Iraqi Children ? Part lll

     Noboru Mochizuki, Vice President of Meguro UNESCO Association

In March, 2010, the Meguro UNESCO office received a copy of a JIM-NET newsletter, in which Dr. Minoru Kamata, Representative of JIM-NET, expressed his appreciation of our donation to the Valentine’s Chocolate Campaign. The headline read “Thank You. Thank You So Much!”.

In FY2009 Meguro UNESCO Association participated in the Valentine’s Chocolate Campaign. What we prepared for the occasion was ten chocolates, made by Rokkatei, in a round tin box printed with a cute picture. The boxes sold for \500 each and luckily all 120 boxes we prepared were sold. Four different pictures printed on the tin cans were drawn by Sabreen Hafed, a girl from Basra, in the southern part of Iraq, who was studying at a class in hospital. She had eye cancer and passed away last October at the age of 15. I am very sad to say that Sabreen never had a chance to see her own pictures on the cans.
chocolate box from Iraq.JPG

JIM-NET is a NGO of Japan Iraq Medical Network. This NGO actively works for saving those Iraqi children who have cancer or leukemia after being exposed to radiation of depleted uranium shells left from the Iraqi War. All the profit from the Valentine’s Chocolate Campaign is used for those activities.

Japan is the only nation that has experienced the devastating atomic radiation, and it is widely known that there are still victims suffering from the radiation exposure. The documentary film by Steven Okazaki, White Light / Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was shown by Meguro UNESCO Association last July, is still fresh in our minds.

When I visited the JIM-NET office, I happened to meet Mr. Maki Sato and Mr. Kumagai who had just returned from Iraq and they updated me of the condition there. They said that the predicament of Iraq seemed almost forgotten in Japan, but they were still in great need of reconstruction of infrastructure. Hospitals were not properly functioning and they needed a big support in the form of medical goods.

Naturally the support by Meguro UNESCO Association is limited, but we would like to offer some help to the Valentine’s Chocolate Campaign again this fiscal year to save as many Iraqi children as possible.
                            - translated by Nobuko Matsushita

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