Japan: Workshop for Parents and Children – “What Can We Do for People in the Disaster Area?”

“What Would I Do if I Were Them…?”

On August 4th, at AAR JAPAN’s Tokyo office we held a workshop entitled “The Great East Japan Earthquake – Let’s consider what we can do for people in the disaster area”. Aimed at elementary and junior high school students on summer vacation, approximately 30 students and parents learned about how to implement emergency relief activities. Through a simulated scenario in which they bought and delivered relief supplies to evacuation centers, they were able to get a feeling for the challenges involved in emergency relief.

AAR JAPAN staff talked not only about emergency relief efforts related to the Great East Japan Earthquake, but also in relation to the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods of 2010, enabling the participants to think about how they can get involved in international cooperative efforts.

The workshop concluded with a tasting of snacks and tea from around the world. We express our sincere gratitude to everyone who participated.

We received the following comments from the participants:

“I enjoyed the workshop very much.” (7th grade)
“I could think about the feelings of people who deliver supplies as well as the feelings of people who are waiting for support in the affected areas.” (6th grade)
“It was good to think and discuss with other participants.” (8th grade)
“I enjoyed buying relief supplies.” (2nd grade)
“I gained good experience by looking at photos and listening to stories from staff who actually went to disaster areas.” (6th grade)
“It was a useful experience for children, as they realized the importance of thinking from others’ point of view.” (Parent)

In the workshop, participants think about what is required in the disaster area. (At right is Takehiro HOZUMI of AAR JAPAN)

Showing photos of AAR JAPAN’s relief efforts after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Each group prepares to deliver relief supplies to the affected areas. “Any good ideas for the group’s name?”

Participants act as AAR JAPAN staff procuring relief supplies. With a budget of 30,000 yen, it’s difficult to decide what to buy!

Group leaders explain the supplies they bought and the reasons for their choices.

Parents take the role of survivors staying in evacuation centers and think about what they need.

Student participants compare their purchases with what their parents wanted. Can they deliver what is actually required?

There are still many people in need around the world. Here we illustrate the supplies that AAR JAPAN distributed after the Haiti Earthquake.

Participants enjoy tea and snacks from around the world after the workshop. Banana Chips from Laos are the most popular item!