Playground of Hope #1
International Preschool Pinocchio
Ishinomaki, Ohashi 3-8-1 Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture
Completed: April 1, 2012
Sponsors: Private Donation
A Message from the Owner of Pinocchio Day Care
“In 1995 we began daycare operations as a registered Japanese NPO. Our facilities operated independently until 2011, providing daycare services to both healthy children as well as children with disabilities, sometimes severe ones, whose families were unable to find daycare elsewhere in Miyagi prefecture. As a NPO we struggled to keep the school’s daycare and after school program funded each year. Just as I was beginning to think we couldn’t carry on, the 3/11 disaster occurred and suddenly the community needed our services more than ever. Thankfully, in 2012, we received government funding that allowed us to renew our school and become the first publicly funded daycare in Miyagi prefecture to serve both health and disabled children at the same facility.
We built what we hope is a dream space for our children to enjoy together. Part of that dream was the Playground of Hope play set. A bright, happy yellow play set that matched our school color! The area of the tsunami damage was enormous and many parks were destroyed leaving few safe places for children to play safely.
To help compensate for this we open our school yard to local children on weekends. Now in our dream facility healthy and disabled children can learn and play together in a safe and secure environment.”
On April 1, 2012 the Playground of Hope project launched with a wonderful Taiko drum performance by local children. In attendance was the mayor of Ishinomaki and several other city officials. The children had a great time and enjoyed the play set much more than we could have ever imagined! It was a beautiful day made possible private donations from Italian friends of PoH who do not even live in Japan! Thank you very, very much Mr. Francesco Della Rover, Mr. Francesco Lo Bue and Mr. Paul Thomas!