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Japan Football Association (JFA), the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in JAPAN (NFUAJ) and the Dentsu Group to Distribute Soccer Balls to Children in Asia

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Dentsu Sports.com

Japan Football Association (JFA) and the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in JAPAN (NFUAJ)announced today that they will launch a project, in cooperation with the Dentsu Group, to distribute soccer balls to children in Asia beginning in the spring of 2005. The project will be called “Soccer Balls for Children in Asia.”
JFA, the NFUAJ and the Dentsu Group, (which is already actively involved in promoting the World Terakoya(*1) Movement, “Kururimpa” Project), plan to distribute 2,000 soccer balls to children in 18 Asian countries(*2). It is hoped that the new project will enable more children to enjoy soccer, will make school life more attractive, and will help to promote international goodwill.
For many years, JFA has aggressively promoted a variety of soccer-related support activities designed to raise the overall level of soccer in Asia and to encourage international exchange among Asian countries. The NFUAJ, on the other hand, has been vigorously promoting the World Terakoya Movement(*3), which aims to establish terakoya in areas where it is difficult for children to attend school. The Dentsu Group has been supporting this movement by providing assistance to the World Terakoya Movement, “Kururimpa” Project(*4).
These three organizations have now decided to join together to launch and carry forward the “Soccer Balls for Children in Asia” project as a means of promoting world peace and ensuring a brighter future for children.

(*1) Terakoya
Terakoya literally means “school for children at temple” in Japanese. Terakoya, popular during the Edo era, was an educational system of privately and voluntarily run schools for commoners’ children with educated priests and warriors serving as teachers in Japan. Terakoya served to keep literacy levels high among the common people and laid the foundation for the modern educational system in Japan. Thus, the NFUAJ’s World Terakoya Movement was named after it in hope that terakoya would become a grassroots learning organization of the people, by the people, and for the people in developing countries, as it did in Japan.

(*2) Recipient countries
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

(*3) World Terakoya Movement
There are 104 million children in the world who have difficulties attending school, and 799 million adults who are unable to read or write. The World Terakoya Movement was founded in 1989 by the NFUAJ to promote the establishment of terakoya with the eventual goal of ensuring that everyone in the world has an opportunity to receive an education.

(*4) World Terakoya Movement, “Kururimpa” Project
“Kururimpa” refers to unique, cleverly designed pictures in which the image changes completely when it is flipped over. They are used to convey the message that there are many ways to look at things. The NFUAJ and the Dentsu Group have organized an ongoing project to conduct workshops and panel exhibitions of “Kururimpa” pictures, (one of which is used as the symbol of the World Terakoya Movement), as a means of promoting awareness of and helping to raise money for this movement.

For more information, contact:
Futoshi Nagamatsu
Public Relations Department
Japan Football Association
Telephone: (813) 3830-2004
Takafumi Hotta
Corporate Communications Division,
Overseas Communications Department
Dentsu Inc.
Telephone: (813) 6216-8042
For more information about the World Terakoya Movement, contact:
Education and Culture Division
Informationa & Public Affiars Division
The National Federation of UNESCO Associations in JAPAN
(813) 5424-1121

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