“Dear Mom, it would be great if you are alive. Are you well?”
The four year old girl, Manami, seen here dozed off after struggling to write the message to her mom believed to have been washed by tsunami together with Manami’s father and a younger sister. Manami is too young to write in Japanese character (Kanji), and yet managed to scribble down her thoughts in another form of writing in Japanese called hiragana.
There’s truly nothing more heartbreaking than the sight of an innocent child in pain. The suffering must be immense. Today, hundreds of children like Manami are orphaned as a result of the catastrophic event in northeastern Japan.
Japan has always been among the most generous nations in the world when it comes to giving assistance to other disaster-stricken countries and in giving development aids. I, for one, being a former scholar of the Japanese government has been greatly benefited by its generosity. As a young man on my way to explore the world, it was in Japan where I first developed my wings and literally learned how to fly to reach my ambitions in life. I wouldn’t be where I am at the moment if not for the experiences and lessons in life I learned from my stay in Japan. Thus, Japan will always be a special place for me.
It is not only me who carries such strong sentiments for Japan and its people. Friends from dozen other countries I met there share the same powerful empathic feeling after the catastrophic event. It is for this reason that we felt to launch an initiative to support the Japanese people in this time of great distress.
Please join the initiative at www.origamiforjapan.com. A folded paper crane will go a long way in giving love and hope, especially for orphaned children like Manami. Hopefully we can make it known to these poor survivors that they are not alone and that we are here supporting them.
Here is our founding spokesperson, my fríend Jan from Prague, explaining our mission: