Press Releases
Jul 22, 2011 - Press Release: Peace Boat Fukushima Youth Project
Press Release: Peace Boat Launches Fukushima Youth Project

Tokyo-based international NGO Peace Boat has launched a project to support children and youth in Fukushima, affected by both the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear power plant accident.

As the first action of this project, 49 Junior High School students from six different schools in Minamisoma, Fukushima will spend two weeks of their summer vacation onboard Peace Boat's ship as it travels through Asia (Vietnam ??" Singapore ??" Sri Lanka).

In cooperation with the Minamisoma Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), this project aims to provide the children with the opportunity to spend their summer in a healthy, dynamic and creative environment, where they can learn new skills, enjoy new experiences and gain a fresh perspective on the future, while enabling their parents to focus on rebuilding their community.

Minamisoma is just 10-40 km from the Daiichi nuclear power plant, and the southern half of the city has been designated as an evacuation or control zone. Residents in other parts of the city also face severely heightened levels of radiation and are advised to remain indoors, an untenable situation for young children and their families.

The youth will depart from Minamisoma on July 23, fly from Narita on July 24, and return to Japan on August 4. In the first port of call, Viet Nam, students will participate in an exchange program with young victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin. In Singapore, students will experience the unique and diverse mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Arab cultures. Finally, they will stop in Sri Lanka to put their experiences in context, and participate in an exchange program with young people who survived the 2004 earthquake and tsunami.

Accompanying the youth will be a photo exhibition about the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, thanking the host country and international community for their support and raising awareness about the importance of ongoing global cooperation; and Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor Mr Nakamura Hiroshi, who will share his experiences and information about the dangers of radiation with the students and people in ports of call.

Press opportunities will be available to interview the children as they depart from Minamisoma and Narita on July 23-24, in ports of call during the voyage, and upon return on August 4. Please contact Peace Boat for more details and for interview and media enquiries.

ABOUT PEACE BOAT
Peace Boat is a Japan-based NGO providing dedicated disaster relief and long-term support for the recovery of several cities in Miyagi prefecture following the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11. Peace Boat is also long committed to education and advocacy efforts for a nuclear-free world.

MORE INFORMATION
Peace Boat's relief activities: http://peaceboat.org/relief
More information about voyages and Peace Boat's longstanding advocacy of social issues, humanitarian causes and nuclear abolition: http://peaceboat.org/english
A blog of the Fukushima youth's voyage will be online here in Japanese: http://ameblo.jp/pbfukushimayouth

For more information contact pbglobal@peaceboat.gr.jp or telephone +81-3-3363-8047. Download this release as a PDF document here.