Aid For Japan founder Akemi Tanaka has been recognised for her work with the charity by the Prime Minister as part of the Points Of Light campaign.
Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award.
In a personal letter to Akemi, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Aid for Japan’ you are helping children who suffered the devastating loss of parents and loved ones in the Tohoku earthquake to rebuild their lives. Thanks to your tireless fundraising efforts, the charity’s residential programmes are ensuring that these young people can regain their confidence and reach their potential.”
“I am honoured to receive this award” commented Akemi in response, “I am Japanese and without English people’s help and support I could not keep the charity going. This award is for all the people who helped me. I really wish that all the orphans of the Tsunami will have a happy life in the future. Those orphans who we have invited to England think that England is their second home. I really appreciate English people’s kindness and generosity.”
First established by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, over 6,000 US Points of Light have been recognised in the USA. UK Points of Light was developed in partnership with the US programme and launched in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street in April 2014.
Since then hundreds of people have been named Points of Light by the Prime Minister, highlighting an enormous array of innovative and inspirational volunteering across the length and breadth of Britain.