Helping reopen children’s home in Japan
Two years after Japan was hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami catastrophe in Japan, the Fujinosono Children’s Home reopened in June. The restoration of the destroyed facilities was partly funded by Allianz SE.
Large parts of Japan lay in shambles after the devastating tsunami and earthquake hit the country in spring 2011. Fujinosono, a children’s home in the city of Ichinoseki was left severely damaged. There was no running water, no electricity, not enough fuel. Fujinosono’s resident kids and staff had to spend a week in the gym – a makeshift shelter without heating.
This June, more than two years after the quake, Fujinosono reopened as a home for 45 children from underprivileged families. Fujinosono’s manager, the German nun Caeline Mauer was full of praise for the commitment and support she experienced during the rebuilding.
“We will move to the new house in the next couple of days,” she said, describing her situation. “The kids are so excited. For them, the new building feels like a castle. The kids will give it back its soul now.”
Almost a year after the catastrophe Allianz SE decided to support the Fujinosono restoration and pledged a company donation.
Back then, Hideyoshi Nakanishi,chairman of Fujinosono’s board of trustees, explained the motivation to rebuild: “Our vision is a new home where the children do not have to fear any emergency situation.”
The reconstruction was conducted with this in mind: the new building is not only earthquake-resistant according to the Japanese government’s standards. It will also be a low-energy house with an independent renewable energy system. In addition, the new facility is to become an evacuation shelter for the entire community of Ichinoseki.
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