Students from the University of Bath Japanese Society have raised over £9,000 towards the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief appeal and say they are deeply moved by the level of support they have received from the local community.
Having seen the destruction caused by Japan’s biggest ever earthquake, the students pulled together a programme of fundraising events that included cake sales, street busking, film nights and a charity concert.
On Saturday 19 March the students set up a stand in the centre of Bath and collected an astonishing £5,000 from passers by.
All funds raised are being combined from University groups around the country and donated directly to the Japanese Red Cross.
Kenichiro Fujimoto, President of the Japanese Society, said: “The destruction we have seen in Japan is devastating and many of us felt quite removed from everything that was happening. We wanted to be able to help out in some way.
“We decided to put together a programme of events over a two week period to raise awareness of the disaster.
“The support we received in Bath from the public was overwhelming. People stopped and asked us about our homes and families and it was extremely touching to realise how much they cared.
“So many people gave very generously and we would like to thank them for that – we appreciate that over the last few months there have been many international problems and calls for donations.”
The students also received a lot of support from their peers, with university friends baking cakes to sell, busking in Bath to raise money, and creating banners and advertising to help raise awareness of the cause.
Kenichiro, who comes from near Tokyo, added: “Being part of the fundraising group really helped those of us with friends and family in Japan. It was heartening to find so many people cared and it gave us the chance to do something that will hopefully make a difference for those who are at home.
“Many people in Japan have lost everything. The Japanese Red Cross will use the money we have raised to help these people back onto their feet – they will need funds to supply emergency aid in the form of clean water, medical treatment and shelter, and in the long run there will be a need to rebuild infrastructure.”