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On 31 March 2011, I received an email from a friend who works as a teacher in Germany. She told me that the students in her class listened to me every morning on the local radio station, while I reported on the situation in Japan.  Since I live in Tokyo, this local radio station would contact me daily to report on the earthquake aftermath.  My friend told me of a little boy, Lucas, who asked how he and his classmates can help Japan. They wanted to start a donation activity and asked me what would be the best way to give to the people in Japan.

Inspired by this idea, I thought about the opportunity to give back to the Japanese communities affected by the earthquake. During this time, I also saw several documentaries about the school situation in the Northern part of Japan. Many kids lost their friends and family members and many were also homeless.

This led me to reflect on my own childhood growing up in Germany and the memories of being a kid. What came to mind was a German school tradition called Schultuete (School Cones). On the first day of school, all new starters (1st graders) are given a big cardboard cone filled with cookies, candies and school supplies in order to sweeten the school life for anxious beginners. It is a nice tradition to combine something practical and joyful.

This tradition reminded me how a small gesture brightened my day as a young and nervous student on my first day in school. This started the idea of giving school cones to Japanese school kids and bring to them what they truly need:

Courage, Joy and a Smile

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Smile for Japanese School Kids

Diese Seite wurde erstellt am 11. April 2011.

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