Fairfield-based 'Save The Children' provides aid to Japan’s earthquake victims

The Fairfield-based nonprofit "Save the Children" is helping people impacted by a severe earthquake on Japan's rural Noto Peninsula.
It’s been two weeks since western Japan was ravaged by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake, which disrupted New Year’s Day celebrations across the peninsula. In the days following the disaster, destroyed infrastructure and winter weather have hampered recovery. Hundreds of people are dead or missing, and thousands have been displaced.
“This kind of large-scale disaster always impacts children,” said Akiko Takai, the CEO of Save the Children Japan. “Especially if they have to leave where they live or they can’t go to school, they can’t meet their friends.”
As part of disaster relief efforts, Save The Children has provided child-friendly spaces around affected areas.
“In an evacuation center, the space is so small and sometimes they’re asked not to make noise,” said Takai. “They come here and it’s OK to do it.”
Save The Children offers food, blankets and other emergency essentials. Trained staff on-site can also connect those experiencing trauma with critical services. The team said the timing has presented a challenge for older students who have yet to take entrance exams required to start high school.
This is why social and educational efforts are just as vital to Takai and the Save The Children team.
“…This is actually a long-term lifesaving activity,” said Takai. “This alleviates some of the psychological impacts that children have.”
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