launching a straw floatable lantern on the water
August 1, 2013
Announcing Fukushima Kids’ Summer Camp 2013!
We are proud to be offering again this summer, for the third year in
a row, the Fukushima Kids’ Camp, which started the summer following the March
11, 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.
This summer, 408 children will gather from July 27–August 25 in four
locations in Hokkaido, Shinshu, Ehime, and Minamiaizu. This year stands out in
that we have added a course accommodating children with disabilities at the
Minamiaizu camp, which will host 20 of these young individuals.
Over the past two years, approximately 4,000 volunteers have taken
part in the Fukushima Kids programs. These volunteers have supported our
efforts, while boosting the quality of what the programs can offer in the
process. We have high hopes that this summer as well, volunteers will lend us
their valuable time and energy.
Conditions in Fukushima Prefecture Remain Dire
After surveying on July 11 contaminated water in a 30-meter
observation hole near the building housing the turbines of the No. 3 reactor at
the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company
announced that measurements taken of radioactive cesium 137 where approximately
1,000,000 times greater than the acceptable limits set by the Japanese
government. With the fragmented nature of the information being reported, it
remains difficult to get a clear overall assessment of the situation. Amidst
these circumstances, the prevailing mood percolating in Fukushima Prefecture is
that “we must not overreact.” As we solicit donations for our program, we often
hear 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 entire
prefecture, but it is clear that more and more people would like to put the
nuclear accident behind them as much as possible. This sentiment does not stem
from negativity. I feel it is just a natural reaction to having the abnormal
forced 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 to
deliver our care and concern to the children of Fukushima, nor come to the
point where we, outside the prefecture, glibly weigh in on the debate over
whether it is “safe or unsafe.” The Fukushima Kids program has in fact seen
some reductions since last year, but the number participating this summer is
still 400 strong. We accept this as a weighty responsibility and vow to
continue 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 summer
holiday as the opportunity to provide safe places for even a few more children
to have the most youthful, child-like, and fantastic experiences possible—just
as any child would. We are grateful to have received warm support in this quest
from people all across the globe.
We simply must continue with this program for a
few more years.
I thank you for taking the time to read this
message and ask for your continued support of our efforts.
I take care of younger children
What is so fun?
go for a walk with a goat
canoe down a river
just before departure for Hokkaido