Media Advisory: Reconstruction Programme Summer Events for Children


Although more than two years have passed since the triple disaster hit Japan’s Tohoku region, health professionals say the impact on children’s physical and emotional state is continuing to be felt. In Fukushima, families’ continued reluctance to let children play outdoors has contributed to an increasing incidence of obesity, local educators say. In Iwate, whereas a government survey conducted in September 2012 said nearly 16,600 had still been affected by trauma, a child psychiatrist working at a Red Cross-supported centre says children now are increasingly speaking up about their psychological state.

In order to help children’s recovery, the Japanese Red Cross (JRC) continues to focus on their needs, with projects like the Smile Park indoor playground in Fukushima and a Summer Camp, taking children from all three worst-affected prefectures to the beautiful and relaxing surroundings of Hokkaido. These activities, to which we are pleased to invite media, are part of the JRC reconstruction and recovery programme.

If you are interested in covering these activities, please contact us.

1. Smile Park in Fukushima

Japanese Red Cross will open an indoor playground in 6 locations throughout the year for small children who have been unable to play outside.

First Place: Fukushima South Gymnasium
Address: 11-2 Kasamatsu, Asakawa-Aza, Matsukawa, Town Fukushima City
Dates: 2 July – 12 July

Second Place: Hamanasu welfare Center
Address: 357 Takaike, Koizumi-Aza, Soma City
Date: 22 July – 3 August

- Slides, trampoline, jungle gym, "ball pool"
- Kids exercise with instructor
- Stage show by popular entertainer for kids

2. Summer Camp in Hokkaido

Japanese Red Cross is inviting 2,160 children between the ages of 10-15 from the 3 prefectures worst affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake/Tsunami and nuclear accident, to the northern island of Hokkaido. This summer camp is a 4- day event conducted in a series of sessions from 22 July to 18 August, giving the children the chance to play outside in beautiful natural surroundings and also learn skills such as first aid, team building and leadership.

Throughout this summer camp, psychologists and nurses will accompany them for 24 hours as supporting staff.

This camp aims to not only ease the stress of children who are still facing a challenging living environment but also help them to expand their view points through special programs, critical thinking program helping visually impaired, international cultures, environmental problems, and healthy nutrition.

Basic information:
(1) Place: Rusutsu Resort in Hokkaido
(2) Address: 13, Aza Izumigawa, Rusutsu Village, Hebita Gun, Hokkaido
(3) Dates: 22 July – 18 August (3 nights 4 days trip / 1 session  9 sessions in total)
(4) Activities:
- First aid training, learning about Red Cross activities
- Critical thinking program about helping visually impaired, international cultures, environmental problems, and healthy nutrition
- Support activities (wheel chair experience, helping the elderly)
- Selective activities (Rafting, mountain bike, horse riding, etc.)
- Writing a letter to yourself 10 years from now

- Please be advised that you need to organize your own interpreter if needed and transport.
- We are happy for media to film/interview Red Cross staff/volunteers, but if you want to interview survivors, you need to ask for the individuals‘ permission.
- It would be helpful if you could give us the following information at least one week in advance, if you are interested in filming our activities:
(1) Number of people and contact person/number
(2) Name of the show or programme on which our activites are to be showed and time to be aired.

Broadcast quality video B-Roll, photographs and further information on the Red Cross Red Crescent response to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is available on the IFRC’s web site.