Japan Tsunami Update--1 Year Later
This is an update to a previous eNews:
Protecting Japan's Tsunami Children, published in April, 2011
JAPAN TSUNAMI UPDATE
It’s been a year since the devastating tsunami in Japan. In last April’s eNews, we provided you with a description of how the Japanese tsunami children were being cared for, including 3 videos.
This year, we’ll take a look at how children and their parents are faring during this recovery period.
2011 Tsunami Statistics
2012 Update: Housing and schooling accomplishments are significant
The most important message is that recovery will take many years.
RESPONSES TO FAMILIES' NEEDS—SAVE THE CHILDREN & THE RED CROSS
In response to the children’s needs for safe outdoor playing, Save the Children organizes weekend hiking and camping trips to safe areas of the countryside that provide children with chances to play outside with friends.
Save the Children and other organizations are building community centers, so children in temporary housing can play in a safe environment and families can have a place to visit with one another. They have also instituted a mobile library program that has reached over 29,600 children, and are providing grants to PTA’s and local partners.
Save the Children has helped re-establish child care centers. They train child care workers to recognize signs of recurring stress or anxiety in the children, and to be able to support each other as caregivers who are themselves dealing with their own losses and emotional stress. Over 1000 high school students have received scholarships to continue their studies & vocational training. Schools are receiving transport for students, school materials & supplies, as well as contributions to school lunches.
They continue their child protection work by helping schools develop disaster risk reduction programs—including preparedness, early warning systems, resilience building and adaptation.
In this first video, you can see children in their protective hoods going through a disaster drill, and listen to a little boy talk about why he likes these drills.
GRATITUDE & RESILIENCE
The last scene in that Save the Children video is of a classroom filled with children who are bowing to the camera and saying “Arigato gozaimashita!” This means, “Thank you very much!” Again and again, the Japanese people have expressed their gratitude for the generosity of donors around the world who have made these services possible through Save the Children, the Red Cross, and many other disaster response nonprofits.
With so many tsunami survivors under great stress, living in temporary housing, and dealing with the unknowns of radiation exposure, it’s important for us to remember the resilience of all people.
One of our greatest human characteristics is our ability to recover and build new lives. We close with a video of 7 year old Ami and her mother sharing their tsunami experiences, and where they are one year later.
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