Childcare Support at Disaster-Stricken Tohoku

by Ippan Shadan Hojin DSIA
Childcare Support at Disaster-Stricken Tohoku
Childcare Support at Disaster-Stricken Tohoku
Childcare Support at Disaster-Stricken Tohoku
Childcare Support at Disaster-Stricken Tohoku
Childcare Support at Disaster-Stricken Tohoku
Childcare Support at Disaster-Stricken Tohoku
Nov 14, 2019

Finally Settling, but More Worries

Amway House under Construction 1
Amway House under Construction 1

In contrast to the previous visit in early August when weather was still hot and streets were filled with the mood of summer festivals, this visit in early November is chilly in the early morning and the late evening. Leaves in the mountain started coloring nicely. Now, winter is felt just at the corner.

As usual, Kirarin Kids (KK) offered diverse programs in three months from the previous visit. One example of big events is “The Second Family Festival 2019”, held in “Dream Arena Takata” which is built for community interactions, having a swimming pool and a basketball court, all an in-door type. There were more than 550 visitors from close-by communities. Children enjoyed carrying artistic balloons as well as playing a sword fight with balloon swords. It was really a fun day for children.

Another event held on November 5 (Tues.) was “Kirarin Athletic Meeting”. Eight pairs of parents and children participated, and enjoyed exercising and talking to Takatano Yumechan, a city’s official staffed doll. Its visit to the even especially excited children and made it quite memorable.

The day for the final move for KK from a temporary facility to a permanent one is coming close. December 18 will be the Framework Raising Ceremony, and KK hopes to start their activities in January 2020. Finally, after eight years of loaming around from a temporary facility to another temporary one and to another one. KK can finally settle down and concentrate on their activities.

However, this does not mean that its unstable situation ends. But rather it is a start of new unstable one.

KK will move into Amway House, located right next to Rikuzen Takata Station on a land-raised area. Despite its name, neither railway nor a station is found. It is simply a small-size bus terminal operated by JR. Because of this location, KK is now worrying whether children rush out to streets. It is now preparing for a set of rules for safety. An additional worry KK just found recently is that there is still a piece of land behind the House connected with a stairway, but not yet raised and even uninformed when to be completed.

KK has been operated, up till now, by soliciting the participation of staffs and allocating works to match their merits. But, given the fresh start of their activities, KK is thinking of developing a firmer organizational structure centered around three founding members. In comparison to the post-disaster period, staffs start having some extra scope to accept types of activities which they have been rejecting to get involved. But staffs still have their own post-disaster situations. One just built a house to move in after eight years. They all feel that they have come only half a way. Despite so, KK is coming to the point that they are reaching a new and final stage of its redevelopment, requiring long-term visions, a firmer organizational structure, and well-organized operations.

Actually KK is now facing a stronger sense of pressure and responsibility than before, since Amway House will be maintained by Amway for the first ten year, but after that period, KK has to take care of all maintenance costs by itself. It felt needs to generate more earning and even to save money for future unexpected expenditures. Hence, it is presently exploring diverse possibilities for stabilizing financial resources, such as introducing a monthly support system as well as an on-line donation system.

While KK staffs are extremely busy to organize events in November and coming Christmas Party in December, they also have to prepare for the final move coming soon. But amid busy schedule, everybody is haunted by this difficult issue of long-term sustainability.

Amway House under Construction 2
Amway House under Construction 2
An Ocean-Side View from Amway House
An Ocean-Side View from Amway House

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Organization Information

Ippan Shadan Hojin DSIA

Location: Tokyo - Japan
Website:
Project Leader:
Yoshitaka Okada
Tokyo, Japan

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