The Tohoku Kids Project

The Tohoku Kids Project

Smiles & Dreams:
The Tohoku Kids Project

After Japan’s horrific 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, through tremendous heartbreak and hardship, the question we have all repeatedly heard — “what can we do to help?” — is being asked by friends, neighbors, and communities around the world.

photos by Max Hodges

Countless local and international agencies are on the ground doing extraordinary work for victims in the affected regions, but the road ahead for Japan will be an arduous one that will require endurance, fortitude and resolve. After the initial phase of emergency relief work has been completed, the question will remain, for a long time to come,

“what can we do to help?”

Smile Kids Japan and Living Dreams have joined forces to tackle that question and provide specific, effective solutions. Our joint venture, Smiles & Dreams: The Tohoku Kids Project, will work to support children’s homes (orphanages) affected by the disaster. We will immediately address their needs, the needs of the children who rely on them and will continue to support those children in the long-term.

Our first act will be to restore basic necessities, including both personal and shared items. We will replenish basic needs such as clothing, baby supplies and basic medicines. We will also provide homes with items that will help them rebuild a nurturing environment for the children that rely on them for care and support; items such as toys, computers, books and supplies for a variety of hobbies. We will work directly with children’s homes and the government agencies responsible for them to best assess the needs of each and every home affected by the disaster. Through our combined networks, our organisations will directly purchase and distribute necessary items quickly and efficiently.

Our second act will be to connect children’s homes directly to professional child counselling services and also to provide them with a wide range of activities to help their children emotionally move on after the tragedy they’ve endured. Proper counselling along with activities such as trips to theme parks, camping, going to concerts, Yoga, and various other types of therapeutic activities will improve children’s outlook on their lives and future. Counselling services and activities will be funded and arranged directly through our organisations’ networks.

Support Child Survivors of the Tohoku Disaster Now

Your monetary donations will help rebuild lives that were shattered within minutes. You will be replacing necessities, including both personal and shared items that took years for children and homes to collect. You will be providing children with professional counselling and a wide range of therapeutic activities to help them move on past the tragedy they’ve endured. Through your donations, you will allow us to provide children’s homes with the goods and services they need to create safe and nurturing environments once again for the children who rely on them. You will personally be turning these institutions back into supportive homes.

To donate directly to Living Dreams & Smile Kids Japan, please make a wire payment to our NPO bank account. We will be sure to provide you with detailed reports so you can see how your funds are spent.

Bank Name: Sumitomo Mitsui Bank
Branch Name: Mita Dori Branch
Branch Address: 5-28-1 Shiba Minato-ku 108-0014 Tokyo Japan
Branch Code: 623
Swift Code: SMBCJPJT
Account Type: Ordinary
Account Number: 8104945
Account Name: Living Dreams

A GlobalGiving account will be ready soon so you can easily donate online. We will make an announcement here on our website once it’s ready.

Smile Kids Japan (SKJ) is an organisation that encourages and helps communities across Japan organise monthly, interactive visits to children’s homes in order to promote the healthy development of children through friendship, mentoring and internationalisation. SKJ’s network currently connects 30 children’s homes nation-wide with more than 500 diverse, creative and committed volunteers. The organisation is working hard to ensure the number of volunteers and visitations grow until their network regularly reaches every children’s home in Japan. SKJ’s extensive volunteer network stems from a strong partnership with Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET Programme) communities such as National AJET, FJET, and HAJET. With their experience in building working relationships with children’s homes and mobilising volunteers across Japan, SKJ has the best means to connect directly with affected children’s homes.