The Niwano Peace Foundation inaugurated its grant-awarding activities in 1979, the year after its establishment, to support research and activities that foster peace. Grants have been awarded every year since then.
Under the overall rubric of all fields having to do with religion, grants are awarded to support research and activities in such areas as religious cooperation, the societal role of religion, religious conflict and its reconciliation, progress in religion and technology, religion and medicine, and dedicated social activities undertaken in a religious spirit.
In recent years applications from overseas have increased. We are placing special emphasis on support for researchers and groups working on research on the child and on education. In the case of activity grants, we have been supporting individuals and groups engaged quietly in dedicated activities in such fields as community social welfare and education. At present we are awarding grants in the following two categories:
1. Social activities based on a religious spirit
Activities for individual and community welfare and peace, both physical and spiritual, based on a religious spirit that emerges from reverence for God, Buddha, or other universal spiritual reality. In particular, peace-making activities related to education, volunteer work, development cooperation, environmental protection, human rights or social problems of an aging society done in a spirit of religious tolerance which transcends religious boundaries.
2. Grass-roots activities deployed on a local community
Activities to vitalize local communities through interdisciplinary workshops and meetings with particular emphasis on collaboration by groups and individuals from diverse organizations and religious groups. It is expected to come up with some new values of the independent mind. Examples would be workshops and outreach programs to inspire the people to think about how people living in the far away countries are related to their own lives, or to encourage development of local activities in which people "think globally, and act locally."