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Two pastors from the Philippine Children’s Ministry Network travelled last week to the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao where two months previously rebel forces burned portions of the city and up to ten thousand residents had lost their homes.  They were sent to do assessment of needs and find appropriate partners and venues for OperationSAFE child trauma camps, visiting Barangays Santa Barbara, Lustre and Santa Catalina and the evacuation centre called the “Grandstand”.  In the town proper, they interviewed children who were begging and discovered that they were evacuees from Rio Hondo where their homes were destroyed by the recent armed conflict.

Pastor Cesar Lubrico of Tondo Blessed Hope Bible Baptist Church asks for prayers, “Let’s pray that the childrens’ plight for home, food, education, and health are not set aside.” The crisis in Zamboanga has been dwarfed by this month’s typhoon that has affected millions in the Philippines, but the children’s needs still remain.

Interviews with both children and adults leads to the conclusion that their trauma is not over yet.  The appearance of helicopters in the sky, the crash of a heavy falling object, thunder and ambulance sirens all trigger fright and apprehension.

Zamboanga, Mindanao will receive OperationSAFE child trauma camps in December.  Please pray for the children and for those who are ministering to them.



Our team is heading to Sendai to hold a special OperationSAFE Christmas event with children at Seaside Chapel, a church that was swept away with it’s entire community in the tsunami.


In the summer of 2011 after the tsunami, CRASH Japan began holding OperationSAFE child trauma camps with children affected by the tsunami and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.  OperationSAFE introduces children to the cute character Pete as he is separated from his family and meets new friends, and helps them to process their own complex series of emotions after trauma.

Follow up events held at Christmas and Easter help children review what they have learned and keep contact with ongoing care through the local church.




It was the fall of 2007 and we had just responded to back-to-back earthquakes along the sea of Japan when we got a call from World Vision Japan. They were working on a plan to implement their Child-Friendly-Space concept in Japan and were eager to hear how we were able to mobilize volunteers in a country where volunteerism is still in its infancy. I shared how although most Japanese consider disaster volunteers to be rugged heroes out for adventure, the real key to mobilization is to help normal people use their every-day talents in extraordinary situations. As they shared more about the Child-Friendly-Space, ideas started firing off in my educator’s brain and I knew that I needed to dive into this more deeply.

Child-Friendly Spaces provide a disaster’s youngest survivors with a safe place to play, participate in structured activities, and experience healing from any trauma and loss they’ve experienced. They also allow children to return to healthy routines and experience a sense of normalcy again. [World Vision]

As I rode the train home that day to my house on the outskirts of Tokyo, my head was full of how to help children recover from trauma at their level, through play, art, songs and crafts and how they could make friends and return to some level of normal childhood behavior after such a traumatic event. Some things started to solidify in my mind and I realized that it would need a theme, lovable characters, a story, and clear slogans that children could retain. It would also need to be structured in such a way that local volunteers could be rapidly trained to confidently meet the needs of the children. The design was taking shape, but I still had no idea what the characters or the story would look like.

In early 2008, Graham Fleming, an artist and film director friend, surprised me by coming into my office with a sketchpad full of concept drawings. I had almost forgotten the ideas I had shared with him months before. He had drawn whole pages of penguins and seals and an arctic (or antarctic) landscape and we hit upon the idea of creating a culturally-neutral story so that we could use the same material in any country where children had suffered trauma. The theme was coming into place, as well as some of the characters but I was still at a loss to know what the story would become.

On May 12th, 2008, a magnitude 8.0 quake devastated Sichuan, China and we went to support the general relief effort taking place. As I met children who had seen school buildings collapse, friends and family die, and were dealing with relocation and living in evacuation camps I knew that we had to follow through with the idea that had been germinating within me. I promised our local friends that we would be back in four weeks with a program for the children and flew back to Tokyo thinking feverishly how to write a story that would bring these children what they needed.

