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03/12/2015

Parks Completed:Children’s Society to Restar

JEN has concluded a project to rebuild ravaged two parks attached to the housing areas in Kamikama district located to the southwest of Ishinomaki city. The project intended that rebuilding parks would help children’s associations recover (For more information on the project activity up until now, click here.)

Rebuilding parks was finally completed on December 7 after a range of efforts to help recover children’s association starting with a planning session with locals and then events to strengthen community ties at the park under reconstruction work including mowing grass together and doing exercise together in the morning to the instruction on the radio [Japanese school children have a custom of gathering in a park in the morning on their summer break to do exercise while listening instructions and a musical accompaniment on a radio broadcast].

On the very day of the ceremony to celebrate the parks’ completion, JEN had children put the finishing touch on the park such as assembling benches, painting fences and planting so that the children could use the park as their “self-made park” for years to come.

【The children are painting.】
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The children had waited so long for the park completion that they were jumping up and down for joy.

【The children get in line to use play equipment.】
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We interviewed the children after the completion of the parks, and got the following opinions: “I used to play inside the house, but now I play outside for longer time than before.”; “I’m happy because I can play with my friends in the park.” In the park, we now can see not only the children playing but also elderly people sitting on a bench to enjoy watching their grandchildren playing or to take a rest while they are out walking their dog. So the park has become a place where people from children to elderlies in local communities can relax.

The completion of the parks gave momentum to locals’ efforts to restart “children’s association”. In early February, a conference organized by the children’s association was held for the first time since the earthquake, where community members took the lead in forming groups, planning events and so on.

【They are now in the meeting of the children’s association.】
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On February 22 was held a local event hosted by “the children’s organization” for the first time since the earthquake. The events featured duty as well as pleasure; participants made planters for the coming spring, and then enjoyed pounding mochi [rice-cake] and Soran dancing performed by children in happi [a festival costume] given to the children’s association by JEN. We could hear one of the participants say “We must take good care of happi in order to make use of it in our future activities for a longtime.”

【Soran dancing performed by children in front of the banners of each organization including JEN.】
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【They are pounding mochi.】
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You could see the participants gathered around the children’s vigorous performance smiling at the dancing. So we bet all of the participants enjoyed the event.

Thus, thanks to the completion of park rebuilding, the children’s association restarted its activities. We hope it continues its activities in conjunction with local communities in Kamikama district.

JEN will continue its efforts to develop local communities comfortable for children.


【JEN is now asking for donations. Donate here

March 12, 2015 in Tohoku Earthquake |