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05/28/2015

Playground Equipment Donated by JEN, Set Up at Shimokama, Ishinomaki

JEN so far has donated playground equipment to four elementary schools in the areas affected by the 2011 tsuami. Now all elementary schools in the areas have restored damaged playground equipment thanks to the support from local governments, support organizations as well as JEN.

In the latest project JEN decided to restore a small-scale playground in the residential area in Shimokama district, Ishinomki. The decision followed a survey done by JEN on the damage to playgrounds to determine which one to restore in the coastal areas of Ishinomaki.

The Shimokama district in southeastern Ishinomaki saw a massive exodus after the Tohoku earthquake, which exodus has reduced the number of households in the district from 1,000 to 300. Its playground called Mitsumata Triangle-shaped Kids’ Playground used to be crowded with neighborhood kids and schoolchildren on their way home from school, but after its tsunami damaged equipment was torn down no kids have been seen there.

[The Playground before Restoration]
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In the planning of the project, JEN asked the neighborhood association to help forge a convergence of local opinions about the playground restoration and map out its plan. As a result JEN could successfully incorporate their opinions into the plan, deciding what kind of equipment to install, setting up of an arbor and so on. So their hope, “the playground may attract many children and be a pleasant place to play” was realized. The neighborhood association also successfully pressed the local government to level the ground and install a fence around the playground.

Long-awaited equipment was installed on May 17 and the ceremony to celebrate the completion of the playground was held.

[Restored playground]
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More than eighty locals turned up for the ceremony thanks to the neighborhood association’s efforts to encourage locals to participate in. Representatives of each organization including JEN, local government and the neighborhood association cut the tape at the ceremony. After the ceremony many children were seen to play with the long awaited equipment.

[Children playing with equipment]
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The members of the neighborhood association said to JEN “We will take good care of the playground for years to come.” It’s scheduled that the local government constructs disaster restoration housing for 100 families in Shimokama district this year, so many former residents are going to return. JEN wants the children of those people come here and use the playground as a place to recover their community.

JEN is committed to supporting in making life in affected communities easier for children.

【JEN is now asking for donations. Click here to donate】

May 28, 2015 in Tohoku Earthquake |