寄付・募金・ボランティアのセーブ・ザ・チルドレン・ジャパン

Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami Emergency response and recovery program

child protection

Let’s Build Together! Park Building in Higashimatsushima City (December 18, 2013)

Save the Children Japan (SCJ) has so far carried out improvements to eight parks in Ishinomaki (in Japanese) and Higashimatsushima (in Japanese) cities with the goal of creating safe environments that enable children to play, learn and develop. On this occasion, when providing new playground equipment and facilities in Niiyama Park in Higashimatsushima City, we received the support of Aramco Asia Japan (the Japanese subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco). Let me introduce how we worked together with children and local residents!

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Niiyama Park is located in a residential area

 

■ Questionnaire and results

After the earthquake, temporary housing was built in the vicinity of Niiyama Park so the number of children using the park increased. In response, we conducted a questionnaire about what playground equipment and facilities should be added. The questionnaire was distributed to Oshio district residents, Oshio Elementary School and a local gakudo (after-school program) with replies received from 146 children and 43 adults.

 

There were many replies saying things like, “We want athletic playground equipment, a jungle gym and a covered rest area.” This raised the question of what would be the very best combination of these suggestions. We decided to ask the children to perform a survey, as they are the main users of the park and know the most about it.

 

■ Play with all your might in the park to conduct the playground survey!

The playground equipment survey was conducted over two days. On the first day, in response to the questionnaire results, we went to the park with the children and staff of Aozora Gakudo.

 

We then actually played on the playground equipment to investigate what equipment there is in the park now and also how it will be possible to build a better park. We heard various opinions, such as, “It would be better if the slide was higher.” On the following day, we investigated what playground equipment would be best to have based on the survey results. We asked the children to select three from seven kinds of playground equipment, which included patterned athletic playground equipment and colorful balancing act equipment.

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Everyone played fully until sunset                   What playground equipment is best?

 

■ Design contest at Oshio Elementary School

The children of Aozora Gakudo conducted the playground equipment survey over two days. It was then that the design of Niiyama Park with the chosen playground equipment was finally completed! There were three park designs with one piece of athletic playground equipment chosen by the children put into each design. The children attended the all-school morning assembly at Oshio Elementary School with the completed designs to make their presentations to the students and teachers!

 

The main features of the three designs are listed below:

Design 1

This design features a long slide with combined playground equipment that children 3 to 12 years old can play on.

Design 2

This design has a space to enable users to play house. The main users will be children 3 to 6 years old.

Design 3

This is a design in the image of the sea. The main users will be children 3 to 6 years old.

 

On this day, 222 children from Oshio Elementary School participated in the design contest. When we took a look at the voting, we could see there were children casting their votes and wishing, “Please let the final design be the one I have chosen!”

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■ Design contest at Oshio District Autumn Festival

We also had 71 local residents cast their votes at the Oshio District Autumn Festival. On this day, after inspecting the site, people from Aramco Asia Japan enjoyed a meal and deepened ties with local residents.

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Everyone looked over the designs seriously

 

We received the cooperation of 217 children from Oshio Elementary School and 81 adults, including staff from Oshio Elementary School and Aozora Gakudo, in the voting. I would like to express our gratitude to everyone involved. Please look out for our next report on the results of the design vote contest and the state of park construction.