Tsunami kids get koala hugs
DOZENS of children affected by Japan’s devastating tsunami earlier this year have something to smile about courtesy of visitors and staff from the Wildlife Habitat.
The Habitat this week sent 200 toy koalas directly to children at a kindergarten run by the Soto Zen religion in the Minami Sanriku region which was smashed by the tsunami.
General manager Garry Sullivan worked as a volunteer after the 2005 Boxing Day tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia and knows first-hand how the koalas will lift the spirits of the kids.
“After the Boxing Day tsunami I saw so many displays of what a positive effect simple human goodwill can have on those suffering, and that’s why we’ve decided to send 200 of our toy koalas to these children,” Mr Sullivan said.
“Not just as a toy, but as a reminder to them that people do care and are sharing their pain and hoping for their eventual recovery.”
Each of the koalas, donated by the visitors and Habitat staff, carries its own personal message of hope and encouragement and lets the children know there are people who care for them even halfway round the world.
“Since the tsunami, the number of children at the kindergarten has dropped from 150 to 85 students, so we just want these little furry animals to help put a smile on their faces.”