Introducing Artwork for Heartwork

Volunteers are going to deliver the boxes of beanie babies to children who are now orphans and children whose homes have been destroyed by the tsunami. These children who were passing by also got to take some with them! Courtesy of Artwork for Heartwork.

By Kanako, an RIJ student volunteer

Sherry, who is a previous intern at Refugees International Japan and currently a board member of Artwork for Heartwork, has written a description of their project in helping out those who have been displaced by the 3/11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, particularly children.

Sherry talks about how students can be very effective in helping out with her project. I hope that having a former-intern of RIJ talk about her project will inspire our current and future student ambassadors and interns, and relay the power of young people in helping others around the world.

Dear Friends:

My name is Sherry and I previously interned at RIJ in 2008. I am a board member on an organization called Artwork for Heartwork, which is partnering with RIJ as introduced in the previous post.

Artwork for Heartwork is a movement to collect and use artwork made by children around the world to fundraise for and bring smiles to the children affected by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Through this movement, we wish to achieve two things. To create an opportunity for children around the world to affect positive change for their peers during difficult times, as well as help the children of Japan regain their carefree spirits and their right to smile. We
are implementing our mission in 3 phases:

– Phase 1 – Fundraise & Collect artwork and messages from children around the world created in response to and in support for the children in Japan. Provide information in conjunction with social work professionals on how parents and teachers can facilitate conversations pertaining to children’s responses to natural disasters.
– Phase 2 – Hand deliver artwork and messages to the children affected by the Tohoku earthquake by partnering with NGOs and people who are active on the ground.
– Phase 3 – Provide children in Japan with art workshops that encourage them to express themselves through artwork.

Artwork for Heartwork is actively looking for children, students, neighbors, family members or friends who can participate in this project. Students, in particular, can be instrumental in helping us spread the word. It was not too long ago when us students were around the same age as these very children that AFH wishes to help. If you still have friends back in school, maintain contact with your teachers, or know someone who is now a teacher, this may be a great project for schools to get involved.

Please let us know if you or anyone you know wish to get involved. Contact the group at if you wish to take part in this movement or follow them on Twitter (@artforheartwork) for updates and news about the displaced and orphaned children. You can also join our Facebook page.

Japanese translation by Kei







–       フェーズ1 寄付金集め・この震災を受けて世界の子どもたちが作ったアートやメッセージの回収。また専門家と協力して、親たちや先生たちが震災について子どもたちとどのような会話を持っていくべきか情報を提供すること。

–       フェーズ2 NGOや被災地で活動している方々と協力して、回収したアートを東北地方太平洋地震で被災した子どもたちの元へ届ける。

–       フェーズ3 日本の子どもたちの為にアートのワークショップを開催し、アートを通して自分を表現することを学んでもらう。




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