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

Minamisoma YUME Cheerleaders’ TMN Encounter Visit (January 15, 2014)

As part of educational support for children suffering from the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Save the Children Japan (SCJ), with the assistance of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has developed the Sports and Culture Support Project for Local Children. This project supports children who are unable to enjoy even ordinary activities due to the impact of the disaster. We offer funding for activity costs, supply purchasing expenses and expedition fees. We have promoted this project in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures since September 2011, and in Fukushima Prefecture since 2013. NPO Haramachi Club, located in Minamisoma City, was one of the organizations selected as a funding recipient. The club’s activity is called “TMN (Tokyo Meguriai Network) Encounter Visit.” Today I will report on the activities of the NPO Haramachi Club.

 

The Minamisoma YUME Cheerleaders have had to scatter throughout Japan due to the nuclear power plant accidents. The NPO Haramachi Club was organized in cooperation with Tokyo’s Minamisenju Sports Club and other clubs in the Tokyo area. The TMN Encounter Visit gives these cheerleaders a place for their reunion, as well as an opportunity to communicate with other evacuees from Minamisoma and with those who supported the children after the earthquake. The cheerleaders also gave a short performance.

 

■ The cheerleaders enjoyed seeing their friends again after a long separation

On December 26, 2013, fourteen YUME cheerleaders, from kindergarten to high school students, gathered at the Shioiri Elementary School gymnasium in Arakawa, Tokyo. Half of them came from the towns to where they had been evacuated. Everyone enjoyed seeing their friends again after such a long separation.

 

■ Let’s start practicing for the performance!

The YUME members had not seen each other for quite some time. Immediately after the reunion, they started practicing for their performance. Because they were used to practicing together, nothing had changed in the quality of their teamwork.

チアリーダー1                       チアリーダー2

チアリーダー3                     チアリーダー4

 

They were serious about checking details and repeating their dances.

We could also feel their coach’s enthusiasm!

 

 

■ At last their performance began. Each cheerleader danced from the heart.

 

The cheerleaders danced in unison. They finished with a flourish, striking a cool pose!

The audience gave them a big round of applause.

チアリーダー5         チアリーダー6

チアリーダー7        チアリーダー追加

 

The members were cheerful after their performance. A commemorative photo was taken with parents and the staff of Haramachi Club. Everyone had such wonderful smiles!

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Much to our surprise, the figure skater Miki Ando (who had just finished the Japan Figure Skating Championships the previous week) visited the venue and met the cheerleaders. This visit was realized because Ms. Ando kindly accepted an invitation from the Haramachi Club’s director, Ms. Emoto. Not only were the children delighted, the adults were thrilled by this big surprise! Ms. Ando was friendly to the children. She talked with them, kindly accepted their requests to shake hands and commented that the children’s performance had given her energy.

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A commemorative photo with Ms. Miki Ando. Everyone was so happy!

 

In her greeting, Ms. Emoto said, “It has been almost three years since the earthquake, but reconstruction is still far from completion. I believe the biggest possible support we can give is to never forget about the disaster and what people suffered.” We also believe that even in this still severe environment, the energy for recovery can be generated by the growth of the children, being supported by the adults in their community. SCJ will continue our support, hoping that each community will be revitalized by the growth of the children and the recovery of their daily lives.