Playground of Hope #6
Otsuchi Elementary School
Iwate-ken, 2-1 Kamiheigun, Otsuchi Chou
Installation date: September 5, 2012
Sponsor: AiAi Corporation
The town of Otsuchi was devastated by the March 11 tsunami. Approximately 10% of its residents have been confirmed dead or missing, including nearly all municipal workers. All but 30 of the town’s 650 fishing boats were destroyed as well as several schools.
The Otsuchi Elementary School is a massive temporary structure built to replace four schools destroyed by the Tsunami, the Ando, Otsuchi-kita, Akahama, and Otsuchi Elementary Schools. Currently more than 500 children age 6 to 12 years attend the school and until the Playground of Hope showed up in September 2012 the school did not have a single piece of outdoor play equipment.
The Otsuchi Board of Education contacted the Playground of Hope to ask for our support. Thanks to a generous donation from AiAi Corporation of Kyoto, Japan the Playground of Hope was able to build one of its biggest play sets directly on the school grounds.
After construction was completed a large event was held, complete with food, drink, entertainment, special guest appearance from Daniel Kahl and Thane Camus, and of course, several speeches. It was wonderful for all involved to know that our efforts would be affecting several hundred children six days a week for as long as their temporary school remains open!