Red Cross encourages Fukushima children to put experiences into words


Do not forget
That event which was only a split second.
Do not forget
That we were helpless against nature.
Do not forget
Our hometown we wish to return to some day.
Do not forget
Those heroes who laid down their lives to save others.
Please remember
the beautiful spirit and pride of our Japanese people.

This poem by Kozue Takeuchi, 14, living in Fukushima, won the Japanese Red Cross president’s award after being selected from 4,739 pieces of work submitted from 76 schools. Each year, the Fukushima chapter of Japanese Red Cross creates an anthology of poems and 100 words essays with the aim of helping children become more aware of the qualities of kindness, a warm hearts, and consideration for others, within themselves through their writing. The project for 2012, was subtitled “voices from children after the east Japan great earthquake”, and funded by donations from Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world. More than a year has passed since the disaster and it’s clear from the poems that children are doing their best to adjust to new life with strong and positive mind. So here are some more pieces.

The mountain in front of our house collapsed.
Soil from the mountain reached as far as our rice field.
My house also, was nearly buried.
When I saw the unbelievable situation, I gave thanks that my family was fine.
In the house nearly destroyed, there were smiles from everyone.

Poem by Matoi Kaneko, 12 years old.

It was regrettable that
I being still small could not do anything after the disaster.
I was afraid that
eyes from the people around me changed suddenly.
I was grateful that
I could receive the words “I support you”.
I could meet many smiles saying “thank you”.

Poem by Hideki Anzai, 16 years old.

“Happy Birthday to you” - A phone call from the class teacher before I evacuated.
I was very happy that she remembered it, even though I had not seen her since the disaster on March 11th. It was the most memorable “Happy Birthday” in my life. Thank you teacher. I will do my best here.

100 words essay entitled “A present of warm words” by Koudai Hangani, 12 years old.

After the disaster, when everybody had anxieties, there were many people who came to help. At these times, “you are not alone”, I and everybody felt relieved by these words. Thank you very much.
100 words essay entitled “a present of warm words” by Tsukimi Shiga, 12 years old.

I did volunteer work carrying relief items to temporary houses. I did not know how I should face the people who had to move out of their houses because of the nuclear power plant accident. However one little girl said to me: “Thank you”.
100 words essay entitled “a present of warm words” by Sakiko Hasebe, 14 years old.

When I moved to temporary house, Haruka approached me saying “Come and play with me”. I was very happy because I did not know anybody here. Now I am in the same class with her.
100 words essay entitled “a present of warm words” by Nonoka Yamazaki, 6 years old.