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No. 53 • July - December 2011 • Page 299
 •  Initiatives

Oofunato, Japan. With the tsunami victims

During the month of September, twenty-five university and high school students took part in a work camp in the city of Oofunato, in the north of Japan. This was one of the communities most affected by the devastating tsunami after the earthquake the previous March. The organizers of this solidarity project were Seido International Residence (Ashiya), Yoshida Student Center (Kyoto), and Seido Mikawadai Gakuin (Nagasaki). The city’s Center for Volunteers coordinated the clean-up work that the volunteers carried out both in Oofunato and in nearby villages.

Since there were no trains (the rail line was destroyed by the 27 foot high wave), the trip was made by bus (nine hours from Tokyo). More than a hundred students from different parts of the country eventually came to work as volunteers. Many of them took advantage of their weekly day off to travel in the early hours, work during the day, and return that same night to their home city.

The work involved cleaning out the system for collecting rainwater in various villages of the surrounding area. Those students who wished also had an opportunity to attend means of human and spiritual formation. The city residents did everything possible to make the volunteers’ stay as pleasant as possible.

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