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Students offer info about post-quake efforts in 22 languages - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun - 0 views

    Twenty students at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies have produced a multi-lingual website about areas hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    The site, called Tohoku10×26windows, gives information on the activities of 10 groups based in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures and offers translations into 22 languages, including English, German, Vietnamese and Polish. Pages in Czech, Burmese, Urdu and Arabic are in the pipeline, which will bring the total languages to the title's "26 windows."

    "We aim to transmit the news directly from the disaster areas to the world," said one student involved in the project.
Teachers Without Borders

Schools and students face uncertain future in Japan - - 0 views

  • Tokyo (CNN) -- Students in many districts across Japan brushed off their uniforms and shouldered their bookbags for the first day of the new school year on Wednesday.

    But while most were worried about meeting their new teachers or what their class schedules might be, some were facing the threat of nuclear contamination or the loss of former classmates.

  • "I just got a letter from my mom," he said. "It says that she is hurting because we're separated. But she says don't worry, we will go home together after the nuclear power plant settles down."
  • "I haven't got used to the life yet, because I have to live separately from my mom," he said walking into the Minamisuna Primary School. "I miss her."
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  • Dozens of schools were wiped out or too badly damaged to reopen in Miyagi prefecture.
  • Governments and educators are scrambling to repair schools, round up teachers and cope with the tens of thousands of displaced people.
  • A different set of problems in Fukushima, where authorities have begun testing schools, kindergartens and playgrounds across the prefecture after parents expressed worries about high levels of radiation.
  • "In response to it, we conduct to check radiation level to secure the (safety) of the children."
Teachers Without Borders

In Japan, parents try to go on: 'My child should come home to me' - - 0 views

  • "I'm not OK," she says, still smiling as if she's talking about the weather. "Of course I'm not. But I have another son."

    Naganuma's other son, eight-year-old Koto, is missing. Koto was at Ishinomaki Okawa Elementary School the day the tsunami hit. The 108 students, as they'd practiced before, evacuated when the earthquake struck, says Naganuma.

  • The students had no idea the tsunami was coming. Out of the 108, 77 are presumed dead or missing. Koto is among the missing, his body still not recovered.

    "Ran saw the tsunami," says Naganuma. "His brother is not coming home. So I think he understands. I can see he's pretending to be happy, so we don't worry about him."

  • From blanket to blanket, families recount their own losses. But it's the deaths of all the children at the elementary school that pains this community most.

    At the elementary school, young fathers dig with shovels alongside rescuers. The school is a shell, its inside gutted by the force of the tsunami.

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  • Next to the school, backpacks sit in rows, waiting to be identified and retrieved. The piles of school mementos are all mud-covered -- from the school little league team to the bats they used.
  • With so much work to do for these parents, there's no time to think about grieving, says aid organization Save the Children. The nonprofit group hopes to ease the onslaught of trauma, by setting up "child-friendly spaces" at evacuation centers up and down the northern Japan coastline.
  • The purpose, she says, is to give the children "a sense of safety and to actually also work with the parents on how to support them on this process. It's going to be a long recovery process for children who've experienced this extreme devastation."
Teachers Without Borders

Child Earthquake Survivors Relive Trauma as Radiation Fears Add to Stress - Bloomberg - 0 views

  • As the tsunami hit her school in Sendai, kindergarten teacher Junko Kamada stood in the window of a second story hall to block the children from seeing the destruction caused by the 1.5-meter wave.

    Amid dirt-caked chairs, soiled books and damaged equipment, Kamada, 60, is preparing to bring the students back to the school, about a mile inland from the coast. The children will also need counseling to deal with the trauma they have experienced, psychologists say.

  • Schools resumed two days ago in northeastern Japan, the epicenter of the March 11 magnitude-9 earthquake. Classes --some held in homes and makeshift spaces -- are providing a safe place for children to reunite with friends and a semblance of familiarity amid the nation’s worst disaster since World War II.
  • While adolescents attuned to the reality of death may act out their trauma, younger ones find it harder to articulate their distress, she said.

    People who suffer psychological ailments such as depression in childhood are 10 to 20 times more likely than others to experience those problems in adulthood, according to a 2010 study in the journal Social Science & Medicine. Affected individuals tend to leave school earlier and earn about 20 percent less over their lifetime, the authors found.

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  • “When children suffer from an acute fear, they tend to depend on their mothers more for their safety, and display regressive and immature behavior,” said Naotaka Shinfuku, professor of psychiatry at Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, who studied the impact of the 1995 earthquake in the Japanese city of Kobe. “It’s good for children’s mental health to learn and play in a safe environment if they wish to do so.”
  • “Kids saw their friends for the first time in days,” Saijo, 53, said. “They were very happy, hugging each other -- something we hadn’t seen in a while.”
  • At the Sakuragi Hanazono kindergarten, where Junko Kamada began her teaching career almost 40 years ago, that means not succumbing to grief.

    “The teachers are incredibly sad,” Kamada said. “They know children they have cared for have died, but they are trying to get the school back on its feet.”

    "The teachers are incredibly sad," Kamada said. "They know children they have cared for have died, but they are trying to get the school back on its feet."
Teachers Without Borders

Stopped time: Japan tsunami hits school - - 0 views

  • The school is only 100 meters from shore. A CNN crew accompanied Asokawa, principal of the school, on Tuesday as he climbed the steps and inspected the total damage to the school for the first time. There is mud, seaweed and fishing nets in the top floor of the 3-story building.
  • On one of the walls of the school the clock is frozen at 2:46 -- the time when the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck.

    Toys, bags, wood, sand and seaweed are tangled in confusion. A stool hangs from the ceiling. Backpacks were orderly placed on cupboards, where 107 students ages 6 to 12 left them on Friday, when they ran for their lives.

  • But Asokawa is worried: the school has 108 students. One child was absent that day and he is missing. The rest of his students are in a nearby shelter, taken care of by their teachers, he said.
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  • Togura Elementary School stands in the middle of what once was a town and now barely has any marks of human existence. The force of the water erased concrete roads and placed a full-grown tree in the school corridor, it's roots blocking the way.
  • "I will wait for the kids to come back," he told CNN, as he continued going through his files.
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