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

Children’s Dream Comes True! The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Yamada Children’s Community Center (tentative name)(2015.07.16)

Since its establishment in July 2011, the Children’s Community Building Club in Yamada Town, (Keppare Yamada Toekomst or KYT), has been working on the recovery effort. On June 28, 2015, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for one of their projects, the Yamada Children’s Community Center. Here we report on the ceremony that was attended by about one percent of the entire community.

 

What is the “Yamada Children’s Community Center” (tentative name)?

In the summer of 2011, KYT members developed their “Dream Town Plan” based on a concept of “future and the tradition of a town filled with love.” In 2012, they conducted interviews with community members and government authorities on the recovery. In the spring of 2013, they made a proposal to the “Compact City Plan” developed by Yamada Town, and in the fall of 2013, they created “Yamada Karuta.” The karuta are traditional Japanese playing cards that KYT created together with community members to convey the attractions of Yamada Town. They also created “Matsushii,” a new mascot for Yamada, which has been utilized in revitalizing the community. They continue to work on realizing their “Dream Town.”

 

The design and features of the center originated in numerous discussions that KYT members had with community members and government officials, and thus, it is filled with children’s ideas. With the help of Suntory Ltd. in the construction, this will be the very first building built in Yamada Town since 3.11. The center will not only have a library, but will also serve as a place where children of all ages can gather and meet. After its completion, the center will be handed over to Yamada Town who will manage it in consultation with the children of the community.

 

 

Over 150 Community Members Celebrated Together!

Before the groundbreaking, participants were greeted by Yamada’s official mascots, Matsushii (created by KYT members), Yamada-Chan and Take-Chan. The continuous heavy rain since the night before forced us to hold the ceremony inside instead of outside as originally planned. Despite the rain, however, we still welcomed about 120 attendees before the ceremony began, including government officials, town council members, library staff, parents, those involved in community building, and the children. This number noticeably swelled to over 150 as the ceremony continued.

Facilitated by the KYT members, the ceremony began. In his greeting, the Mayor of Yamada, Mr. Sato, stated, “I believe this center and its library is going to stimulate our new commercial facilities that are currently under construction. When the Sanriku Railroad is competed within a couple of years, I expect the passengers to utilize the center for rest and other purposes. It fascinates me to imagine it being used by men and women of all ages for relaxation or to communicate with other community members. It fascinates me even more that this center is an achievement of the KYT members. I hope to make it a place where everybody can see the growth and strength of the children in Yamada Town.”

①ゆるキャラ ②佐藤町長

The Groundbreaking of the Center as a Symbol of Recovery

KYT members reported on their past achievements, presented the design of the center, and conveyed their emotions. To help celebrate the groundbreaking, students of Yamada Minami Elementary School performed traditional dancing of Yamada Town. Finally, KYT members broke the ground with people shouting out words of encouragement.

③活動発表

④虎舞 ⑤鍬入れ

Voices of the Children:

“I am glad that our dream of the center is coming true! I hope children can play with their friends and families here and have a good time.” (7th Grade Student, male)

“It made me realize that we have a large number of supporters. We need to continue to do our very best in the future.” (High School Junior, female)

“I want to make the center available to a large number of people.” (High School Sophomore, female)

⑥集合写真

 

We are aiming to complete the construction of the center by January 2016, and are working towards opening it to the public in the spring of 2016. KYT members will continue in their recovery efforts, and hope to see the smiling faces of as many people as possible next spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. In the near future, we plan to create the general rules and usage guidelines for the center, so please continue supporting us!