Wrapped in overflowing love – the 4600 children raised by Fukushima Kids
Chairperson: Toru Shinshi
In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in March 2011, the biggest blow was the disruption to everyday life. But no matter what, the children must keep their smiles and vigor! With that, Fukushima Kids Executive Committee was formed.
Thanks to Global Giving and the love and spirit of everyone's support, we have been able to fulfill our promise, and have now been running for five years.
As part of the "Long-Term Accommodation Experience Education Practice Program", which was created to support the children of Fukushima, we have spread to Hokkaido, Ishikawa, Kyoto, Kanagawa, Gifu, Nagano, Ehime, Kumamoto, and Nagasaki Prefectures, and even overseas to Germany, in just five years. With exchanges featuring people from a variety of regions, over 4600 children have received the essence of spiritual growth.
Fukushima Kids helped turn the nuclear power plant accident from a dark, sad minus, to a plus with our activities. Many children who participate swear to themselves, "I want to give back as an adult". I truly felt that was a response of people who have spiritually grown. It had an even deeper effect on participating regions and volunteers, as well.
It will take 20, 30, 40...maybe even more years to rebuild Fukushima. I believe that the children who participate in Fukushima Kids will, as adults, play a large role in that rebuilding.
Never give up hope; as long as regions and people connect, any difficult or problem can be seen through, and Fukushima Kids will play a role in that. I would like to thank the people of Global Giving from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
Fukushima Kids Summer Program has just started on 23rd of July. Over 450 kids join the programs this summer.
There are 7 programs Hokkaido, Abukuma, Shinshu-Kiso, Hakusan-Kanazawa, Nihonkai, Ehime and Germany. 18 junior high and high school students join the first abroad program of Germany. They will see, eat, and communicate with new things and people.
This summer programs will finish on 23rd of August. I hope all kids will enjoy every moment and come back to Fukushima.
After summer programs, we will have a "Thank you" ceremony in New York on 16th of October. Since 2011 we have received lots of supportings and donations from all of the world. 8 kids from Fukushima will give thank you speeches in New York. We want to tell "thank you" face to face.
I will give you more details about the last summer programs ( include photos!) .
Thank you very much.
Fukushima Kids Spring Program Report and Greetings
We have concluded all 8 courses of the 2015 Fukushima Kids’ spring activities held during 3/24-4/4 in Onuma and Yubari in Hokkaido, Takayama in Gifu, Kanazawa Hakusanroku in Ishikawa, Miyama in Kyoto, Fujisan in Shizuoka, Nagasaki, and Abukuma in Fukushima.
The 240 children who participated were greeted by many kind volunteers at each of the recipient places and experienced many things. Looking back on this 12th activity, we can sense that interacting with many people is still just as required as before. In regards to the content, I feel expectations are shifting to programs with new experiences and challenges, playing with animals, and learning from communal living. I take this as the desire for them to grow into kind and strong souls.
With the understanding and cooperation of the recipient areas, the children were enveloped by warm-hearted people during the event. After the activities, everyone safely returned to Fukushima refreshed. I feel each of the various realizations from the activities and things felt from the long-stays have been poured into the children’s mentality as nutrition for them to grow.
It is now 4 years since the earthquake and nuclear accident, and the delays in reconstruction are surfacing everywhere in Fukushima. Though on the surface it may seem tranquil, it is always in a state of tension with the fears of radiation.
In such a situation, I think that the joys and expectations are increasing for the activities of “Fukushima Kids” where one can sense the children’s growth directly.
While considering that it is soon time to change gears from supporting the children’s experience activities, to growing together, it is our desire to continue supporting the children’s growth adequately.
We appreciate the support we received from many people and at the same time would like to beg your further warm support.
Fukushima Kids Executive Committee
203 kids of Fukushima joined winter camp from 23rd to 30th of December in 2014.
Winter camp was held in 6 areas in Japan. We are also preparing for spring camp in March.
Fukushima Kids program will continue to this coming summer. Kids of Fukushima will have chance to join the programs twice more.
We are planning to have a presentation to tell thaks to all over the world in New York in October this year.
Thank you very much for supporting our programs.
As we carry out the 2015 Spring Program
Fukushima Kids Executive Committee
Chairperson Toru Shinshi
It’s been 4 years since the Tohoku earthquake and nuclear disaster. Life is now back to normal, but in reality, the people of Fukushima continue to live alongside radiation, making people feel somewhat uneasy and leaving them with complex feelings about the issue.
“Fukushima Kids” began activities in summer 2011. At that point we announced that we would definitely be continuing our activities for the next 5 years, and this year is the last year of that promise. Though there are some who are unhappy that the course is ending, I feel that it is time for the “Fukushima Kids” project to move onto the next step for the children’s growth while responding to occasional changes in society.
At these times, we remember something very important, which is that we have managed to come this far together with the families that shared our, the executive committee’s, goal to “bring back the smiles and cheer to the children”. Thanks to this, we have been able to sense the growth of these children, and we believe that in the future they will be able to create a new, reborn version of our home, Fukushima, for us.
These wonderful results are also down to all of the people that have lent us assistance in the past 5 years, so we feel that we must notify them of these achievements and express our deepest gratitude. To this end, in October we will hold a reception in front of the UN Headquarters in New York for the “Japan Society”, who have helped us enormously, as well as all of the many other international groups that have aided us in the past. We also plan to hold a farewell party in Bandai-Atami in November and hope for your understanding and cooperation.
As we prepare for these events, this March will see the start of the 12th “Fukushima Kids Spring Program”. This time we will hold this program in Onuma and Yubari (Hokkaido), Hida-Takayama, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, the base of Kanazawa’s Mt. Haku, Nagasaki, and 8 locations within the prefecture, with many activity courses for the participants on offer. As we are continue our preparations in each of these areas, we have confidence that this cooperation can spread to each part of Japan and become a set of spring activities that the children can all learn very much from.
In regards to you all, we would very much like your participation, and as you look over these important participation points and gear up you preparations, to also never forget that there are people all over Japan and all over the world who share the same feelings towards the Fukushima Kids activities as we do.
375 kids joined Fukushima Kids summer camp in 2014.
All kids and their parents write letters to tell their feelings, thanks, and so on to join the programs.
I introduce 2 letters, one from a child, one from a mom.
After reading each letter, I understand the meaning and the importance of Fukushima Kids programs.
"Things I Think About"
I haven’t been able to eat vegetables and fruits from Fukushima anymore after the disaster because I’m afraid of radiation.
So I tell mom to buy foods from other prefectures.
I had a thyroid exam in March. I was the only one in my class to have an exam twice at a university hospital. I was so scared and sweated so much when I got a shot in my throat. I thought, “Why only me?” I wondered if it was because I went to get some water or because I was outside when the disaster happened. Now I don't play outside for a long time anymore. I want to play a lot.
Also, I appreciate that Fukushima Kids has been here for us. Thank you.
A letter from a boy in Fukushima
"To All Fukushima Kids staff members"
This is the third time we participated in your event.
To be honest, my son had told me ‘‘I don’t want to go alone far away from home every holiday. I am not going this summer,’’ before he visited Onuma. However, the moment he came home from Onuma, he said ‘‘I am going there again this summer!’’
He said he was so happy because university students, who were there as staff members, were really friendly to him, and that he promised them he will be with them again this summer.
I have seen a page on Fukushima Kids’ website where staff members are introduced, and I came to really appreciate that so many people help our children out. Thank you for everything that you do, and I am sorry that my son is a bit naughty. We look forward to joining your future events.
A letter from a mom in Fukushima
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