We started Fukushima Dragon Boat Academy (FDBA) since July at Lake Inawashiro in Fukushima, and the first season of FDBA was just over.
As conclusion of 2014 season, we participated in Saitama Dragon Cup in November 2nd. We won our first match as “Bandaisan Dragon “and “Inawashiro Dragon”. Both names are from our hometown, Inawashiro. Both boats are paddled by adult from Tokyo and children from Fukushima. We all were nervous, but both did really good job and finally “Bandaisan Dragon “ won to Semi-final.
After we finished our match, it was time to study Dragon Boat. There were strong boat team from all over Japan. The most amazing moment was category of 2000m. Our cheer was getting big, while match was coming to the end. At the end of the day, many people welcomed us to Dragon Boat. When I saw children were talking with people from other team with team card. We can not help to held with big hope.
2 weeks later, We did the last practice at Lake Inawashiro in this season. Winter in Fukushima was already begun, but we could spend really good time with many families and friends of children.We ended our 2014 season with bow.
Our journey to show Cheerful and Beautiful Fukushima is to be continued. We would like to ask for your help.
Please find a Japanese version of this report here.
Our busy summer was over, but activities go on at Academy Camp for the communities of Fukushima.
We held a workshop on October 4 in Yokohama at Hiyoshi Campus, Keio University, for families with children who have taken refuge from Fukushima after the nuclear accident. The workshop was held in collaboration with Mamoritai Kodomo Mirai (wanting to save children and future) Project. We learned together the mechanism of earthquakes and how to reduce the risk of severe injuries from them, and made a 100 millionth model of the Earth each to understand the scale of the planet and its surroundings. We were also consulted by parents for their children's proceeding to the next stage of education as they are settling in Kanagawa prefecture where Yokohama is. We may want to continue building supportive and friendly relationships with those families from Fukushima now living in Tokyo metropolitan area.
On every weekend until the end of October, we are exercising paddling dragon boats at Lake Inawashiro, Fukushima prefecture, with our camp-member children and their parents. The exercises come with frequent barbecue opportunities with families that we also enjoy very much. The weekly exercise is part of what we now call "Fukushima Dragon Boat Academy", the first registered dragon boat team in Fukushima founded by Academy Camp, whose main members are children in Fukushima. We see paddling boats as opportunities for both physical and mental exercises, and we are building a scientific methodology together for improving our skills for this relatively new sport.
We will participate in dragon boat races to show the strength of children in Fukushima, beginning with Japan Dragon Canoe Championship to be held in Saitama prefecture in November. We would like to raise funds for the purpose, and we would like to ask for your help.
BONUS DAY WITH 30% MATCHING
GlobalGiving is offering a chance on October 15 in which all your donations will be matched 30%, up to $1,000 per donor per project. Matching begins at 9:00 am EDT and lasts until funds run out or 11:59 pm EDT.
On this day, your support will make a bigger impact. We would really appreciate if you could spread the word about this opportunity!
In August, we held three camps for children living in Fukushima. The last one was held from August 17 to 21, 2014, in Tokyo, largely funded by GlobalGiving donors and Fukushima Kodomo Ryoku Project. Elementary and junior-high school students from Fukushima participated in the camp. We also had some high school students from Fukushima as supporting staff members.
The following is a report by a high school student in Fukushima who had participated in our past camps. She participated in this camp as a public relations staff.
"The term 2 was educational five days. A large number of children participated in the camp for the first time, and it reminded me of my own experience of being nervous, worried and excited at the same time upon participating in Academy Camp for the first time. We studied joyfully with Game De Education (Note: a project by Future University Hakodate) where studying and gaming were mixed, sweated by dancing with W+I&S (Note: a students' circle at Keio University), made many bubbles with special liquid by Mr. Yazaki, and discussed with young government officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) about our closest society: schools. In "Us and the Earth" by Prof. Shinichi Takemura, we touched "Tangible Earth" to experience the environment of the Earth and big and small aspects of the world, which made me realize how small I am.
Many of us must agree that we enjoyed the workshop by 6-dim+, an improvisation group, the most. Through games in the workshop, we learned how and why we trust others. The live performance by 6-dim+ made even the one who were quiet and did not smile much open her mouth wide laughing. I thought how wonderful it was to laugh.
Both the terms 1 and 2 provided us with successive discoveries and surprises. Thank you very much indeed for letting me experience the wonderful things, brilliant smiles of children from my Fukushima, and kindness and warmness of university student leaders."
In August, we held three camps for children living in Fukushima. The second one was held from August 10 to 14, 2014, in Tokyo, largely funded by GlobalGiving donors and Fukushima Kodomo Ryoku Project. Elementary and junior-high school students from Fukushima, plus students from Vietnam participated in the camp.
"Academy Camp 2014 Summer Term 1 for me was stimulating five days, not only with children from Fukushima but also with junior-high school students from Vietnam doing activities together. Vietnam and Japan are different in many ways. We use different languages, and more over, we are culturally different. That may have made both of us nervous at first, and we did not talk with each other much. But on the second day, as we played "sport tag" together, we made plans together, and we got closer in each group. We enjoyed a lot dancing in a Vietnamese way at the workshop hosted by the Vietnamese children. This direct encounter with the Vietnamese culture made such an impact on the Fukushima children's minds that many of them said "I want to go to Vietnam!!"
Other activites included learning about weather forecasting from Ms. Yoriko Kato and actually preparing a "seasonal topic" by ourselves, learning about interviewing and wonders of words from Mr. Jun Hori, and going out where we have wanted to visit in Tokyo to actually interview people on their ideas of cool adults as part of "digital orienteering". All were educational to me, but the one impressed me most was an a cappella workshop by "amoroso", a students' circle at Musashi University. We placed our arms around one another's shoulders and made our own choreography to sing "It's a small world" together. It was a moment in which all our minds became one, regardless of languages or cultures."
Your support will make a bigger impact on the day. We would really appreciate if you could spread the word about this opportunity!
In August, we held three camps for children living in Fukushima. The first one was held from August 3 to 9, in Shizuoka, in conjunction with two other organizations and supportive individuals. This "Active English Class 2014" was a 7-day, intensive English course on the foot of Mt.Fuji, for students (4th-6th graders) from Tominari elementary school, Date City, Fukushima Prefecture.
In this camp, we encouraged the children to speak to the world and to make a difference, through learning English from their role models: university students who can use both Japanese and English.
The following is an essay by one of the participants. She wrote the essay before departing from the camp site (the original essay is in Japanese).
Having Participated in Active English Class 2014
"When I first came here, I was too shy to answer questions in English even when I could understand them. But as I played, talked and had many experiences with the leaders (university students), we developed a good friendship, and we made many memories together.
Especially the BBQ and the camp fire. At the BBQ meal, we had fun having delicious meat, and we were very loud at the camp fire. Many joyful things. Of course, my English got better. I am willing to listen to English CDs at home so that I can be fluent in English.
Thank you for the joyful lectures and taking care of us back in our rooms for 6 nights and 7 days. I will cherish this good memory, leaving it in my mind forever, never forgetting what I have experienced.
I have enjoyed these 6 nights and 7 days. Thank you very much indeed."
We would like to thank her and all other children participated in this camp for the precious feedback.
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