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May 16, 2014 / Mika Riedel

Nijiiro-crayon’s power of continuation and bond

I went to Asahi Kasei power device for a monthly activity. Not only children, adults also attend this program in Asai Kasei Power Device. Basically, kids and adults are involved in a different activity. I was in charge of the adult team with Rei chan who works in ‘NPO Kodomo•Wakamono machi-ing’ (Kids and young people matching).

This time, Shi chan also took part in the program, visiting from Volunteer center in Tokyo. Since the start of this year, knitting has been boomed among the adults. This started when S san, who have participated in this program every time and was good at knitting, gave knitted items for us, volunteer members and children occasionally.

The girls started to enjoy knitting with the adult team. This made me take up knitting too. I can only do a simple piece of knitting, but gradually feel the joy of it. My goal is to make my own scarf for this winter.

It was the first time for Shi chan to participate in the adult program, but it seemed S san liked her and they enjoyed talking a lot. Then, I was surprised to hear that S san asked Shi chan, “Why don’t you come again?” Because she was not a kind of a person who asks a first visitor to come again, she must have had a great time with Shi chan.

The activity for Asahi Kasei power device has been going on nearly two years. Sometime things didn’t go smoothly in the beginning due to inadequate arrangements; however, I believe we have come to establish a good relationship every time we worked together and became close to each other. I feel that people are looking forward to being involved with the activities by Nijiiro-crayon.

Almost three-year passed since that day. I have often heard that the local people were happy to see all sorts of people from all parts

of Japan to encourage them at that time. They said that as the time has passed, the number of visitors has been gradually reduced,

thought it cannot be helped, but they were happy to have Nijiiro-crrayon staff still come to meet them regularly. I was shaking with excitement when they told me “We are going to meet you in Tokyo when spring has come.”

We have never expected returns or rewards, nor asked them to visit Tokyo, of course. It is quite hard for them to go out to Tokyo.

“I will visit Tokyo because I have a friend living in Tokyo.”

I thought it might be one of the outcomes from our activities. It’s hard to explain, but it was a very happy incident.

I suppose that because Nijiiro-crayon was established by the local people, it was easier for the organization to continue compared to the other organizations.

I have often been told from my friends in Tokyo, “They are still living in temporary housings, aren’t they? It must be hard.” However, though there are some troubles that the walls are thinner compared to normal housing and locations are inconvenient, things have been changing. Those situations vary depending on people.

As long as I heard, some of them refuse to move out of the temporary housings. It sounded like that they developed attachment for the past three years. Take an example, elderly people and people live alone have made their community with neighbors living in the temporary housing. Even though there are some troubles, they surely have a strong bond through overcoming hardest time together. Also, they may feel scared to move out and live alone in a new environment after sticking together and experiencing good times and bad times. They might feel lonely of not having visitors after moving out of the temporary housing. Of course, we can never forget about their financial difficulties.

If they were young, they might be capable of living in a new place with their family and friends, or try to look for new people as a start of new life. However, the change of environment must be hard for elderly people.

I hope, at least, those people with a strong bond do not have to live far from each other after they move out. Some people might say, “It’s selfish” or “They are asking too much”, but I personally think that it should be acceptable for those who have experienced such a tragedy.

If everyone cooperates a bit and the big shots can look with their favor on that plan, it would come true.

Today’s volunteers were Kuro chan, Saya bo, Hide san, Shi cahn, Rei chan, and Bu chan.


Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 3/1/2014.

Translated by Mayu Kawaguchi and Natsu Hirukawa.


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