Ten years have past since the earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011. We have been in operation for over five years, and helping the community for close to ten years. Permanent stores are finally completed last year, and ten meter concrete wall have been constructed to cover the bay to prevent another giant tsunami if in case it happens. The city has authorized the plan to create agricultural park in the center of Ogatsu where tsunami damage was severe. Although ten years have been past, I feel that the revitalization process will take place for the next ten years. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting our center.
Since April, we have slowly receiving families over weekends. Although school and corporate groups are not planning trips to us, we have created guidelines to prevent infection at our facility. We were able to organized photo workshop with celebrated photographer in May. Children were challenged to see nature in different perspectives through camera. Perspectives like insects, animals, even adult. Many commented that they saw the world completely different, gave them another perspective and will cherish it. I felt that children were more active and needed to be in nature than usual because of the COVID-19.
Vaccine distribution is slow in Japan, and pandemic will continue for a while, we will try our best to keep this environment ready for children. We have started to communicate with people in Kumamoto to arrange tour in fall. Although some regions in Japan is still under lockdown, we are discussing the possibility to invite children from Kumamoto.
Hoping the people who are infected will recover, and pandemic will be contained soon this year. We need your support to keep MORIUMIUS survive this pandemic, so that we will be able to keep providing sustainable learning for children and to revitalize community from disaster.
Thank you for your continous support. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting our center not able to receive children. Number of infected have increased in January. Local governments aroud Tokyo and Osaka metropolitan areas have announced lockdown asking residents to restrict their movements and stay home. We are still planning when we will be able to invite children from Kumamoto. We will let you know once the invitation tour is set.
In October, we were able to organized photo workshop with celebrated photographer. Children were challenged to find beauty in nature through camera in black and white. In forest, around MORIUMIUS, by the ocean, children were shooting with instinct. With a help of sun light, children captured light in their pictures. Many commented that they saw shining moment in nature, felt cute or beautiful. I felt that children have learned to find beauty in nature, even when it does not look beauty at time.
Hoping the people who have infected will recover, and pandemic will be contained soon this year. We need your support to keep MORIUMIUS survive this pandemic, so that we will be able to keep providing sustainable learning for children and to revitalize community from disaster.
Since March, we have had impact by COVID-19 pandemic. As you might know, Japan is also affected by the virus and there are still numbers of infected daily. The government planned voluntary lockdown for the month of April in and also in May for greater Tokyo and surrounding prefectures. Although infection rate is relatively low compared to western countries, things are quiet.
MORIUMIUS have not had children visiting since April and will be closed for June and maybe July. We have been living quietly and seeking timing to restart the center, but it is difficult to predict how and when pandemic will be calmed. We believe it will be a long process for things to calm down and have to come up with new ideas to operate MORIUMIUS as well as find creative new step in education.
Since April, we have been providing online programs sending fresh local seafood from fisherman to home, connecting families online to slice whole fish and cook. Not only cooking, we show live footage of how MORIUMIUS and surrounding natural environment with animals we live with. Many groups and families planning to visit were able to see/ hear the environment through PC/ tablet felt like they traveled to MORIUMIUS. Also, children were serious and joyful facing whole fish t slice as well as to cook for family’s dinner dish. Since the experience took place at home, children seemed relaxed and parents were supportive. Attched link is an article from Japanese magazine LEE on the program.
Many comments were sent to us from families like, "Saw what I normally would not be able to see from my child, really felt the possibility of him.", "Made our family realized how important food/ meal is. To cook together, understanding where the food comes from, and enjoy eating together made us all happier.", "Because we are all at home every day, it was a great opportunity to take time to focus on what we eat.".
We are now planning to provide our online program to the next level. Connecting to orphanages and foster homes to provide active engaging online programs to children who live in a difficult circumstance. Children in Kumamoto will be invited once this pandemic is over.
Please consider supporting our programs so that MORIUMIUS itself could be sustainable in this difficult time.
Thank you very much for your support. We were able to invite elven children from Kumamoto through three day holiday on Februay 22 to 24. Because of the typhoon in October, original tour date was postphoned, but this time it was a great success.
We have been inviting children who were affected from the mega earthquake in Kumamoto in 2016 every year. There are children who are still living in tenporary houses and not able to go back to their hometown. This winter has been very warm even in northern region of Japan. Children who are coming from sourthern region with warm climate were expecting cold weather and snow. Surprisingly we had snow storm on the second day, children were running outside trying to catch or eat snow.
In Japan, traditionally we make fermented soy bean paste called Miso. Miso is one of the most important Japanese seasoning, used mainly for soup. We have invited specialist to make miso with children. Using organic soybeans, fermented rice, and salt, children seemed excited to mash cooked soybean into paste. Mixing the paste with salt and fermented rice, keeping in plastic container for six month until fermentation is complete.
Through their time here at MORIUMIUS, children seemed to be relaxed in nature and released their stress, but also learned other areas in Japan affected by natural disaster. Meeting with local people and listening to storyteller, children were able to see the future of their region and gave strength to move forward.
Thank you again for your support to create this tour. We were not able to invite children without your kindness. We are going to organize another invitation tour in 2020 or in 2021.
Thank you for your continuous support. Unfortunatley, the invitational tour planned for October 12 to 14 was postponed because of mega typhoon Hagibis. One of the largest typhoon in recent history passes over Japan on October 12 causing severe rain. Miyagi prefecture where we are was one of the prefecture to have record breaking rain, close to 600mm of rain in 24 hours. Some roads in Ogatsu was flooded and trees have fallen causing blackout for a day.
Although we were ready to receive eleven children from Kumamoto, flight was cancelled the day before and we could not organize the tour planned. Many children were looking very forward to it and we felt bad. We are going to give another try to organize the tour in Spring 2020.
We will keep you posted for the tour in we will organize next yeat. Thank you again for your support.
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