This winter camp was the third time. It was from December 21st to December 29th.
240 children joined this winter camp from Fukushima.
Hokkaido 117 They had lots of activities with snow!
Abukuma 20 They spent times cooking, playing, and so on!
Yokoaham 63 They met lots of people and had fun with them!
Shizuoka 20 They could see beautiful Mt. Fuji and went trekking!
Ehime 20 They enjoyed playing with local children outside together.
They spent precious time with lots of volunteers and host families.
327 volunteers supported this winter camp. Many children were happy to see the volunteers who knew each other again.
Thank you very much for your big support.
Fukushima Kids executive committee
A thank you letter from the parents of two first-time participants.
In the two years since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on March 11th, 2011, our children in Fukushima City have had to wear masks going to and from school even in the summer, and have only been allowed to play outside for 30 minutes at a time. Decontamination inFukushima City is still not progressing, and we have no idea how many years it will take to decontaminate the district we live in.
Over the past two years, our children have not been able to play outside, leaving them with very few opportunities to play with their friends and causing them to lose something very important for building human relationships.
Our first grader is especially sensitive. She remembers how, after the earthquake hit two years ago, she has never once been allowed to play outside at kindergarten and has had to part with some of her friends. She has often talked about these things as they came back to her. Four months after the disaster, we were shocked to find that she had the largest amount of radiation of anyone in our family.
It was at that time that we read about Fukushima Kids in the newspaper, and enrolled our first and third grade daughters for the first time. Although we worried during the nine days our daughters were away at Fukushima Kids, they came back with their eyes sparkling, and continued to talk about the events at the camp for several days afterward. Even now after the new year has begun, they still sometimes spontaneously tell us about fun memories and all the people they met at camp.
There was something that made us happy as parents as well. We were surprised to find all kinds of supportive messages and gifts from lots of people inside our daughters' bags. We have carefully put away the heartfelt letters we received from the volunteers. The love of everyone involved in Fukushima Kids came overflowing out of our daughters' backpacks, warming our hearts and letting us know that a lot of people were supporting and encouraging us.
Now almost three years have passed since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and people's memories are fading. We used to think "This disaster happened to us while we were making electricity for people in Tokyo, but Tokyo people are so cold and uncaring." But now our sentiments have changed to "There are so many people who still remember the Fukushima disaster, and who want to do something to help Fukushima and its children." Over those nine days, our hearts were full of gratitude for the love we received.
Our children who participated in Fukushima Kids are sure to hold these memories in their hearts and take great strides into the future. It is our dearest hope that they will grow into adults who warmly turn to help others in need.
Thank you very much. January 2014
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