A future for children who have suffered by the earthquake and tsunami disaster

From your kind hearts, we have collected donations from Japan and all over the world for children who lost their parents in the disaster that struck Japan on March 11.

Sometimes I have the chance to talk to directly to people visiting our city, and they fully comprehend the depth of this tragedy and reasons for starting this fund. Some people came to me shortly after the disaster struck with donations which we are truly grateful for. The volume of support has been huge and I would like to make a record book of names and contacts for children to read when they are older. If you have supported this charity please send us your names and contact information so we can thank you personally.

In this difficult time I have learned a lot important things. My sweet home where I was born and raised has been swept away by the tsunami. It is still difficult to accept this reality even after 3 months have gone by since the disaster struck. There are so many people who lost everything. So I must be strong and perform my duties as mayor without sentimental sorrow and work to make a brighter future. I have realized that working hard in this dark time makes me feel calmer.

As I mentioned it is difficult to accept the reality and full magnitude of this disaster. Many children have suffered deeply and are haunted by the nightmares that took family members and close friends from them. The void of sorrow and grief has traumatized these sensitive minds.

When the new semester at school started on April 18th, I spoke with the head of the Board of Education about the seriousness of P.T.S.D. post-traumatic stress disorder. Together we gathered a team of child psychologists to provide mental care for children in need, which we called the "Soma follower team." For the next 15 years we aim to give counseling and professional care for kindergarten children to those of high school age. Closely monitoring and recording their progress.

We had an important meeting on June 2nd to establish the "Soma follower team" as a new N.P.O. and to create a clear direction for this project and our principals. The chief director of this N.P.O. is Mr. Kouichiro Yamada who is also the head of the Board of Education of Soma. Mrs.Yukie Osa from Rikkyo university joins us as vice chief director. Mrs Yukie is also the chief director of "Save refugees" another important N.P.O. Ms. Nanako Kondo a lawyer from Fukushima city joins us as an important judicial board member. These members will be excellent advisers and will be key figures for the longevity of this project. The N.P.O. has 2 main purposes. To provide financial and academic support for children who have been made orphans in this tragedy. To provide long term mental care for those who have suffered a traumatic experience. All of the children of Soma city will know the huge effort you have given.

We thank you for kindness and support in these difficult times.

Mayor Hidekiyo TACHIYA


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