Apr 15, 2009
From Saturday, March 21 until Sunday 29, 2009, four members of the APU volunteer circle "Ai no Nami" visited Shuimo Middle School and Guangji Kindergarten situated in the area effected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Sichuan in 2008.
The members of the visiting group aimed to provide mental support to the children of the effected region through this exchange. During the visit they made origami Japanese cranes together with the children out of paper on which they wrote their wishes, performed easy to remember disaster drills mixed with dance, and got to know the children.
The Ai no Nami members donated 3 musical organs purchased from money they had collected and the proceeds from their "Christmas Event" held last year. They also presented a message flag which they made with students from Enokuma Primary School in Oita City, and stationary donated to them by the primary school students.
MATSUMOTO Yumi (APS3, Japan), who participated on this visit, spoke of the children of the area as representative of Ai no Nami.
"Even now, a year later, there are still many families living in tents and children who cannot go to school because they have to help with building their house. Even in these conditions, the children are still living without forgetting to smile."
"During our exchange with the children we told them the origins of the Japanese 1000 paper cranes. On the reverse side of the paper where we drew our dreams, they first of all drew pictures of a house and the sun.
This was the very moment I caught a glimpse into the hearts of the children who continue to live in tents and yearn for a safe home to live in."
"This visit proved to be an opportunity for us to think deeply about what we can do for the children's smiles. We would like to express our deepest thanks the children and staff of Enokuma Primary School who provided their cooperation towards this visit to Sichuan and everyone who donated money. "
Please click here for the Enokuma Primary School visit article: