A new indoor playground at a Catholic school in earthquake-ravaged Fukushima is being hailed by local residents as a “beacon of hope for the region’s recovery”, reports Ucanews.
Our Lady of Sakura Kindergarten, operated by the Congregation of Notre Dame, was so badly damaged in the March 2011 earthquake that the religious community has spent the past two years rebuilding the school.
“Anyone can see that Fukushima children’s athletic and physical abilities have declined since they lost the chance to play outdoors,” said Notre Dame Sister Kayoko Shibata. “In order to counteract this a little, we built an indoor playground.”
The sister said that as the new building neared completion local residents would stop by with words of encouragement, such as “this is a beacon of hope for the recovery of Fukushima.
“And with the new strength those words have brought, we aim to raise young people who will contribute to that recovery,” she said. The building was officially dedicated in early September during a ceremony officiated by Bishop Martin Tetsuo Hiraga of Sendai.
Bishop Tetsuo Hiraga blesses the playground in Fukushima