Cologne. Malteser International, the relief service of the Order of Malta for worldwide humanitarian aid, will support a children’s home for children and adolescents aged between two and 18 years in the small town of Ichinoseki. The children’s home is located in the Japanese prefecture of Iwate in the north of the main island of Honsh?. The director of the children home, the Franciscan nun Caelina Mauer, has reported this morning: „Particularly the younger children are trembling with fear with every aftershock, they are crying and hiding themselves. All children and also our staff members are completely exhausted. At the moment, we are all staying in the gym; initially, we had neither electricity nor water supply. There is not enough fuel oil so that the children have to freeze at night when the temperature drops to below 0 degree Celsius.“
Currently, a psychotherapist is providing psychosocial care for the children. Further assistance is urgently needed, Mauer points out. „As there are so many dead and missing - also in the neighbouring prefecture - the government has asked us to accommodate further orphans and homeless children“, the 47 year old Franciscan nun explains. „Given the prevailing emergency situation, it goes without saying that we have immediately agreed to receive further children even though it’s already very hard for our children to withstand the extremely confined place.”
The beeline between Ichinoseki and Fukushima is only about 150 kilometres. „As we are all still under shock due to the earthquake and the tsunami, we cannot yet worry about the imminent danger coming from Fukushima“, Mauer tells.
The children’s home has been severely damaged, many walls have cracks, windows are broken and cover plates have become loose. Experts will examine whether the building can be at further use.
Since the earthquake measuring 9.0 at the Richter scale and the tsunami hit Japan last Friday, Malteser International is in close contact with the Caritas and partners in the country – the Jesuits, the Franciscans and Tokyo’s Catholic University. Via local partners - like catholic parishes and the children’s home – Malteser International will provide support. „Malteser International and the international network of the Order of Malta are thinking about further signs of solidarity“, says Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International.
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Donation Account 2020270
IBAN: DE74 3706 0193 0002 0202 70
Pax Bank Cologne
Reference: “Disasters Japan”
Attention editors: Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International, is available for telephone interviews.
Contact: +49 (0) 221 98 22-155.
Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 200 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.org