February 21, 2014
On March 11, 2011, Fukushima residents were forced to face the terror of the nuclear accident at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the wake of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami that followed.
Almost three years on, while progress has been made from the devastation of the tsunami in some areas, the nuclear disaster is far from over. Reports of leaking water tanks at the nuclear site and other hazards indicate that not only do areas remain contaminated, but radiation levels persist and the long-term effects on the health of the population are yet to be determined. In addition to health concerns from exposure to radiation, survivors are under tremendous pressure and stress. Survivors of the disaster have to cope with psychosocial issues such as trauma, fear, separation from family and/or family breakdown, economic strains, community pressures, anxiety and depression.
In this situation, it is the youth and children who are most at risk. In cases where long-term evacuation is not possible, providing opportunities for youths to take a break from these stressful and potentially life-threatening conditions during their school holidays is vital for their long-term health and welfare. Through travel, education initiatives and exchange programmes, youth from Fukushima are able to gain a global perspective, rewarding first-hand experiences, and build friendships to give hope for the future.
Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) would like to announce the launch of the Fukushima Youth Ambassadors: Spring 2014 Programme.
The programme will be organized in partnership with Fukushima-based nonprofit “Minamisoma Kodomo no Tsubasa”. Twelve junior high school students from Fukushima will be visiting Singapore, a nation celebrated for its multicultural heritage, and Sri Lanka, a country steeped in history that is home to a diverse range of religions, ethnicities and languages.
Students will learn and experience first-hand the importance of embracing diversity in multicultural societies and will explore how humans can learn to co-exist peacefully despite our differences.
In Sri Lanka, Peace Boat is scheduled to hold an exchange between the Fukushima Youth Ambassadors and survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami, fostering a sense of solidarity between disaster-affected communities across borders and forging new friendships for the future.
The students will be onboard Peace Boat’s 83rd Global Voyage for Peace between Singapore and Sri Lanka, where they will study English and communication skills with a range of specialized Guest Educators. Their time onboard will also allow ample opportunity to meet and build friendships with the hundreds of passengers, staff and crew.
[Project Period] March 21st 2014 – April 1st 2014
[Participants] 12 Junior High School Students from Minamisoma City
March 21st – Depart Minamisoma, Fly to Singapore
March 22nd – Singapore Sightseeing/Exchange Programme
March 23rd to March 28th – Onboard Peace Boat’s 83rd Global Voyage for Peace
March 29th to March 30th – Colombo (Sri Lanka) Sightseeing/Exchange Programme
March 31st – Depart Colombo, Fly to Japan
Calling for donations to support the “Fukushima Youth Ambassadors: Spring 2014” programme -