Since the “Support High School Students in Tohoku” project started in April, AMDA has received generous donations through the GlobalGiving’s site and from some major donors in Japan. As of July 2011, the total amount contributed to this project surpassed the original plan. Therefore, we expanded the number of beneficiaries of the scholarship from 15 students to 25, and started paying the grant at the end of September 2011.
From now on, AMDA will continue this project for three years, until March 2014 when the current first-year students graduate. If we receive more donations, we will add more students on the list of beneficiaries. Therefore, this project will be open to supporters until March 2014.
The content of the project will remain the same as before: Granting \15,000 per month per a student who aspires to become a medical professional, with no obligation of refunding. AMDA chooses the high schools who will select the recipients of the scholarships by discussions with its supporters and people in the affected region, the selection of beneficiaries being left up to each high school's discretion. Your donations will be also used for such purposes as sports exchange and music exchange programs for young people in the affected region, so they can mix with young people in other regions of the country, and to encourage them to persevere in this difficult time.
Due to the confidentiality obligation to the schools and students, we cannot disclose any personal information of the beneficiaries or their photographs. It is our pleasure, though, to present some letters of thanks from those who received the grant, and photographs of the soccer exchange programme held in August 2011. AMDA held a soccer exchange programme in Okayama city, where its HQ is, in August 2011, inviting soccer club members of junior high schools from Tohoku and Okayama. Children from Tohoku wrote to AMDA: “Thank you! I enjoyed playing soccer again!” “I made a lot of friends in Okayama. This will be my lifelong memory!” (Photographs have no association with the letters.)
AMDA, as a medical NGO, has set up a three-year plan to support people in Tohoku by, for example, sending medical volunteers to hospitals in the affected towns. We would like to update you with these projects soon.
Some letters of thanks from the beneficiaries of the scholarship:
A new life (3rd year student)
If the tsunami hadn’t come I would have been leading a normal life up until now. By “normal” I mean I would have been continuing my studies like normal. Instead, I find myself in a completely different environment. A new lifestyle has started. At a time when the tools for studying were in short supply, I was thrilled at the opportunity to receive a scholarship. Since receiving that money, life has been renewed. I have taken on my studies, club activities, and chores with a new spirit because now I will be continuing my studies at college. This scholarship has really helped me, not just for daily living but emotionally as well. For the sake of those who have graciously supported me, I will pursue my studies seriously. Meanwhile, I want to become a well-rounded person, so club activities will enhance my time-management skills to balance with my studies. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Now I can look to the future and work towards achieving my dream.
The scholarship for my future dream and hopes (1st year student)
After I lost my home due to the tsunami and earthquake, I lived in a refugee shelter for about two months. Older members of my town were faced with a difficult problem as a lot of the medicine they took was carried away by the tsunami. Even though my town is small, a medical team from another region came to support us and provided consultations and diagnoses. After I saw this I thought how I wanted to become a doctor and repay this favor to many people. However, since going to medical school requires a lot of money, this scholarship will go to one part of the tuition. I will never forget the acts people have done to help me. So I will get my credentials as quickly as possible so I can begin working as a doctor and start giving back.
Reason I applied and future goals (1st year student)
When I was four, my father passed away suddenly. Since then different people have been helping my family as I’ve grown up. Then it came time for the high school entrance exam. I had planned to work very hard as I looked forward to my own path and goals I had set when the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake occurred. But I knew scholarships like this existed. Both my older sister and brother have received other scholarships and are currently following their plans on their own respective paths. I would also like to lessen the burden for my mother. Up until now, I’ve been fortunate to have people helping me, so in the future I would like to have a job that helps others. Since I would like a job that deals with people, I am aiming to become a nurse. After this earthquake disaster, people are experiencing a lot of different emotions, and I want to work hard in such a way to help others and work to return my home town to its former vitality.
My dream and goals (3rd year student)
My home was completely destroyed by the tsunami following the earthquake that occurred on March 11th. Sentimental items, textbooks, workbooks, everything disappeared as they were carried out to sea. Afterwards, I was at a loss of what to do. For a while, I lived in a gymnasium in Kamaishi. I remember the time AMDA sent a medical team to the refugee shelter to provide relief for senior citizens and children. Also, the two times I became ill from a fever, they came to where I was to diagnose me. Thanks to the relief AMDA provided I have hope again. In the future, I absolutely plan on becoming a nurse. This experience has instilled a strong will in me. I feel I want a job that will work with a medical team to restore hope and relief to the people we see. In the future I want to become a nurse and become a person that can give back. And for that purpose I continue studying hard. Thank you very much for your time.
The success of receiving a scholarship (3rd year student)
After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, my home was almost totally destroyed and I even lost both my parents. I saw my mother's body, but my father is still unaccounted for. Before the earthquake, I was concerned about the path I would follow for my future. Do I pick the thing I like to do or become a pharmacist? After the earthquake experience, I want to help people and have decided to work on becoming a pharmacist. Now thanks to the support of my grandparents, my siblings and I have started going to school again. Still, a lot of people have given me support and I don’t want to be a burden to them. So I would like to repay their kindness and so I have applied for this scholarship. Before my mother would say to work as hard as you can to continue down one’s chosen path. So I continue my studies and use this past experience as an added incentive in order to fulfill my mother’s wish. From here on I will work as hard as I can in order to make full use of the support everyone has graciously given me. For this support, I thank you very much.