The New York Times reports that four Japanese students recently orphaned by the March 11 quake and tsunami gathered yesterday at Times Square to solicit tourists and New Yorkers for money to build a mental health care center in the disaster-hit area.In addition to the four, two Americans and another Japanese orphaned by the 1995 Kobe earthquake joined forces, passing out Japanese packets of tissues and shouting "Help Japan!" to passersby who dropped coins and bills into donation boxes, according to the Times.
The fundraising activity was organized by the Tokyo-based nonprofit organization Ashinaga, which has been providing educational and psychological support to orphans worldwide. The funds raised would be earmarked for a facility, "Tohoku Rainbow House" in Sendai for children, like themselves, who lost loved ones in the disaster. Psychiatric News reports on efforts by Japanese psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to provide relief in the wake of the March disaster. For more information see http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/11/1.1.full.