What is Runway For Hope

RUNWAY FOR HOPE, A CERTIFIED NON-PROFITABLE ORGANIZATION FOUNDED IN JAPAN IN 2010 AND AUSTRALIA IN 2019. WE ARE THE ONLY ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD TO USE THE CONCEPT OF FASHION “RUNWAY” AS A METHOD TO SUPPORT ORPHANS, UNDERPRIVILEGED AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED CHILDREN WHO HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES OR LOVED ONES THROUGH TSUNAMI, WAR, NATURAL CATASTROPHES. 

RUNWAY FOR HOPE IS NOT JUST ABOUT FASHION RUNWAYS. 

WE OFFER A PLATFORM TO GUIDE CHILDREN IN BUILDING THEIR OWN “RUNWAYS” – FOR BOTH THEIR LIVES AND CAREERS WHERE THEY CAN TAKE-OFF AND LAND WITH A SWIRL OF COLORS AND CONFIDENCE. RUNWAY IS A PROGRAM FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND COMMUNITY ASPIRATION

WHAT DO RUNWAY and MAKE LIFE COLORFUL MEAN?

WE OFFER A PLATFORM TO GUIDE CHILDREN IN BUILDING THEIR OWN “RUNWAYS” – FOR BOTH THEIR LIVES AND CAREERS WHERE THEY CAN TAKE-OFF AND LAND WITH A SWIRL OF COLORS AND CONFIDENCE. RUNWAY IS A PROGRAM FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND COMMUNITY ASPIRATION

WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE?

・IMPROVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE “WORLD WITHIN AND WITHOUT” EACH CHILD, AND HOW WE ALL HAVE THE POWER TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES

 

・HELP EACH CHILD TO BE BETTER PREPARED FOR LIFE, AND ENABLED TO BUILD A BRIGHTER LIFE/CAREER FOR THEIR FUTURE

 

・BUILD APPRECIATION OF IMPORTANCE OF PARENTS/FAMILY

 

・PRESENT FAMILIES WITH A SET OF GUIDELINES THAT EMPOWER THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR CHILDREN AND COMMUNITIES

 

・PROMOTE STRONGER COMMUNICATION, INTERACTION, MORAL VALUES, RACIAL AND GENDER EQUALITY

 

・EDUCATE ABOUT LEADERSHIP, LIFE INNOVATION, SELF-RELIANCE AND RESILIENCE

Runway For Hope

Our Annual Activities and Program

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About the Founder

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Sena O. Vafa has grown up in numerous multicultural communities around the world. Since his earliest days, Sena has been extremely blessed to live a life of both darkness and light: of poverty and of wealth, war and taking refuge, failure and accomplishment, and of adversity and hope. ‘But there is nothing compared to losing your home, being forced to leave your parents at a very young age, and not knowing if you can survive to see them again,’ Sena says. ‘My past, and every single day of my life, has taught me to have a strong will and never to yield.'It was more than three decades ago at the age of 15 that Sena was forced to leave Iran to escape persecution, religious discrimination and the horrors of war. He spent over two years in a refugee camp in Pakistan from 1985 to 1988. He finally found a new life in Canada in peace where he lived more than a decade. This was followed by the next chapter where Sena moved to Japan to continue his education and began immediately searching for ways to contribute his knowledge and experience to the Japanese community.

Sena has been very fortunate to travel to over 80 countries and live in over 14, including some of the world's least developed nations and a few of the most advanced. ‘Having had all these experiences of both adversity and privilege, I truly believe there is nothing more worthwhile and beautiful than to have a ‘home’ and to remind yourself of the importance of family’, he says.

As a guest speaker giving lectures on global issues to junior and high schools, universities and various interest groups/associations in Japan, lecturing to aspiring students, spreading a message of hope, ‘how to live life’ and the value of helping others through Runway for Hope and other means.

Sena’s academic life has spanned over fifteen years at the undergraduate and graduate level, focusing mainly in Politics and International Affairs. He earned First Class Honor degrees from Concordia University (1994-1997), McGill/Harvard University (1997-1998), Kyoto University (1999-2001) and hold a Doctorate degree from University of Cambridge. Predominantly, his career background has been focused in academia and international governmental organizations. Currently, he is working on his new book ‘Make Life Colorful’.

Life Experience

1969
IRAN

1969 IRAN - Soon moved to several other countries due to Father’s diplomatic mission during the Pahlavi King of Iran.

1976 - 1980
AFGHANISTAN

1976 - 1979 AFGANISTAN

life throughout four Coup d’état and Soviet Union invasion

1979 - 1980
IRAN

1979 - 1980 IRAN

Revolution Period

1980 - 1985
IRAN

1980 - 1985

War (IRAN & IRAQ)

1985 - 1988
PAKISTAN

1985 - 1988 IRAN

Refugees Camp (15 years old)

1988 - 1997
CANADA / SWITZERLAND

1988 - 1997 CANADA / SWITZERLAND

University, work at UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

1997 - 1998
UNITED STATE

1997 - 1998 UNITED STATE

McGill University /Harvard University

1998 - 1999
AUSTRALIA

1998 - 1999 AUSTRALIA

University of Sydney

 1999 - 2000
JAPAN

1999 - 2000 JAPAN

Kyoto University

2001 - 2004
ENGLAND

2001 - 2004 JAPAN

University of Cambridge

2005 - 

2005 - JAPAN

Movies & Articles

Who We Are

 Executive Board Members 

Dr. Omid (Sena) Vafa 

(Runway for Hope - Founder)

Mr. Rolf Lumpe 

(SVP Accrete Inc.)

Mr. Koizumi

(Mayor of Narita City)

Mr. Sam Ohta

(CEO - Ohta Publications)

Mr. Kuniji Tsubaki

(Member of Tokyo City Council)

Ms. Hazuki Tanaka

(Hayama international School , Co-founder)

Ms. Sahel Rose

​(TV Personality)

Mr. Masao Tanaka 

(President and COO at KPG Hotel & Resort)

Ms. Yayoi Naka

 (CEO, Founder - ALIVE Hospitality Design Inc.) 

Mr. Michael C. Graffagna

(Partner at Morrison Foerster Law Firm)

Mr. Gustav Strandell

(CEO - Maihama Club Nursing Homes Inc)

Mr. Aaron Kleiman

(Senior Director - George P. Johnson Japan)

 Management Team 

Chika Kotajima

(Head of Operation & Planning)

 

Izumi Ogawa (Coordinator Officer)

Emi Martin (Development & Planning)) 

 

Nakano Tomoaki (Head of Audio & Visual)

 

Kazuyuki Mitsumori (Webmaster)

Raito Nishizaka (Audio/Visual, Movie Maker) 

Miharu Ikeda  (Casting & Planning)

Jae Suk Kim (Art Director)