August 1, 2013
Announcing Fukushima Kids’ Summer Camp 2013!
We are proud to be offering again this summer, for the third year ina row, the Fukushima Kids’ Camp, which started the summer following the March11, 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.
This summer, 408 children will gather from July 27–August 25 in fourlocations in Hokkaido, Shinshu, Ehime, and Minamiaizu. This year stands out inthat we have added a course accommodating children with disabilities at theMinamiaizu camp, which will host 20 of these young individuals.
Over the past two years, approximately 4,000 volunteers have takenpart in the Fukushima Kids programs. These volunteers have supported ourefforts, while boosting the quality of what the programs can offer in theprocess. We have high hopes that this summer as well, volunteers will lend ustheir valuable time and energy.
Conditions in Fukushima Prefecture Remain Dire
After surveying on July 11 contaminated water in a 30-meterobservation hole near the building housing the turbines of the No. 3 reactor atthe Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Tokyo Electric Power Companyannounced that measurements taken of radioactive cesium 137 where approximately1,000,000 times greater than the acceptable limits set by the Japanesegovernment. With the fragmented nature of the information being reported, itremains difficult to get a clear overall assessment of the situation. Amidstthese circumstances, the prevailing mood percolating in Fukushima Prefecture isthat “we must not overreact.” As we solicit donations for our program, we oftenhear people ask, “Are the kids in Fukushima still unable to play outside?”There is not one blanket response that can be given to assess the entireprefecture, but it is clear that more and more people would like to put thenuclear accident behind them as much as possible. This sentiment does not stemfrom negativity. I feel it is just a natural reaction to having the abnormalforced upon us in such a way that it has become ever present.
The important thing to keep in mind is that me must not cease todeliver our care and concern to the children of Fukushima, nor come to thepoint where we, outside the prefecture, glibly weigh in on the debate overwhether it is “safe or unsafe.” The Fukushima Kids program has in fact seensome reductions since last year, but the number participating this summer isstill 400 strong. We accept this as a weighty responsibility and vow tocontinue our efforts for five years until the very last participant joins up.We sincerely ask for your support as well.
What we can do is to take this extended summerholiday as the opportunity to provide safe places for even a few more childrento have the most youthful, child-like, and fantastic experiences possible—justas any child would. We are grateful to have received warm support in this questfrom people all across the globe.
We simply must continue with this program for afew more years.
I thank you for taking the time to read thismessage and ask for your continued support of our efforts.
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