Yesterday Seven Beach Aid held the event “You Are Not Forgotten” in Golders Green Parish Church in North London. The event was intended to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and to send the message “You Are Not Forgotten” to the people in the affected areas.
I volunteered with Seven Beach Aid and a team of us put this event together. It felt really good to be doing something, however small, to help Tohoku. I’m hoping to continue volunteering with Seven Beach Aid, and I’ll share details of any upcoming projects here on Haikugirl’s Japan.
The event was well attended, by both Japanese and non-Japanese people. I suspect a lot of the people who came were local, as there are quite a lot of Japanese people living in North London. The programme for the day included live music, presentations, activities and a prayer for Japan.
Paul and Ruth Cooper spoke about their experiences volunteering in Tohoku:
And there was live music from Saara Takase and Motoki Hirai, who were both fantastic.
We ended with everyone singing Saara’s version of Amazing Grace, which is in both English and Japanese. I’m not a church-goer at all, but there’s something quite spiritual about everyone singing together, and Amazing Grace felt like a really good note to end the event on.
Young Kai are a group of young people living in London who got together to create something positive after March 11th. For the anniversary, they had the idea of Candle Night for Japan. Candles were lit for Japan by anyone who wanted to light one, and they were placed in the pattern below:
Sakura Front created sakura (cherry blossom) brooches to be worn in remembrance of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, much in the same way as we wear poppies in November in the UK.
Muslin London are sending muslin squares, which are British multi-functional cloths for baby care, to help young mothers and mothers-to-be in Tohoku. If people bought a set of muslin squares at the event, a pack would be sent to Tohoku.
You Are Not Forgotten also featured activities for children. The kids who came to the event made a big map of Japan using origami paper:
There was also a photo exhibition, showing images from Tohoku, and displaying some pictures from local primary school children (many of which featured Superman stopping the tsunami waves).
A small clip of the event was shown on Japanese TV (Nippon TV / ‘Nittere’). I don’t know how long the link will be valid for, but you can watch it here. A video of the event will be made, and I’ll share the link when it is ready.
Seven Beach Aid’s You Are Not Forgotten raised over £500 for Tohoku, and also sent the important message that the UK is thinking of Japan and we won’t forget the people who need our support right now. If you would like to donate to Seven Beach Aid, you can do so here.