Niji no Kai: 2012-2013 Activities, Reflecting on my visit to Takata Child Care Center / 虹の会-2012年-13年活動・・・高田保育所訪問にあたって思うこと

Niji no Kai: 2012-2013 Activities, Reflecting on my visit to Takata Child Care Center

I imagine you all had an enjoyable summer.
This summer, I visited the Takata Child Care Center in Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture, the facility that ABC Preschool’s “Niji no Kai” has been supporting since the Tohoku earthquake.

At the beginning of my visit, Satomi (William, graduating class #31), a Takata native, and her father showed me around Kesennuma city and Rikuzentakata city by car. The roads were a long way from being fixed. A ship remained washed ashore, and there seemed no place to put the piles and piles of rubble. I saw empty city hall and school buildings, similar to the ones I have seen in photographs and television footage since the earthquake. I could not help but to think of the widespread devastation that still remained, even a year and a half after the earthquake.

Afterwards, Satomi-san, William-kun, Satomi-san’s husband, Rob-san, and I visited Takata Child Care Center. My spirit was lifted from the warm welcome we received from the 100 or so cheerful children aged 0 through 5. There were many children who lost their family members and homes. My heart felt heavy, knowing that these children have experienced such unimaginable sorrow, and will have to live with such tragic memories. In the classroom, Rob-san and I read English and Japanese books about San Francisco to the 4-5 year old children. We also enjoyed teaching the children English hand games.

At the end of our visit, we taught the children the phrase “See you soon!”. As we left, the friendly children smiled as they said “See you soon!”, and we could hear the children repeat the phrase over and over again until we were out of sight.

I hope that one day we can have some of the children visit and experience life in the United States. I hope that the children can overcome their tragedies, and become bridges between Japan and the United States, and around the world. I hope that we will in fact see the children soon, as promised.

The “Niji no Kai” has reconvened to plan activities for the year. We have welcomed new members, and as a group, we hope to continue supporting the children of Northeastern Japan. The members who will lead our efforts are as follows:
  • Planning: Chizu (Sakura, graduating class #31), Aya (Maya – 31), Yufu (Saho -30, Shino – 33)
  • Treasurer: Shigemi (Cole – 32), Assistant-Satomi (William – 31), Yoshie (Kotaro – 31)
  • Secretary/translation: Yuko (Hiro – 30)
  • Publicity: Chiaki (Maya – 30), Felicia (Sora – 30, Yume – 32)

This year, we will have 3 fundraising events.
  • September 13 (Thurs): 9:15am~2:30pm(bake and craft sale) in front of Pine Church 2:45pm~ 5:30pm at Social Hall
  • December 8 (Sat): 12:00pm~4:00pm(craft sale)in front of Kinokuniya in Japantown
  • March 10 (Sun): 2:00pm~4:00pm (ABC/Pine charity concert and sale)Pine Church
 This year’s fundraising goals

      1) Support “Northeast Rainbow House”, the mental health care facility for children orphaned
         from the earthquake, through the Ashinaga scholarship fund.
         Constructions of satellite facilities are underway in central Sendai and the affected coastal
         areas (Yamadamachi, Otsuchicho, and Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, and Ishinomaki
         City in Miyagi Prefecture). Donations to date: 17.2 hundred million yen/about 10, 000
         donations  (goal: 35 hundred million yen).

      2) Support for those children who experienced complete devastation (lost lives, homes) at
         Takata Child Care Center
         At the request of Takata Child Care Center, flowers from local Takata florists will be
         delivered to those affected on a monthly basis.
         In addition, the Takata Child Care Center would like to purchase a tent that will be used for
         outdoor events, such as undoukai. Our goal for the September and December sales will be
         to raise money to purchase this tent ($3,000).

Thank you for your continued support.                                                ABC Niji no kai Kumiko Inui





帰り際に「See you soon ! 」と教えると、この人懐っこい子どもたちは私たちの姿が見えなくなるまで何度も声を揃えて「See you soon ! 」 といって笑顔で送り出してくれました。
いつかこの子どもたちの何人かをアメリカに招待しこちらでの生活を体験して欲しいというのが今の私の願いです。そしてこのつらい体験を乗り越え、日本とアメリカ、そして世界をつなぐ架け橋になってほしいと思っています。子供達と約束した「See you soon」が近い将来実現しますように。

  • 企画:千津さん(さくら-31期生)、あやさん(まや-31)、有布さん(さほ-30、しの-33)
  • 会計:しげみさん(コール-32)、補佐:里見さん(ウイリアム-31)、よしえさん(こたろう-31)
  • 書記、翻訳:裕子さん(ひろ-30)
  • 広報:ちあきさん(まや-30)、フェリーシアさん(そら-30、ゆめ-32)

  • 9月13日(木)9:15am~2:30pm 2:45pm~5:30pm(ベーク&クラフトセール)パイン教会前 (後半はソーシャルホール)
  • 12月8日(土)12:00pm~4:00pm(クラフトセール)ジャパンタウン紀伊国屋書店前
  • 3月10日(日) 2:00pm~4:00pm(ABC/パインの子どもたちによるチャリティーコンサート&セール)パイン教会


     1) 震災遺児の心のケアーセンター「東北レインボーハウス」-あしなが育英会への支援

     2) 壊滅的被害を受け、数名の園児を失い、建物も全て流された高田

皆様の暖かいご支援に感謝いたします。                                 ABC虹の会 代表 乾 久美子