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

Over 650 Children and Adults Participate at Ishinomaki City Children’s Center Grand Opening! (January 21, 2014)

The members of Ishinomaki Children’s Community Building Club started planning and designing Ishinomaki City Children’s Center in the fall of 2011. This Children’s Center was handed over (in Japanese) in December 2013 to Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture by Save the Children Japan (SCJ). The Children’s Center grand opening ceremony was held on Sunday January 19, 2014, and was celebrated with the smiling faces of over 650 children and adults!

 

■Opening ceremony by Ishinomaki Children’s Community Building Club■
The program for the day started with an opening ceremony that was planned by members of Ishinomaki Children’s Community Building Club. Seventy-six children and 146 adults participated in the ceremony – far more than expected! Attending were government officials, legislators, school officials, child/parenting support groups, local residents and parents. With members of the club themselves leading the ceremony, there were greetings from Mr. Hiroshi Kameyama, the mayor of Ishinomaki City, Ms. Orii, an executive of Suntory Holdings who has supported the construction of the Center, and Ms. Yokoyama, Director of SCJ.

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Following the greetings there was a screening of a video message produced by Ishinomaki Children’s Community Building Club members themselves. It was full of their thoughts and ideas that they put into the Children’s Center during their activities since the fall of 2011. After this, there were passionate messages from the building advisors and construction contractors who have cooperated in this project, as well as from local residents and parents. Each of the 18 members of Ishinomaki Children’s Community Building Club then expressed the hopes contained in the Children’s Center with one kanji (Japanese character). Some of the hopes expressed were: dream, play, plan, clear, self, love, living, children, place and connection.

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In celebration of the grand opening, there was a declaration of enthusiasm for the future by a representative of Ishinomaki Children’s Community Building Club and a representative of the Children’s Center Children’s Committee who are responsible for operating the Children’s Center!

 

They declared, “We hope this Children’s Center becomes a symbol of Ishinomaki and leads to the recovery of the entire city of Ishinomaki including the shopping district. Furthermore, we would like this to become a place that can tell the world about the thoughts of children. We hope the voices of the people who use this building are listened to in this Children’s Center to make the facility even better than it is now; and we hope this brings prosperity back centered on this Children’s Center. We would like to continually convey these thoughts.”

 

Finally, the children and the mayor cut a cake to celebrate the grand opening. This brought a successful end to the ceremony. The participants left with the impression that the thoughts of children have truly been put into this center and that the children are at the core of it.

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■Opening event planned by the children■
After the opening ceremony, a great excitement built up in the venue. There was a special opening ceremonial rice cake kneading event, a presentation by a children’s dance group and a cosplay (dressing up in costume) fashion show by members of the Children’s Committee.

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 Events planned by the Children’s Committee and Ishinomaki Children’s Community Building Club started in the afternoon.

● First floor

There was rolling dodge ball and bowling in the Gym

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A live painting show by professional artist Mr. Hidehiko Kado was held in the Relaxing Square

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In addition to this, there were hand games for infants and their parents by the NPO Baby Smile Ishinomaki in the Kids’ Corner, while people welcomed visitors at a cosplay café in the Gallery.

 

● Second floor

 In Room 1: A panel exhibition by groups of children actively working in Ishinomaki

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 In Room 2: An exhibition of mock-ups created by Ishinomaki Children’s Community Building Club

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In Room 3: A loud voice competition and karaoke competition were held making use of the soundproofing in the room

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In Room 4: A game tournament including a fishing game and a lucky dip

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 A questionnaire on how to use Ishinomaki City Children’s Center was available all over the building with participating children repeatedly giving their opinions

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Finally, there was bingo with all the children using the entire building, mainly the Relaxing Square and Book Corner!

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Some of the comments from the questionnaire revealed great satisfaction from the participating children. “Both small children and big people had fun.” “The energy of the children was communicated with no place being wasted.” “Everyone worked their hardest in planning this event and it was fun. I learned about the many good points of the Children’s Center.”

 

It appears that this was a very fulfilling day for the children who took on the responsibility for its planning and execution. “It was great to be able to do an event that was only possible in the Children’s Center.” “It was very fun for us, and the children who came also really enjoyed themselves.” “I again thought we could contribute to the community through the planning and execution of this event.” “I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment of actually doing what we had proposed and planned.”

 

Throughout the day of the event, 321 children from infants to high school students and 331 adults participated in the magnificent celebration of the grand opening of the Children’s Center. This was an event in which the children played a leading role in the planning and operation.