters  and teachers, and have begun to play active roles in their alma mater. It is our great joy to see the results of education visibly making positive differences.

“Walking Together” has simple rules of conduct for respecting one another, and there are no membership requirements or fees.

We are supported by individual benefactors and organizations such as churches, schools, and volunteer groups that embrace our mission.

Benefactors rarely have opportunities to see each other. People who have not met each other unite their hearts to keep supporting children from opposite sides of the globe who will not likely meet in person.

We publish and deliver quarterly newsletters that contain updates from local nuns and students, and letters from supporters for deepening our bonds.

In our headquarters, there are about ten volunteer members who coordinate support activities.

Moreover, we have oversight panels throughout Japan that are administrating fair and democratic organization.

Q & A

Q1. What kind of support is offered?
①    Feeding program: Supplies daily lunch to kindergarten and elementary students, and offers 1 to 2 lunches per week for middle and high school students.

②    Support for Education: It is used for scholarships aimed at tuition assistance for OLG School students, and scholarships for the students who achieve excellent grades at OLG high school, and Maria Ines Vocational Center students who pursue higher education.

③    Multiple-Purpose Support: It is used also to purchase school supplies and materials, school building additions and maintenance, and supplements for teachers’ salaries.


Q2. Does it support only OLG School in Sierra Leone?

In case of emergency situations, we support sister schools of OLG Schools in Mexico, Argentina, and Nigeria.  Moreover, we support the feeding program at R. C. Boys’ Elementary School adjacent to the OLG School.

Q3. Is assistance required even after the wounds of civil war have healed?

Immediately after the conclusion of a civil war, many NGOs throughout the world went to Sierra Leone to give support towards revival of the country.  However, those NGOs have been pulling their efforts away from Sierra Leone as postwar reconstruction has been stabilized. Our support for education is not a temporary postwar reconstruction, but it is a long-term support that requires continuous effort. Our wish is to continue supporting it until the children can become independent through the power of education.

Q4. How can I support?

Please send your support through a postal transfer or direct mail via registered mail.

Postal Transfer Number: 00120-0-664460    Member Name: Tomoni Ayumu Kai

“Walking Together” does not require any membership fee. We hope that each one of you can support us when you are able and with any amount you choose.

Education is a long process.  We hope that your support is not limited to one time, and we ask for your kindest and continuous support.

Publisher: Walking Together Representative, Katsujiro Kanno
Headquarter: 213 Okagami Asao Kawasaki Kanagawa 215-0027
Tel/Fax: 044.988.2729
Postal Transfer Number: 00120-0-664460     Member Name: Tomoni Ayumu Kai
Email: tomoniayumukai@kpd.biglobe.ne.jp 
HP: http://tomoniayumukai.blogspot.jp