What is Butterfly Kids?
Butterfly Kids is a volunteer group comprised of Sendai JETs who are committed to helping those affected by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Our focus is primarily to help affected children through games, activities and lessons that concentrate on teaching English and encouraging international exchange. Currently we are working with children living in temporary housing in Wakabayashi Ward, Sendai City.
How did Butterfly Kids start?
As members of the Sendai JET community got out into local volunteer centres to help with the post earthquake/tsunami clean up, we also started to attend events held for refugees and evacuees at refuge areas. The group recognized that there was a need for childcare in the days after the tsunami as some families had lost their main caregivers. We also knew that the need for psychological support was growing, and that this would need to be long term. From this our volunteer group ‘Butterfly Kids’ was born. We decided the best way to give back to our community was to help give the children ‘wings’ by expanding their worlds that little bit more in an area that is our specialty: teaching English.
① Residents in temporary housing at Wakabayashi are expected to live in the settlement for an initial two years, and so Butterfly Kids is also forecasted to be at least a two year project.
② We aim to help the Sendai and wider community, especially children who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
③ We endeavor to foster relationships between the Sendai JET community and the residents of Wakabayashi-ku, and through activities help them to develop English skills and an interest in foreign cultures.