|Dear Teachers in Iran,
This letter succeeds to the two letters I sent you previously, and will be the last advice from my past experience at Great Hanshin Earthquake, since it is about time experts start supporting you in a great way.
||People surprisingly tends to miss out the care for the orphan who leaves
the devastated area and for the family accepting the child.
The disaster ares is intensively supported in many ways, is reported its state of reconstruction by the mass media and is on the wide range of people's concern and favor. It was same in case of Hanshin as well. At the same time, a number of children who lost their parents leave that place for their relatives' places, like my family. I would like to ask you for helping those children cope, since, due to the relocation, they will face quite different things to deal with and be in need of special care.
In case of Hanshin, just a half hour distance by train made a huge difference.
For instance, metropolis Osaka city hardly damaged from the earthquake
and people there kept their lives in luxury and lively, where the misery
of the devastated area was felt just like a story or an occurrence of another
world. This fact was unbelievable for the victim of the disaster and came
as a kind of shock. Children were shocked more.
If the orphan is adapted into their relative's family who lives far from
the devastated area, the child goes to school there. Adaptation to this
new school is hard. The school staffs only know about the earthquake just
through television and newspaper and are in a maze when they are to accept
and deal with the child.
It depends on the children, but many orphans seems to feel uneasy to be
known that they lost their family at the earthquake disaster. That is because
they want to avoid people's curiosity and pity. They receive great deal
of sympathy and encouragement by the time they relocated to different places
by caring adults and their own decision, and sometime children feel unconfortable
with the encouragement. In case of Hanshin, many letters came from a number
of schools all over the country to the victim children, some of which was
printed and bound as booklets. Though all letters were full of good will,
some of the children cannot become gentle and they say "these are
all same and superficial saying just "Cheer up!"". The priority
should be given to the orphan's preference and how (s)he feels when school
staffs or classmates deal with the orphan.
The family accepting an orphan spends difficult time, too. Though it is
rather foster parents than teachers who must understand in depth how to
take care of a child after the traumatic event, it is actually impossible.
For the time being, teachers must tell foster parents the basis of the
care. Symptoms of the traumatic disaster are more observed at home than
at school. Probably the basis of the correspondence at that time for the
foster parents is to declare clearly to the child that (s)he is accepted
as a family member not a guest to their family. It is not so easy, since
every family has their own "culture" and they may face cultural
gaps and collision. Neither child nor family knows that the child's inappropriate
reaction is due to cultural difference or PTSD of the earthquake disaster,
and all those struggles bring both child and foster parents mental fatigue.
Foster parents must understand that the child is not simply suffering from
the stress from the fear of the earthquake and the family loss, but also
so many other stresses such as the stress of cultural adaptation to the
new family and new school, identity establishment of adolescence, and so
on. Please also help those foster parents deal with the traumatized children.
|Finally, please feel free to ask me and our school for any contributions.
Our school promotes international education , utilizing internet, e-mail,
teleconference, etc. Please contact me by sending e-mail directly whenever
you are in need. All of members of our school, which are 800 children and
30 staffs, hope we can be of any help for you.
Mr. Hiroshige Kihara
PrincipalOno Minami Primary School,
email@example.com (directly sent to principal)
|(Hiroshige Kihara, Translation : Ikumi Ozawa)