UIS Programs: Japan Relief Efforts

In the wake of the earthquake in northern Japan and its aftermath The Office of International Programs has been in contact with the Ashikaga Institute of Technology and Saitama University, our two partner schools in the Tokyo area. Both have reported that the earthquake was one of the strongest they have ever felt. While there was no significant structural damage or injuries both areas experienced breaks in communication and transportation and are subject to rolling blackouts. Both are also within 100 miles of the affected nuclear plants and there is great concern about the efforts to bring them under control.

A number of students, faculty and staff members have inquired about raising funds to help with the relief efforts. Here are a few options:

  • The Sister Cities Association of Springfield has established a bank account at Williamsville Bank called the Ashikaga Relief Fund. All the donations will be sent to Springfield’s Sister City in Japan, Ashikaga, and they will forward the money to the area that needs most help. The relationship between Ashikaga and Springfield is over 20 years old and was instrumental in UIS establishing its relationship with the Ashikaga Institute of Technology. Springfield and UIS have many friends in the Ashikaga area. One of the reasons that the Sister City Association is collecting donations in their name is that Ashikaga sent Springfield $10,000 after 9/11 and $3,000 after the twin tornados hit the Wabash Ave. area. Those funds were then donated to the Red Cross. Springfield would like to do the opposite this time when Japan is going through the toughest time since the WWII.
    If you are interested in donating, you can either go straight to the bank or you can contact the Office of International Programs. OIP will coordinate efforts with SCAS to get funds to the Williamsville Bank and then to Ashikaga.
  • The Office of International Programs will be staffing a table in the cafeteria on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday over the noon hour this week (March 22-24). We are planning a couple of activities in conjunction with fund raising activities:
    • We are going to work on assembling 1,000 origami cranes, a senbazuru, to show our support. In the words of Wikipedia “Thousand Origami Cranes (千羽鶴 Senbazuru?) is a group of one thousand origami paper cranes held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise), and is said to live for a thousand years. In Japan, it is commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes makes a person’s wish come true.” We’ll need help with this project so please stop by and fold a crane or two with us (we’ll have instructions available).
    • Donations to the Sister City Association of Springfield fund can be dropped off at the table;
    • Global Experience Program Ashikaga t-shirts can be purchased to show your support for the UIS/AIT relationship. Funds raised through the t-shirt sale will be used to support our ongoing program with Ashikaga with the specific goal of supporting students from the Ashikaga Institute of Technology.
  • The American Red Cross website http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main has an option for donating funds to support relief efforts listed under Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami.
  • UNICEF is collecting funds to support Japan’s children. Their website is https://secure.unicefusa.org/site/Donation2?df_id=9640&9640.donation=form1

If you would be interested in helping with campus efforts to raise funds to support Japan Relief efforts please contact the Office of International Programs.