Two of Tohoku University's student volunteer groups SCRUM and HARU recently organized a Halloween party for the residents of Yamamoto, one of the coastal towns in Miyagi still recovering from the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
"We often meet old people in these towns who talk about their grandchildren. And they always look happy when they're talking about them," said Nana Sato of SCRUM. "There are very few activities that children and the elderly can enjoy together, but we thought trick-or-treating at Halloween is perfect because even residents who are not mobile can take part."
With the help of the volunteers, some 30 children dressed up in Halloween costumes, visited homes around the town, and received candy from delighted residents.
To make the activity a little more challenging, the children were divided into groups and had to find specific houses with the help of a map. The children also got stamps at every house they visited.
When the stamp rally was completed, the children gathered again in the town center for one last candy grab - by hitting a pinata.
This is the second time that SCRUM and HARU have done a Halloween activity in Yamamoto town. "The number of participants was much higher this time, and many more people in the community got involved," said Sato.
"I'm really happy that an idea that we university students had, turned into something that was accepted and enjoyed by the local people. Hopefully they will invite us back for many more years."
Contact:Tohoku University Volunteer Support Center