Organised by NPO NADIA, a volunteer group co-founded by Deutsche Bank Group employees to provide helping hands in Tohoku’s recovery, and Playground of Hope (PoH), which works with communities to site and build playgrounds to recover the region’s deep sense of community, employees constructed a playground at a newly established pre-school in Ishinomaki’s Hebita district, while repairing and sprucing-up three others in parks and pre-schools across the town. The coastal town was one of those in Japan’s north-east most heavily damaged by the tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011. The playgrounds replace play areas lost in the disaster and, as they bring children together, help parents and neighbours to recover their sense of community.
The Deutsche volunteers worked in teams of four to five, taking turns on various aspects of the playground’s construction, from preparing components to assembling the structure and preparing the grounds as safe play areas. Each team also helped improve at least one of the three other playgrounds previously installed by PoH to ensure their longer-term usability, and ensure they remain well maintained and attractive to children, their parents and neighbours.
With the completion of the main site on June 30, the volunteers hosted children and neighbours to a mini-festival to celebrate the area’s reconstruction and hand over the playground to its host community. As children raced to be the first on the playset, the school’s founder explained to all how much the playground meant to the community, telling them, “We have come a long way in the last two years and overcome much. This playset helps ensure our children only see a bright future ahead of them.”
Deutsche Bank Group has globally donated over USD3 million to emergency relief and the mid- to long-term recovery of Japan’s Tohoku region since March 11, 2011. It has since engaged in projects and volunteer activities that continue to support the recovery of local business and of communities via ongoing educational, cultural and social infrastructure programmes.