Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What does RIJ do?

RIJ raises funds in Japan and supports refugee projects through grants given to NGOs working with refugees.

How long has RIJ been operating?

RIJ was founded in 1979.

Is RIJ independent?

Yes, RIJ has it’s own Board and constitution and operates completely independently of any other governmental or non-governmental organization.

Who works for RIJ?

The CEO is full-time and a part-time Administrative Assistant, but all other staff are volunteers from the Japanese and expatriate communities in Japan.

Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and include business people, homemakers and members of the diplomatic community.

Operational Questions

How much money does RIJ raise?

The amount of money RIJ raises varies from year to year.

In the 35 years of our history, we have raised over 11,000,000 US dollars.

How much of the money raised goes directly to support refugees?

The maximum grant awarded to an individual project is 25,000 US dollars.

We keep our running costs low thanks to our many pro bono sponsors. This year’s budget is aiming for 30% costs with 70% of income benefiting refugees and IDPs.

How much money does RIJ give to individual projects?

The maximum grant awarded to an individual project is 25,000 US dollars.

The exact amount awarded depends on the individual project and budget plan. NGOs may reapply for further grants after one year, for maximum of five years or 100,000 US dollars.

Does RIJ support individuals?

RIJ does not support individuals. We support projects that address the needs of a refugee community.

Does RIJ support asylum seekers?

RIJ does not support asylum seekers. Our funded projects address the needs of second country refugees (refugees who have fled from their own country into a neighbouring country), and IDPs or returnees in their country of origin.

How does RIJ keep operating costs so low?

RIJ’s volunteer status and valuable sponsorship from our private and corporate sponsors means that costs are kept to a minimum.

Project Questions

What criteria does RIJ have for deciding which refugee projects will receive funding?

RIJ has specific criteria for deciding how to allocate funds.

We support projects which directly assist refugees or those internally displaced due to conflict. We also support projects helping returning refugees settle back in their country of origin.

RIJ provides assistance to vulnerable populations, particularly women, children and the elderly. We select projects run by organizations and NGOs with a proven track record and favor working through small community based organizations who have first-hand knowledge of the local situation.

In some cases our grant will be used as a bridging fund to enable larger projects to start or continue while the NGO involved seeks funding from governments or aid agencies.

What kind of support do RIJ-funded projects provide for refugees and IDPs?

RIJ funding falls into three categories: emergency assistance, provision of basic facilities, self-help/sufficiency programmes.

Does RIJ run any projects in the field?

RIJ activities are primarily fund-raising for NGO-run projects and awareness raising.

We do not, ourselves, run any projects in the field.

In which parts of the world does RIJ support projects?

RIJ supports projects all over the world, principally in developing or war-affected countries that have large populations of refugees and IDPs. Over the past 35 years we have supported more than 500 projects in over 50 countries in Africa, South America, Asia and Eastern Europe.

How does RIJ ensure that donated funds are being spent as intended?

RIJ requests and reviews detailed budget proposals and reports from our supported projects. We visit funded projects, and monitor our project partners through refugee agencies and other contacts in the field.