It’s been two and a half years since they experienced the generosity of the world after Japan was hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Now some women who were displaced from the northern fishing village of Shichigahama who formed an informal support group through knitting are doing their small part to help those who are also experiencing tragedy through war and natural disasters.
Yarn Alive was founded by Teddy Sawka, an American missionary, who wanted to give around 30 elderly women something to keep them busy while they were living in their temporary shelters and to also give them a way to bond and console each other. They have a steady supply of yarn to make their hats and sweaters because of donations from the United States, other places in Japan and from other countries who heard their stories. Ms. Sawka heard about the women from Syria now living in refugee camps in Jordan who were giving birth but were running out of clothes and blankets as the weather grows cooler. She enlisted the help of the women from Yarn Alive to make hats, sweaters and booties for the babies, which her son will bring to Jordan by the end of the month.
One of the women, 53-year-old Mayumi Hoshi, said that she knows how it feels to painfully lose their home when they were displaced by the earthquake. She said she and other refugees were lucky that they can now live in temporary housing, all because of the help of other people. She feels it’s her turn to give something back. “It feels so good to be able to help other people, even if we’re in a tough situation ourselves,” she adds. Recently, she saw on TV the devastation brought about by Typhoon Haiyan to the Philippines and she hopes they can also do something to help the people who have been affected.
[ via Wall Street Journal ]