REUTERS/Kyodo

NO BLACK RAINBOWS

White & Case responds to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan by helping Ashinaga
build a Rainbow House to serve children who lost parents in the disaster.

After the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck the city of Kobe in 1995, a boy at a summer camp run by Ashinaga drew a picture of a rainbow at night surrounded by the moon and stars. He colored the rainbow black. Now known as the “Black Rainbow,” this painting has come to symbolize how deeply children are affected by disaster. It inspired Ashinaga to create “Rainbow Houses” in Kobe, Tokyo and around the world to help children recover from the loss of a parent.

The severe earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, affected the lives of everyone in Japan and those with connections to Japan, including our employees, clients and their families. Together with our Tokyo partners and the Tokyo office social responsibility and pro bono committees, we set out to identify a reconstruction project in the Tohoku region most affected by the disaster. We chose to work with Ashinaga, a nonprofit educational foundation that provides financial and psychological support for children and youth who have lost parents or whose parents suffer from disabilities.

Ashinaga estimates that nearly 2,000 children lost one or both parents in the disaster.

Over the next two years, Ashinaga is building a Rainbow House in Sendai City as well as satellite facilities in other locations, including the Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures. The services offered by this network of facilities will be available to all of the affected children in the region. White & Case established a Japan Earthquake Matching Program to match employee donations to Ashinaga and qualifying relief agencies. The Firm donated the results of this program to Ashinaga’s Tohoku Rainbow House Fund.

In addition to our support of Ashinaga, the Firm has found many other ways to help out in the wake of the disaster. In Tokyo, many people volunteered to assist with the relief efforts and, at the request of Human Rights Now, our lawyers translated into Japanese the United Nation’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee Operational Guidelines on the Protection of Persons in Situations of Natural Disasters. Outside of Tokyo, our lawyers in Paris supported an international charity ballet gala to benefit Solidarité Japon of the Fondation de France, an endowment fund to benefit victims of the earthquake, established with pro bono assistance from the Firm. Several other offices held fundraising events, with many employees and partners making personal contributions to the relief efforts.

We will continue to support Ashinaga in its work in Tohoku and around the world.

“We have chosen Ashinaga because they are in the right place at the right time, making a huge difference in children’s lives.”
Toshio Dokei, Partner, Tokyo

Our Charitable Contributions in 2011

Tohoku Rainbow House

Artist’s conception of Tohoku Rainbow House. Founded in 1969, Ashinaga has provided support to 80,000 students in 21 countries. Click on image to enlarge.