We would like to introduce you to the “Wings for Japan” Project. 25 people whose lives were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 have just arrived in Switzerland, where they will spend some days in the mountains and in the region of Zurich.
The goal of the project is for them to have an unforgettable, carefree week, during which they can share their experiences and make the most of this opportunity for some respite from their daily life, which has changed so dramatically since last March. Welcome to Switzerland!
Rina Sasaki (9) & Chiyo Yahata (13)
Went down the slope from Schreckfeld to Grindelwald by sled. They were covered in snow after getting off the track. “It was very scary and I almost got killed! It was so much fun.”
Haruna Sato (8)
“I loved the view from Jungfraujoch. The walk up was nothing for me because I’m used to walking a lot. I walk 30 minutes to school every day.”
Ai Suzuki (14)
“The view from Jungfraujoch was amazing. It was the first time in my life that I wore outdoor clothes and trekking shoes. Switzerland has such beautiful nature, which you can’t see in Japan. I want to take a lot of pictures to make an album of this trip.” In reply to being asked what she liked most from the brunch she said: “I enjoyed the rösti the most and want to buy some as a souvenir.”
Yuto Horaguchi (7)
Yuto, the youngest and the most energetic of all, never failed to attract everyone’s attention wherever he was. During the winter hike to Grütschalp he made faceprints on snow along the way and said “Konnichiwa” to them.
At Seilpark, he enjoyed himself so much that two hours were not enough. At the end of the visit Yuto said: “No, I’m not going with you, I’m staying here!”
Toshihiko Hiratsuka (13)
Toshihiko enjoyed two flying premiers this week. He flew for the first time in his life when coming to Switzerland, and during the holidays he had the chance to fly with a paraglider from Beatenberg to Interlaken. Asked if he was scared or not, he said: “In the beginning I thought I was going to pee in my pants. But it was so cool, I just want to do it again!”
The Wings for Japan project
The Wings for Japan project is for young Japanese people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Thanks to the generous support of SWISS, the SWISS Children’s Foundation, Switzerland Tourism and the Japanese publisher Bungeishunju, 25 people from the Tohoku region will spend one week in spacious holiday accommodation in the Bernese Oberland. Everything will be taken care of, and there will be plenty of opportunity for adults and children to talk things over and share experiences. A great sense of excitement, anticipation and expectation is in the air at this point. A father who lost his family in the catastrophe writes: “In Switzerland, I shall give my life a new direction!”