March 25 – April 2, 2013
23 Japanese children from three prefectures; Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate were invited for our sixth “Rainbow-for-Japan Kids” and they participated in various programs here in Hawaii.
Ms. Kanetani Masami traveled with them during the program. She is a member of “Miyagi Bikki No Kai” and she has been involved with this program from the very first time.
“Miyagi Bikki No Kai” has been involved in this project from the beginning as a partner organization. They handle parents orientations, essays screenings, accompanying the children from Tohoku to Hawaii and they support all the arrangements in Japan before they come to Hawaii.
Ms. Kenetani said “When the children leave Japan for Hawaii, they don’t look relaxed but very anxious because they worry what if something happens to their family and friends while they are away. As they arrive in Hawaii and meet local people here in Hawaii, they look happy and more relaxed. It‘s always nice to see their emotions change and it is very touching.” She also mentioned “I used to worry if everything would
go well and bring them home safe, but the children learned a lot and grew so much in 10 days through the program with or without me. I realized that all I needed to do was to watch for them. I learned that at our very first program”
There has been many events and changes in children’s lives through our programs.
A junior high school boy student was going to take over his parents big sake breweries when he grew up. By coming to Hawaii and getting to know different options and wide varieties of possibilities, he now wants to challenge something new in the future. He has decided to go to high school in a different neighborhood and see how things are going to work out for him.
A junior high school girl student started joining various kinds of oversease programs since she participated in this program. They always keep in touch with me and tell me what they are doing. Those children’s voices, updates and essays make my time and work worthwhile. They really motivate me to keep on going.
This program will continue and be supported by the will of those people with glowing belief.