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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Updates & News

Today, it has been exactly 5 months after the big Earthquake hit in Japan. Still a lot of help & support are needed, but it has become less and less obvious in the news. Today, I'd like to give an overview of where we stand and what has happened since the last update. 

We received a confirmation from the German School in Yokohama that they will organize a small event for filling the school cones together with their pupils and the parents. Another confirmation was from a high school in Yokohama (next to Tokyo), which will ask their students to create the photo/picture books for the kids in Tohoku (out of the more than 400 drawings and maybe 150 postcards which we have received from all over the world).

Vivian Lie in Chicago has started a small activity at the German School in Chicago. Together with DHL Express US and her company Kinder Cone, she is organizing a special event on 17th of August 2011.
One of our project members, Pierre is running Sydney marathon and hoping to collect some money/ donations by a small bet. Also, we still have some charity parties in Italy and France coming up.

DHL Global Forwarding Japan & Germany have agreed to support the transportation of school cones from Berlin to Tokyo, and we have also received the positive feedback from DHL Supply Chain Japan that they will deliver the filled school cones from the German School in Yokohama to these affected schools in Tohoku.

In addition to all the above, we have received a nice letter from the German Embassy that they would like to include us in the event list of their "150 Years German-Japanese Friendship" Project. We are one of their official partners now. The Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry also listed us on their web page for initiatives and activities for Tohoku, which is a real honor for us.

More than 6000 visitos have visited our homepage, more than 250 friends and follower on our Facebook Page, more than 8,000 EUR collected, over 700 drawings, art works and postcards have arrived.... which is more than we expected when we initiated the project. Thank you.

Now you are probably wondering when the distribution to Tohoku will take place. 
During the last meeting with  NGO/NPO KnK International, Children without Borders in July, they suggested us, if we can postpone the delivery of the school cones to a later date due to the following reasons:

a.) Many children received gifts and toys during last months and schools are concerned about children being too spoiled. They want to encourage children to stand up by themselves.

b.) As mentioned at the beginning of this blog: the consequences of the big earthquake are disappearing from the news. Maybe you hear something about the nuclear fear, but nothing about the situation in the tsunami hit areas. BUT help is of course still needed (for instance we organize a company trip to Tohoku next week and will do cleaning up for three days). 

Their suggestion was to spread the help over a longer period for better sustainability, as psychological help will be needed in long term. Originally we wanted to distribute in September when the school resumes after summer holiday but these two reasons made us think that December might be a better timing and we will comply with the recommendation of our NGO Partner, who is experienced and better informed. It also gives us the opportunity to possibly combine it with a small christmas or year-end party at the schools, and also to extend our deadline for donation and support from schools all over the world. 

We are very happy and thankful to all your support. We still have a long way to go and we do not stop or slow down. We still need your further support! Please help to spread the word even further and promote our web page. Please write to us, we are always open for any suggestions or ideas!

I am sure that the children in Tohoku will have a big smiles on their faces when we deliver your warm support filled in School cones!!