satoko_kono_portrait Satoko Kono
 Representative of ARUN
 

Satoko Kono graduated from International Christian University (ICU). After graduation, Satoko worked for a private company and Asian Rural Institute, and from 1995, working for a NGO (SHARE = Services for the Health in Asia and African Regions, a non-profit citizen sector organization) , JICA and World Bank, she engaged in the activities to rebuild and develop Cambodia. Meeting with a Cambodian social entrepreneur opened her eyes to social finance. Convinced of its necessity and possibilities, Satoko established ARUN in 2009.

 

Satoko Kono graduated from International Christian University (ICU). After graduation, Satoko worked for a private company and Asian Rural Institute, and from 1995, working for a NGO (SHARE = Services for the Health in Asia and African Regions, a non-profit citizen sector organization) , JICA and World Bank, she engaged in the activities to rebuild and develop Cambodia. Meeting with a Cambodian social entrepreneur opened her eyes to social finance. Convinced of its necessity and possibilities, Satoko established ARUN in 2009.

ARUN was created when a person who had been working for an international corporation and a person who had been working in the finance and business world met and shared a passion, which is to support Cambodian social entrepreneurs’ dreams to come true.

Cambodia lost many people and resources because of the war that lasted over 20 years, becoming one of the poorest countries in the world. The poverty manifested in 35% of population living with less than $1 per day, and because of the killing of intellectuals by the Pol Pot era, the adult literacy rate still remains as low as 74%. After everything was destroyed and all was broken including roads, government, and trust between people, they had to restart.

Since the 1990’s, Cambodia has received many aids from international communities in order to rebuild and develop. As a consequence, Cambodia seemed to have turned into a society which cannot function without aids. What people need in order to live with confidence, however, is not charity. I believe that when given the opportunities and their potential is brought out, they can live their lives meaningfully.

Hope for Cambodia is the existence of leaders and creative social entrepreneurs. These people are highly motivated to “stop receiving aids and manage funds themselves in order to operate independent businesses.” They make it possible to achieve the development of sustainable society accomplishable only through partnerships, instead of in isolation.

You might associate words such as “investment” and “fund” with making money. Fund, however, is just a box to put money in. Money is a tool for carrying on and supporting businesses, and “social investment” is our vote to the future which we desire. It is the new way to participate in our society.

Let’s use our purposeful money for creating peace, extending love, and achieve a society where each individual’s value can shine.

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