What is the Support Our Kids Project?

With the cooperation of embassies of 11 countries (Ireland, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Republic of San Marino, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Belgium and the Republic of Poland) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Support Our Kids Project assists children from the affected areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake. This project concentrates on children who are still living under stressful circumstances in the aftermath of the disaster. We believe that children will play a big role in the reconstruction of Tohoku and our aim is to nurture these children into becoming future reconstruction leaders, through experience overseas. It is our mission to provide this support and “push“ them to make this happen. We have assisted 375 children to these countries so far. Through this program, these children have gained a wider global view and experienced new, different cultures. This became a great opportunity to think of their own future and home town. Upon seeing the positive effect this had on children, we decided to commit and continue this project for 10 years until year 2020. We would like to help as much children as we can, and we need your continuous support to make this happen.

 

 

Homestay overseas – for a better and brighter future

We provide a 2-week home stay program to children in middle to high school, in order to create and nurture them into future reconstruction leaders. The curriculum is designed to build leadership skills through a wide range of activities such as home stay experience, cultural exchange, language study, volunteer work and presentations on their experiences during the disaster. We also include programs they can only experience in that country – such as the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, London Olympics and the Le Mans 24-hour race in France.

 

2011 Activity

・ New Zealand 50 children (28th July- 19 August, Rugby World Cup NZ)

2012 Activity

・ England 10 children (10-24 August London Olympics supported by the British Embassy)
・ New Zealand 14 children (8-22 August supported by New Zealand Embassy)

2013 Activity

・ USA 46 children (March, in association with the 2013 Kizuna Strengthening Project)
・ France 10 children (16-29 June, Le Mans 24 hour race)
・ Ireland 9 children (24-9 August, courtesy call on Prime Minister at his official residence)
・ Canada 10 children (4-19 August, exchange with Japanese-Canadian community)
・ New Zealand 10 children (8-23 August, supported by New Zealand Embassy)

2014 Activity

・ USA 23 children (16-29 March, in association with MOFA KAKEHASHI Project)
・ France 10 children (4-20 June, Le Mans 24 hour race)
・ Ireland 10 children (24 July – 8 August, Embassy visit)
・ Canada 10 children (6-22 August, exchange with Japanese-Canadian community)
・ New Zealand 10 children (6-21 August, visit Christchurch)
・ Switzerland/San Marino 6 children (20 October – 4 November, attend 150th anniversary commemorations and visit Red Cross Headquarters.

2015 Activity

・ USA 12 children (18-30 March, in association with MOFA KAKEHASHI Project)
・ France 10 children (2-17 June, Le Mans 24 hour race)
・ Ireland 10 children (25 July – 9 August, visit Kendo Association)
・ New Zealand 10 children (30 July – 15 August, visit Christchurch)
・ Australia 10 children (30 July – August 15, attend local school)
・ Canada 10 children (3-17 August, exchange with Japanese-Canadian community)
・ Poland/Switzerland 6 children (12-27 December, visit to Auschwitz and Red Cross Headquarters)

2016 Activity

・USA 10 children (5-18 August, visit NASA and Google)
・Ireland 9 children (24 July – 7 August, visit World Rugby)
・Canada 8 children (1-15 August, attend Summer Camp)
・New Zealand 10 children + 1 former member as an assistant (3-19 August, Rugby experience)
・Australia 9 children (2-16 August, attend local school)

 

Homestay overseas – for a better and brighter future

After participating in the home stay program, we hosted an event for all children to gather and share their personal experiences, thoughts and plans for their future. We hope for this event to also become a chance for them to think and consider about the future of Tohoku. In 2012, this event was held for the first time and called REUNION. As a result, the students decided to start the “HABATAKI Project” (to fly in Japanese). This project aims to repay all the support these children received, and to “fly” on their own someday.
・2012 Achievements:22nd Dec, held at Shichigahama Kokusaimura
・2013 Achievements:22nd Dec, held at Tohoku Fukushi University
・2014 Achievements:21st Dec, held at Tohoku Fukushi University
・2015 Achievements:29th Nov, held at Tohoku Fukushi University

 

 

Support Our Kids Executive Committee

Honorary Chairman
Ian Kennedy (Former Ambassador of New Zealand)

Chairman
Anne Barrington (Ambassador of Ireland)

Board Members
Luc Liebaut (Ambassador of Belgium)
Bruce Miller (Ambassador of Australia)
Mark Sinclair (Ambassador of New Zealand)
Manlio Cadelo (Ambassador of the Republic of San Marino)
Urs Bucher (Ambassador of Switzerland)
Cyryl Kozaczewski (Ambassador of the Republic of Poland)
John V. Roos (Former Ambassador of the United States)
Sir David Warren (Former British Ambassador)
Jonathan T. Fried (Former Ambassador of Canada)
Director
Mitoji Yabunaka (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Executive Director
Yukiatsu Akizawa

 

 

 

 

We also received donations from individuals.
(Honorific Titles are omitted)