Project Hand in Hand was established in November 2011, soon after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and is now in its sixth year. This project is able to continue thanks to everyone’s generous support, and also thanks to the students that have participated in the project and the understanding and cooperation of their teachers and families. I would truly like to thank you.
There are now over 450 students who shared inspiration and gained courage in New York living out their lives. During the fourth year of the project starting in 2014, for the first time a concert was held in the disaster-affected areas with the New York City Opera Orchestra (now the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York). That same year the project’s value as an educational program was also recognized, and a performance was held in Nagoya to coincide with the UNESCO ESD World Conference.
For the fifth anniversary of the project in 2015, approximately 150 Japanese students went to America, and over the course of two days at Lincoln Center used the language of music to express their thanks for the recovery of Japan. The sight of these Japanese students performing along with local American students provided a strong emotional impact to the New Yorkers who saw them, while also making the Great East Japan Earthquake into something unforgettable.
Since immediately after the earthquake, this project has wished for recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake in the belief that continuation is strength, and that the recovery that is truly necessary is a recovery of the heart. Every year, facing head-on the role and purpose of music while being encourage by so many supporters, it is nothing short of a miracle that this project has continued so far.
This project is not just about performing music with a choir. The project includes programs covering topics that are not taught at school, with each of the students reflecting on who they are, thinking for themselves, and taking action. The courage and hope developed through this project will help build a new Japan, and send a message of hope to the world. A Japanese recovery made possible because these youths have experienced this project: we will continue spreading what only this project can do to students throughout Japan.
As a project supporting the recovery of East Japan, this project began in Tohoku, but it has become a project that students throughout Japan can participate in. Students who participated in the project in previous years are now working as volunteers to help the students currently in the project. The activities in Japan can be handled by the students and volunteers, with us just providing support.
There is a benefit that can only be gained from participating in this project. That is the power for these students to fulfill their dreams for the future. We will provide all the support we can to the participating students. We hope all the students can find what they are looking for in this project. We hope their teachers and families will also give these students all the support they need.
This project operates under the power of donations from companies and individuals. Thank you for supporting us every year. We sincerely hope you will continue your generous support in the future.