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Qatar Friendship Fund donates USD 10 million towards new school in the heart of Onagawa

 Qatar Friendship Fund donates USD 10 million towards new school in the heart of Onagawa

 
400 students every year to benefit from newly integrated Elementary and Junior High School
 
The planned project will see an integrated elementary and junior high school in Onagawa from 2020
The newly integrated school will be located at the centre of the community, vastly improving access to education and benefiting 400 students annually
This project aims to put children at the centre of the community by nurturing their ambitions and helping to develop the future leaders of Onagawa Town
The donation forms part of the Qatar Friendship Fund (QFF), a gift from the State of Qatar to the Japanese people to support relief efforts following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
 
Tokyo, Japan: 3rd October 2016                            For immediate release
 
The project to improve access to education for pupils in Ongawa has today received a major boost thanks to a USD 10 million donation from the Qatar Friendship Fund.
 
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today by Qatar’s Ambassador to Japan H.E. Yousef Bilal and Mayor Suda of Onagawa Town, the Qatar Friendship Fund will provide USD 10 million towards an innovative project to relocate and integrate Onagawa’s Elementary and Junior High Schools. The MOU was signed in the presence of H.E. the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, who is currently on an official visit to Tokyo.
 
 
  
The signing of the MOU at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, 3rd October 2016 (From left to right)
H.E. Yousef Bilal, Qatar’s Ambassador to Japan; H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassi, Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar; and Mayor Suda of Onagawa Town
 
The project is supported by the government of Japan and will benefit 400 students in Onagawa town annually together with 100 teachers and full time school staff members.
 
The Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 caused widespread damage in Onagawa Town, forcing the closure of two elementary schools and one junior high school. Consequently, the five local schools were combined with pupils forced to share the only two remaining buildings available for educational use, both of which were located on the outskirts of the town and isolated from the community. In 2013, they became one integrated elementary school and one integrated junior high school. Onagawa’s innovative project will see both schools merge from 2020 at a new location in the centre of the community, vastly improving accessibility for pupils. 
 
Onagawa Town Mayor Suda remarked: “The first key objective of the school is to create a community where children are put first, are taught resilience and are able to learn the social skills needed to overcome hardships. The second is to provide an education system that supports all students and makes them feel safe, as well as providing peace of mind for parents. The third objective is to create a school facility at the heat of Onagawa town which the community can feel proud of, and that parents want to choose for their children.”
 
H.E. Yousef Bilal commented: “Children are the future of the world, and we are proud to support such an ambitious and innovative project in Onagawa town. Mayor Suda and the people of the town have worked tirelessly to not only reconstruct and rejuvenate the local area after the Great East Japan Earthquake, but also to protect and support his local community. There is a reason why residents in Onagawa have chosen to stay, and their passion for their hometown can be seen in this project. We have high hopes that this project will help to develop the partnership between Qatar and Onagawa, and foresee not only a stronger friendship, but the opportunity for educational, cultural and sports exchanges, as well as partnerships that continue long after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”
 
 
ENDS
 
Notes for editors:
About Onagawa’s Elementary/ Junior High School Relocation Project
 
Before the Great East Japan Earthquake, the school district in Onagawa town, Miyagi prefecture, was divided to the north and south of the town. The tsunami that followed this disaster caused enormous damage to the town, with a total of 827 casualties, and a 30% decrease in population. Consequently, the previous five schools were forcibly combined into one elementary school and one junior high school, both located on the outskirts of the town, and inaccessible to most by walking, ultimately resulting in two schools isolated from the town and the community. Onagawa town made the decision to relocate and integrate Onagawa’s Elementary and Junior High Schools to form an Integrated Education Framework for the town, a project which will directly benefit 400 students in Onagawa town annually. It will open in 2020, and its location in the centre of the town will allow students easy access.
 
The new school will act as a symbol of reconstruction in the town, and aims to create a solid new community for Onagawa, with the school and students at the heart of the community. The integrated educational framework will provide international education and exchange programes for local children, aiming to develop the future leaders of Japan and of Onagawa town.
The total 60 million USD project will be funded by the Japanese government, together with a 10 million USD support fund from the Qatar Friendship Fund (QFF). Onagawa town and QFF hope that this project will further partnership between Qatar and Japan, and continue the strong friendship between the people of the State of Qatar and Onagawa town.
 
About Qatar Friendship Fund
The Qatar Friendship Fund (QFF) is a gift from the State of Qatar to the Japanese people to support relief efforts following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. QFF was launched by His Highness the Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani in 2012, and operates under the auspices of H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar. Under the direct leadership of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassi, Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, QFF is chaired by H.E. Yousef Bilal, Qatar’s Ambassador to Japan, with the support of a Japanese advisory board. The Fund aims to nurture hope for victims and offer direct assistance in a prompt, effective and sustainable manner. QFF underscores the strong friendship between the Japanese and Qatari people and, over a five-year period (2012-2016), will continue to focus on supporting the strategic priorities of child education, fisheries, healthcare and entrepreneurship. For more information on the Qatar Friendship Fund, seehttp://www.qatarfriendshipfund.org/
Since June 2016, QFF has been supervised and managed by Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).
 
About Qatar Fund for Development
The Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) is a Qatari public organization established and organized pursuant to Law Number 19 of 2002 as amended, and officially mandated to coordinate and implement foreign development assistance on behalf of the State of Qatar. The Qatar Fund For Development has provided foreign assistance to several countries worldwide targeting a variety of sector needs, including education, health, and economic development. The Qatar Fund For Development is committed to delivering aid through bilateral and multilateral channels in compliance with best practices. Since June 2016, QFF has been supervised and managed by Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).
 
For further information on QFFD, please contact:
QFFD Communications Department
E-mail [email protected]         Tel +974 40360 309
 
For media enquiries in Japan please contact:
Gemma McGoldrick, Candlewick Co., Ltd.
[email protected]       Tel: +81 3 6455 5820

    

 

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