Earth Walkers supports children from Fukushima who have been affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent nuclear power plant accident on March 11, 2011. Immediately after the disaster, there were many children who were unable to play outdoors due to radiation concerns. We created opportunities for children to spend some time outside Fukushima going to sea, mountains and rivers and enjoying recreational activities. Moreover, for families who were concerned about radioactive materials detected in vegetables produced in Fukushima, we provided delivery services to send vegetables produced 2,000km away in Miyazaki. The children who came to Miyazaki for the first time were picking up fallen leaves and packing them up in their backpacks. They said, ‘In Fukushima, there are bugs called radiation that fall on everything, so we can't touch leaves, trees and flowers. It has been so fun touching fallen leaves again in Miyazaki, so we are going to bring them back to our friends as souvenir gifts.’
Aside from this project that invites preschool children under the age of 6 to visit Miyazaki, we have been running other projects catered to different age groups. They include projects inviting primary school children aged between 7 and 12 to Yonezawa city in Yamagata prefecture, junior high school children aged between 13 and 15 to Cairns, Australia, and high school students aged between 16 and 18 to Germany.
In addition to supporting more than 200 children from Fukushima through the abovementioned recuperation activities, we provide support to communities affected by earthquakes and floods in Japan and are active in our fieldwork in Fukushima. We are also building capacity of youth who are involved in areas of international exchange and refugee issues and creating opportunities for young people in Japan to broaden their horizons.