In the summer of 2014 I had the pleasure of giving a very special person a tour of the peninsula. Nick Johnston, a long-time friend of mine, is special to Oshika because he sponsored the school uniforms for 20 students joining Oshika Junior High School in spring of that year. Three more students joined unexpectedly, and their uniforms were kindly sponsored by John Whetsel, another big supporter of Oshika.
The provision of these uniforms are a huge help to parents who are still living in temporary housing, may not be working, and have to fund the construction of new homes once they are allocated land. The uniforms last the entire three years of junior high school life, and the entire set includes sportswear. They are all made locally so it also supports a local business.
We have now provided school uniforms for four consecutive years of Oshika Junior High School students — Kspace International Preschool & Kindergarten in Tokyo started it all off by raising money to pay for uniforms for all the students joining the school in 2013 (amounted to ¥877,660 and also covered some book vouchers for all the students); Nick and John provided uniforms for the 2014 incoming students (totalling ¥1,501,210); Kspace sponsored another year of incoming students in 2015 (¥1,008,255); and a group of individuals (Martin & Jocelyn Urban, Mariko Yasuda, Lorna Nagamine, Sue O’Regan) and the Oxford Japanese community contributed ¥565,104 toward the cost of the uniforms for all of those that will take that walk into the school hall in April this year.
The older students (the first students that received uniforms) had the chance to meet the Kspace community during a school trip to Tokyo last September, when parents and students of all ages had a wonderful time getting to know each other.
Thank you to everyone who plays a part in providing school uniforms to the children of Oshika.