March 31, 2011, Tome City, Japan
—World Vision began its first Child-Friendly Space
(CFS) today in an evacuation center in Tome City to help children from Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi prefecture, one of the areas hardest-hit by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami
For their first activity, the children drew their favorite picture and introduced themselves by explaining the drawing.
“I drew a ball and bat of baseball because I belong to a baseball team,” said 12-year-old Kousei.
World Vision Japan staff member, Yoko Yakuwa, explained about World Vision by using storytelling with picture cards. After that, the children wrote what they wanted to do on a piece of paper and made their favorite figure with origami paper. They shared their opinions and their origami with each other.
"I want to play a piano!” said Minaho, a 12-year-old girl.
"I want to play soccer with eight people” said Rin, an 8-year-old boy.
"I want to play cards with other friends,” said Rie, a 12-year-old girl.
"I want to play baseball with everyone,” said Takahiro, a 12-year-old boy.
The children come from a number of different schools in Minami-Sanriku. Most of these schools have been completely destroyed by the tsunami. The day the tsunami hit, many children were practicing for ‘graduation’ ceremonies which were due to take place the next day.
They are now living at an evacuation center and do not know when their schools will start again. Most of the children who participated in the CFS had lost their homes. Some did not know where family members were or had not been able to make contact. Others were reunited with family members a number of days after the tsunami.
Sadly, many had family or friends among the 10,000 known to have been killed.
“I usually play with two or three of my friends who are in the same room at the evacuation center. So it was fun to discuss with everyone and play with everyone,” said 11-year-old Narumi.
“I felt relieved when I wrote my concern. It was good because I didn’t have a chance to write down my concerns like today,” said Misato, 11.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor -- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press