The Kumamoto Earthquake Report 3:
Self-help, by future leaders
April 25th 2016
The schools in Kumamoto still remain closed, and it is reported that close to 160,000 children are not able to go to school at the moment. Japan’s school year starts in April, and the Kumamoto earthquake has struck right when the new year has started. Then, are these children doing nothing at the moment? The reality is completely different.
YMCA foresees that their evacuation center in Mashiki-town should be transformed into “1,000 people village”, meaning evacuees are encouraged to support each other, with spontaneous efforts on various needs at the center. Around 50 children and youths showed interest to assist despite that they, and their families, have been severely affected by the earthquake.
These children and youths become part of ‘Waku-Waku Work-Tai’ (literal translation is ‘Exciting Work Team’). They assist in relief item distribution, prepare hygiene/health message posters, make birthday cards, and many other tasks designated.
Is anyone making them do all these? Not at all. These children have asked YMCA whether there is anything they can help with. Minoura from Osaka YMCA said,”At the end of the day, we encourage them to stand-up when they are ready. This is their town”.
How about younger children? Well, they are also doing their best. The photo on the right is children’s play areas, and many children are waiting at the door even before the room opens in the morning. Playing and growing is their job, and they are doing this perfectly. Also, with or without knowing, while these children spend their time here, the parents can spend their time preparing for the families’ next step, including cleaning up their houses and getting disaster certificates, etc.
People from all age groups are doing what they can to go through the current hardship. Such spontaneous efforts are always encouraged by YMCA staff on the ground, and it seems that all YMCA staff are equipped with management skills of such volunteering spirit.
It is worthwhile to note also that seeing these children and youth taking up these tasks seem to give encouragement to many adults at the evacuation center. After all, they are the future leaders of this community.
Name : The National Council of YMCAs of Japan
Address : 7 Honshio-cho Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo
Beneficiary Bank : THE BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI UFJ,LTD.
Branch Name : YOTSUYA BRANCH
Bank Address : 3-2-1 YOTSUYA SHINJUKU-KU TOKYO
Swift code : BOTKJPJT
Account Number : 051-0111494
The National Council of YMCAs of Japan and the Church World Service Japan are working together as partner for relief activities in Kumamoto Earthquake.
Here is English Report by Mr. Takeshi Komino of CWSJ about Japan YMCA’s relief works.
Interviewer and Photos taken by: Takeshi Komino
|Name||The National Council of YMCAs of JAPAN|