Jun 5, 2018

Safe camp slots filling fast

Happy campers from last year's camp
Happy campers from last year's camp

 Slots for safe summer camp are filling fast! First camp is slated for July 26 - 28, and second camp will be August 23 - 25.

Children will be picked up in Minami Soma and taken by bus to the retreat center in Miyagi Prefecture, where lots of fun at the wooded campsite are in store.

On the second day, children will be taken by ferry into Matsushima Bay to the Urato Islands, where they will enjoy looking for shellfish on the beach, and having a swim.

Plans are also in the works for a campfire, crafts and games.

Staff are making the preparations, and there is a lot of excitement.

Thank you for your support of this important project to give the children in Fukushima a reprieve from their environment in the shadow of the nuclear disaster.

Mar 8, 2018

Planning for 2018 Summer Camps Underway

Staff looking over map of the islands
Staff looking over map of the islands

Our staff is already making plans for this year's safe summer camps for Fukushima children. The program this year will bring the children to a camping ground in Rifu, Miyagi Prefecture. The 3 day program will include a day trip to the Urato Islands off Miyagi Coast. The Urato Islands is where Operation Blessing brought some of the earliest relief to fishermen that had suffered great devastation from the 2011 tsunami. The islands have recovered their oyster and seaweed industry, and facilities are opening up to bring in visitors to enjoy the beaches on the island, and to learn from the fishermen things about the sea. We are excited to be able to return to the islands, this time with our precious Fukushima children who will travel over by ferry from Shiogama Port, and also receive a tour among the beautiful islands floating in Matsushima Bay, recognized as one of the top three beauty spots of Japan.

Beautiful beaches on island in Matsushima Bay
Beautiful beaches on island in Matsushima Bay
Children will be able to look for shells
Children will be able to look for shells
Jan 22, 2018

Christmas Event was a great success!

The free Family Christmas Concert in Minami Soma, Fukushima, to bring Christmas cheer to local families and children was a great success with 505 attending.

The concert was designed to bring a message of hope to encourage the families and children living in the area affected by the nuclear power disaster of March 2011. The concert featured 4 Japanese artists: Megumi Ota, a children's musical performer who works for Disney and Japan's national broadcaster, NHK; Yakara, a dynamic and young Japanese drums team from Sendai; Syan, Japan's world champion balloon artist; and New WIngs! a popular, youthful and exuberant gospel choir from Kyushu. OBJ's local gospel choir, RiseUp! and gospel workshop participants from Iwaki, Sendai, Yamagata and Fukuoka also joined in with the 9 member New Wings, for finale songs.

This event was endorsed by Fukushima Prefecture, City of Minami Soma, Minami Soma Board of Education, TBC-Tohoku Broadcasting Company, TV-U Fukushima, and the Kahoku Newspaper. 

Comments from participants gave high marks for the quality of the program, with 97.4% of respondents saying they thought the program was good or very good. 66.7% indicated they were moved by the musical and visual presentation of the Christmas story, and 82.1% responded that were encouraged or very much encouraged.

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