2. English NEWS

2016/04/21Prayer for Ecuador

In response to Ecuador Earthquake, we would like to extend the heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the people of Ecuador over the serious earthquake. We pray for all of the people in the affected area.

2016/04/21Appreciation for all the sympathy from our world sisters

Girl Scouts of Japan would like to express our sincere appreciation for all your warm sympathy and prayers from the world regarding the recent earthquake in the south part of Japan.

We are working to understand the situation, and we have confirmed that all Girl Scout members are alive in the affected areas. However, there have been hundreds of aftershocks and the situation is changing.

Girl Scouts of Japan will keep working and consider how and what we can support the affected area cooperating with our Local Councils.

2016/03/11Forward to 11th March 2016

“What you must know for an emergency ~ Disaster prevention ♥ Is your community reliable?”
This is a title of a workshop held in a local community where I live and its flyer was delivered to all households in the area. The workshop was aimed at learning the measures of the community for natural disaster and considering what people can do today.

The event was also recruiting participants of “Disaster prevention workshop for Children”, which provides an opportunity for thinking about what if big quake occurs when a child is staying at home alone. Children and parents/guardians could join the session together.

I remember my terrible experience when I was at the age of six. It was a hot sunny day during summer holidays and I was the only one at home. It suddenly got dark and cold. A chorus of cicadas stopped and it started thundering and raining. And a lightning flush with deafening thunder rumbles! What a child of that age could do was rushing into the neighbour’s house nearly crying. Her decision made in fear was to ‘go where people are.’ That was the best for a 6-year-old child.

‘Disaster Prevention’ is an attitude how much we can avoid damage. In addition to that, how much we can minimize estimating losses and damages, named ‘Disaster Mitigation’ has been introduced and gradually permeating in the society. When we think over natural disasters and accidents which would happen in various areas no matter how the size is, we should recognize anybody could be a victim in anywhere, anytime. ‘Disaster Mitigation’ tell us that recognizing disaster as our own possible matter to be the first stages for prevention. We should be prepared.

It has been five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. It always takes a long time for the recovery once we affected disasters. Although we are in the middle of the reconstruction process, we need to be prepared for disaster some day in the future. Through the experiences gotten in ages, Japanese people have been challenged to develop spiritual strength to find a way to gain foothold even from desperations. Besides skills and supplies for preparation what we should care at times would be a spirit of mutual aid to support and to help each other. Keeping those in mind, we mark the 11th of March in 2016.

Mariko Asano, National Commissioner, Girl Scouts of Japan

2015/03/10For the 11 March 2015

 As turning pages of page a day calendar, 11th March is coming again.
 Recently, I hear the news about the people who re-started their clock once stopped since the Great East Japan Earthquake. And they are challenging to open a door leading happiness for others.

 Last month, I received a parcel from a friend living in Tohoku area. I found red, shiny, beautiful, and very, very big strawberries in the box. I could smell berries even before I open it. There were nine strawberries lying on cushioning material. The strawberry is a rare kind and difficult to grow. Only one farmer is growing it successfully. Each wrap the strawberry is gently wrapped and one by one is shipped out all over Japan with senders compliment by only one fruit shop.

 The nine strawberries sent from Tohoku brought “Happiness” for nine people. Every person who ate a strawberry was filled with joy from the mouth to the heart. Gentle care by the farmer, good-wishes of gift-giver and passion of the fruit shop, everything was put in the strawberries. And it brought our happiest smiles.
 I would say
 “Arigato”  for the farmer.
 “Arigato”  for the fruit shop.
 And, “Arigato”  for my friend.

 There are many TV programs and articles on newspapers toward 11th March. Beside them, I ask myself if I am ready for any disaster/incidents. It could be happened anywhere and anytime. The preparation is not only to build stockpile and disaster kit. That is if I can make immediate decision, if I can be creative using limited devices, if I can bear the loneliness…  They are all in line with the energy to live and wisdom to live. What kind of action will I take on the emergency situation? What can I do? I may only know the answer when it happens. But, it is sure everything is based on the daily life. The consciousness we have in the daily life will lead appropriate action at each situation.

 “Be Prepared” is the words always in the mind of those who have been involved in Girl Scouting and Boy Scouting. Now, I reflect on the profound meaning of the words again.

Mariko Asano, National Commissioner, Girl Scouts of Japan