On May 8 and 9, Living Dreams visited La Salle Home (Sendai, Miyagi), Asahigaoka Gakuen (Kesennuma, Miyagi) and Ichinoseki Fujinosono (Ichinoseki, Iwate). Since Mari Kuraishi of GlobalGiving has already written a report on our visit to La Salle Home in April, I will share the circumstances of the other two homes.
The visit to Asahigaoka Gakuen (not the home itself) was quite shocking, to be honest. It is located up on the hill which oversees the main part of Kesennuma, which is a fishers’ town right on the Pacific. On our way to Asahigaoka Gakuen from the bus stop, we asked the taxi driver to take us to the harbor area where the tsunami hit. It did not take us much time to be exposed to the brutal scene which we had seen on the news almost every day.
The images from the media were right. Almost all the buildings were gone, and we could only see several buildings that were barely standing, showing the painful scars from the tsunami. Even a huge fishing boat (about 20 meters long) was on the ground, showing rusts on its body, telling us how much time has passed since that day. It was difficult for us to hold our tears seeing such scenes. One small hope that we found there was a tiny flower garden, which was probably made by the owner of the house which was totally swept away by the tsunami.
To our great relief, no child of Asahigaoka Gakuen was hurt by the earthquake or tsunami, for they were already up on the hill where the home is located, when the tsunami occurred. But these children live their everyday liveslooking at this disastrous and empty scene that the tsunami has left behind. There is no question that thesechildren need some form of psychological care for years to come.
Another home we visited, Ichinoseki Fujinosono, was damaged by the earthquake, to the level that they had to start rebuilding the facility right away. Their biggest concern is whether they can collect enough donations to cover the construction cost, which is JPY 800 million in total. Beside this gigantic goal, they also face more immediate challenges; whether they can get by, while their building is under construction, in prefabricated houses, in which living condition is not of best quality both in summer and winter. And in order to improve the quality of their life for the time being, we are planning to provide them with such needs like mosquito screens for their windows, bamboo blind (“yoshizu” in Japanese), cost for fuel in winter, etc.
While they live under such stressful environment, Living Dreams are planning to take out the children of AsahigaokaGakuen and Ichinoseki Fujinosono to our English Adventure Summer Camp which will be held in Hanayama, Miyagi, thanks to donation from organizations like GlobalGiving. At the same time, we are proceeding our preparation for the Christmas Wish program this year, under which each child will receive the exact present that he/she wishes, again thanks to donation from organization like GlobalGiving.
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