Jason, a teacher at Hiroshima International School, contacted us and made us aware of a pretty cool ride some students will be doing soon to promote peace. BikeHacks.com is all in favor of peace and I hope readers will enjoy this story.
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STUDENTS TAKE ACTION ON PEACE
Students from Hiroshima International School promote peace by cycling from Hiroshima to Nagasaki
Students from Hiroshima International School are cycling from Hiroshima to Nagasaki to promote peace. The students are taking action in the 70th anniversary year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The group aims to promote peace by cycling nearly 500km from Hiroshima Peace Park to Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall and present 1000 paper cranes to Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall as a symbolic gesture of peace.
The cyclists will depart from Hiroshima Peace Park on October 8th, cycle for 6 days, present the cranes in Nagasaki on October 14th and return to Hiroshima the following day.
Cycling was chosen as the mode of delivery because it is physically challenging, requires commitment to training, determination, and is a sustainable form of transport. The supervising teacher for the ride, Jason Underwood, said: 'None of the students have cycled very much, if at all, so this is a significant challenge for them. The students have had a few training mishaps with some falls and equipment failure but they always get back on the bikes.`
The most recent training ride was cycling from the school to the Children's Monument in Hiroshima Peace Park to commemorate the 70thanniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on August 6.
The Principal of Hiroshima International School stated, 'There is so much about this initiative that epitomises what international education is about: connecting with our local community, taking on of challenges and promoting greater understanding between communities. This is an activity these students will never forget.`
The significance of 1000 paper cranes originates from the story of Sadako Sasaki, who was 2 years old at the time of the atomic bombings and survived the blast in Hiroshima. She later suffered from leukaemia and died in 1955, age 12. Whilst in hospital, Sadako heard of a Japanese legend that promised a wish to anyone who folded 1000 paper cranes. Sadako began the task and so inspired others to do the same. Her story was popularised in the book, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coer.
Interestingly, Sadako`s biggest challenge was finding paper, not time, to fold the cranes. In today's busy world the situation is reversed: paper is in abundance, time is scarce.
The ride, known as the 'Peace Ride', has involved the wider community with fund raising efforts and donations. Most significantly, the school received a donation of 3 bicycles from a local resident. The '1000 Paper Crane Club', run by the students of Hiroshima International School, has been working hard to prepare the cranes for Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall. Every year the club folds, collects, and displayspaper cranes at Hiroshima Peace Park's Children's Memorial and conducts guided tours of the park in multiple languages for school students visiting Hiroshima.
The students have a Facebook page and are aiming for 1000 Likes for 1000 paper cranes. You can show your support and `Like' the page here.