02.06.2011 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

'Kizuna’ – a message of hope for Japan’s school children


The Japanese word ‘Kizuna’ means solidarity or tie. UNESCO has adopted the word for a new campaign. School children from around the world are being asked to write a message of hope on a postcard. The aim is for each of the thousands of school children who were affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit northeast Japan on 11 March, to receive a postcard as an act of solidarity.

On that fateful day over 7000 schools were destroyed or damaged by the Tsunami, mostly in the coastline area of Tohoku region. In one tragic case among many, more than 70 percent of pupils were swept away by the tsunami. The remaining 30 percent of children in that particular school are understandably traumatized as are thousands of other school children in the region. Many children lost everything - their parents, friends, houses and schools. Many more continue to live in shelters. Sending some words of hope or drawing a picture symbolizing friendship on a postcard, shows these children that they have not been forgotten.

“The word Kizuna conveys a powerful message of unity. It also embodies the strength of our cooperation with Japan over the past 60 years,” says Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO. “Our conviction is that reconstruction, both physically and psychologically, must start with education, with schools, students and teachers.”

UNESCO office in Kabul will be happy to collect the Afghan school children “hope” messages, pictures or drawings and will dispatch them to the school children in Japan who are affected by the devastating tsunami.

The deadline for sending the messages is 25 July, 2011

Messages should include:
• The sender’s name, sex, age and address
• Indicate whether the sender is a student or teacher
• A written message or a picture/drawing
• Be written in Dari/Pashto or English

Messages should be sent to the UNESCO Kabul office at the following address:
House No. KB 647, Behind Esmat Muslim Street, PD 10, Shar-e-Naw, Kabul , Afghanistan

For further information please contact:
Mohammad Amin Sadiqi, Public Information Officer, Kabul
Tel: +93 (0) 799 125292

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