Take a photo tour of the ARI Campus

New buildings for farm and the Staff

posted Feb 24, 2016, 1:01 PM by Robert Ray   [ updated Feb 24, 2016, 2:43 PM ]

ARI’s disaster reconstruction plan is nearing completion
Staff Housing Completed
This year 4 new buildings were completed on the ARI campus. Three are single-story family homes and one is a two-story quadruplex of 1-BR apartments, all for ARI staff. Compared to the previous houses - 40 year-old wooden structures that became extra draughty after the big jiggle of 2011 - the new homes are solid, warm and energy efficient. Kathy Froede, ARI’s Admissions Coordinator, is one of the new residents.

Multi-function Agricultural Training Building
This year, with the tremendous support of United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), we dismantled the old piggery and erected this new multi-purpose facility on the same site. The new building has six sections.  At the South end is a unique space where we make organic "bokashi” fertilizer, which is very important in our training program. Until now, bokashi was made on concrete floors. When produced on concrete, air does not enter the material well and fermentation doesn’t proceed well especially in the portion that is in contact with the floor. The bokashi making room of this training building has a dirt floor,  and this enables microorganisms to work more easily.
     There is a flexible space available for use by participants as needed. Right now there are several hand-built incubators here, which were created by participants who chose this as their summer individual project.
      In the next room we have a large gas burner on the floor, which is connected to a gas outlet that pipes methane gas down from the new pig pens, where fermented pig manure is used to produce bio-gas and introduced into the gas line. We use this renewable energy to boil fish that will be mixed into fermented feed for chickens, and to bake bone and egg shells, which become ingredients in bokashi fertilizer. This biogas-fed cooking capability has not only improved ARI's circulation of internal resources, but offers to participants a concrete example of local resource use, self-sufficiency and sustainability.
      Finally, in the sixth room we have water taps that are used to clean our 200-liter plastic containers, used to store fermented feed for chickens pigs and goats. Until this year we had washed all of our feed containers outdoors, even in the rain or winter cold, but now we can do this under a roof! This space is also used to store the empty containers. We could not even imagine the possibility of such a useful facility immediately after the earthquake of 2011. We give thanks to God, who works through all of the people who support the Asian Rural Institute.
Osamu Arakawa, Associate Director, Farm Manage

ARI Graduate Impact Study report

posted Jun 23, 2014, 6:39 AM by Robert Ray   [ updated Feb 24, 2016, 2:45 PM ]

Bridging the Grassroots
A grant from the Fetzer Institute in the United States allowed researchers to conduct a two-year study, on campus and abroad, through questionnaires and interviews with graduates, participants, staff and volunteers at ARI.  In the 40-year history of ARI’s training this objective assessment by a third party was the first of its kind, though it had been a long-held wish for which there had been no opportunity in the past. We greatly appreciate that through the recommendation of Prof. Richard Gardener (Sophia University), ARI was chosen as the subject of the Fetzer Institute’s study, and that Ms. Sarajean Rossitto, a Tokyo-based NGO / NPO consultant with rich practical and research experience, was available to coordinate the implementation. On April 28, the results were presented at a public presentation at Sophia University’s Yotsuya Campus. Despite the lateness of the hour about 60 listeners among whom were ARI supporters, university students, and individuals related to NGOs and Christian organizations took part. From ARI, director Arakawa, as well as missionary Timothy B. Appau and meal service coordinator Zacivolu Rhakho (who are also both ARI graduates) joined to present information about ARI and their experience as graduates. 
The main finding from this study showed that the majority of the surveyed graduates continue their activities related to the philosophy and practice of sustainable agriculture, servant leadership and community building - the three main pillars of ARI’s training. Further, many graduates confirmed that they were personally transformed by the values expressed in the motto, “That We May Live Together.” Graduates who sustain a deep influence on local communities believe that the reason for their success is ARI’s “value-based learning,” represented by the servant leader model, is being utilized.
We are happy that this assessment was realized as an external study. However, it has also produced some homework for ARI, by bringing into focus a number of issues that we need to tackle to improve of the quality of our training and the institute’s management.            See document below:

AFARI Reception for Tom Takami

posted Sep 17, 2012, 8:00 PM by Robert Ray   [ updated Sep 17, 2012, 8:00 PM ]

 (North) American Friends of Asian Rural Institute (AFARI) will be holding a reception for Tom Takami and any friends of ARI at Branford, CT during their Fall AFARI meeting.

The reception will be held from 1:00 – 3:00 PM on Saturday, October 27th at  the James Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main Street, Branford CT.

Friends of Tom Takami and ARI are welcome. RSVP to Margret Hofmeister.

Takami sensei and Shinko san
                       Shinko san and Takami sensei

Dr. Toshihiro (Tom) Takami visited the US in October 2012.

posted Sep 17, 2012, 7:12 PM by Robert Ray   [ updated Feb 24, 2016, 9:43 AM ]

Dr. Toshihiro (Tom) Takami (founder of Asian Rural Institute) came to the US in October to Receive a Yale Distinguished Alumni Award. Tom Takami will receive the Yale Divinity School’s William Sloane Coffin '56 Award for Peace and Justice on Thursday, October 25th  at Yale Divinity School in New Haven CT. This was the best opportunity to see Tom unless you are planning to go to ARI / Japan for the ARI 40th anniversary celebration in mid September 2013. Details of the Yale Divinity School event follow.

“The William Sloane Coffin '56 Award for Peace and Justice award is given in honor of the life and ministry of William Sloane Coffin, former Chaplain to the University and one of the 20th century's most significant religious leaders.

The recipient of the Coffin award will be someone who shares Coffin's passionate and prophetic witness, a courageous devotion to the dignity and worth of all persons, and who has made a notable contribution to the work of peace and reconciliation.”  The preceding text is an excerpt from the award nomination information.

(North) American Friends of Asian Rural Institute (AFARI) held a reception for Tom Takami and  friends of ARI at Branford, CT during their Fall AFARI meeting. The reception washeld from 1:00 – 3:00 PM on Saturday, October 27th at  the James Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main Street, Branford CT.

Friends of Tom Takami and ARI are welcome. 

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