Ogatsu Playground Build Report – September 2016

This fantastic project started back in February 2016, after team nadia was asked to bring a kids playground to the city of Ogatsucho in the Ishinomaki area. Ogatsucho is a small fisher village directly at the cost line. Residential buildings are rebuilt on higher grounds as many houses were destroyed by the 2011 tsunami.

The very fun part was to involve children from the Koyama Home orphanage in Chiba throughout the planning phase as well as the build and opening ceremony.

Thanks to our friends at Playground of Hope (PoH) and the sponsors of International Volunteer Group (IVG) this became a huge success.

ogatsu-2016-01nadia volunteer committee members met with the Koyama Home kids the first time in July to introduce and discuss about the project.
The second meeting was a done via Video Conference. The breakfast menu on the day of event was decided with the kids then.
And the third time we met again in August, finalizing the plan and started folding a 1000 paper cranes.

After a night in the bus we started the day early with a rich breakfast prepared by the kids. Salad, sausages, scrambled egg and toasted bread was on the menu.ogatsu-2016-02

While the Koyama Home group went on an organized “sightseeing” tour we started with the playground construction from the very beginning. The group came back in the early afternoon and all helped with putting the parts together.ogatsu-2016-03

Thanks to the professional lead of Yannick, Angela of POH and Horiuchi-san of Sakae corporation the playground and spring rockers were in place in the evening.ogatsu-2016-04

Dinner with deliciously fresh seafood was organized by the local community. That was a highlight by itself.ogatsu-2016-05

Day two was all about the opening ceremony.
After quickly folding some more paper cranes the speeches of all involved parties were spoken and balloons released.ogatsu-2016-06

A local taiko drum formation impressed with their powerful and synchronized drum performance and our Okinawa music performer Ritsuko animated to dance.ogatsu-2016-07

It was a pleasure to see the local and the Koyama Home children playing on the brand new playground.ogatsu-2016-09
ogatsu-2016-10Another round of BBQ with the freshest scallops and hoya (sea pineapple) for lunch before we went back on the long drive to Chiba and Tokyo.

It was an outstanding experience for team nadia to work together with all the involved groups. Especially heartwarming is the relationship with the Koyama Home children, which we will never forget and hopefully staying in contact with other projects in the future.

by Rolf