With four weeks and little more than a concept to work off of I found myself sitting in a Japanese hot-spring when inspiration struck. The ideal method for teaching children is to introduce one key idea per day over five days and then reinforce that idea through activities. As I sat in the scalding water I realized that trauma intervention for adults uses five steps, and we could adapt this to a child’s level introducing one step per day. On the first day our little penguin Pete would be separated from his family when his ice shelf falls into the sea (disaster) but he will soon find out “I am Not Alone”. On the second day, the theme is “Everyone is Important” and Pete would need to make friends and tell his story. The third day introduces the concept of hope and a wise old whale who teaches them children to “Follow and Believe”. The fourth day brings new challenges but they learn to be “Strong and Courageous” And finally on the fifth day, Pete and the children find out that “You are Loved”.

With no electricity and the need to present the story to large numbers of children we decided to use the traditional Japanese story-telling technique of “kamishibai”, a set of cards with a large picture on the front and the story written on the back. With 5 days and 10 illustrations per day we needed to write the script, draw the illustrations and create the final artwork for 50 panels in four weeks! On top of this task we also needed to design activities, games, crafts and songs and translate everything into Mandarin Chinese. With help from manga artists in Japan, songwriters in America, translators in China and many other volunteers we were back on the plane to Sichuan within a month to start OperationSAFE camps with quake survivors.

Pete returned the following year to continue camps with children in Sichuan, became “Pierre” in Haiti to help children after the 2010 earthquake there and was translated into Tibetan and used in camps on the plateau. Since the 2011 disaster in Japan, “Pi-chan” has helped hundreds of children recover from tsunami and nuclear trauma. “Petrus” is now going into detention centres in Indonesia to help refugee children and “Pedro” is responding to disasters in the Philippines, including Typhoon Haiyan. Where will he go next? Everywhere in the world where there are disasters, either natural or man-made, Pete and his friends are able to bring a fun and child-like approach to recovering from trauma.


Considered as the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in many years, Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) made six landfalls on 7th of November causing widespread devastation. CRASH Japan is partnering with the Philippine Christian Ministries Network, a commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, to hold OperationSAFE child trauma camps in the affected region. These camps will be held once basic needs of food, shelter, medicine and security are met and will help children to process the terrible events they have been through, meet new friends and move toward recovery. 


  • 13.2 Million People Affected
  • 9 Regions, 44 Provinces, 57 Cities, 574 Municipalities
  • 5.6 Million People Displaced
  • 4,011 Casualties, 18,557 Injuries, 1,602 Missing
  • 846,747 Damaged Homes


Just two days before Typhoon Haiyan struck, we held OperationSAFE child trauma camp training in Manila with the national network of children’s ministries. Over four days we taught them the five themes of children’s trauma recovery and the songs, games, crafts and stories that make it both fun and healing. We also instructed them in emotional and spiritual care for disaster survivors and for those who minister to them. It was a timely seminar and many of these workers are now responding to the immediate needs and preparing for OperationSAFE camps to come.

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A wise woman taught us these responses to disaster. 'You can GO, you can STAY, you can PRAY and you can PAY.' ... See MoreSee Less
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災害対応チャプレン養成コースに参加された皆様へ(日本語文章は下にあります)Dear Friends with a heart for Chaplaincy,It has been a long time since we studied Chaplaincy together. I took a short break from Chaplaincy work in 2017 for family concerns. Since 2020 I have been back at CRASH Japan, and working to find the training and support that we all need in order to continue to respond to disasters. If you are still interested in Disaster Response and Chaplaincy training, please read the rest of this email. It is an introduction to one of the prerequisite courses for Chaplaincy studies, available in Japan in Japanese for the first time. Please consider it. If you are interested in talking more about training needs and opportunities please reach out to me. I am looking for a few people to consult with about the current need.If you have moved on, I thank you for your work, and hope that you are well and finding blessings in your life and current ministry. With much love,Helen災害に対応するためには、危機にある人々をケアする必要があります。危機管理の関わりは、牧会カウンセリングや一般のカウンセリングとは異なります。そのため、 危機的状況にある人々に寄り添うことができるようになるためのトレーニングプログラムが必要となるのです。米国のICISF(International Critical Incident Stress Foundation)が提供する国際標準化された下記のコースは、世界共通のガイドラインを備えたトレーニングプログラムとなっており、日本ではクリスチャンだけでなく、一般の社会の職種(消防士・自衛官・看護士・警官など)にも通用する内容となっています。ICISFは基礎コースとして「Assisting Individuals in Crisis(危機における個人の支援)」と「GROUP Crisis Intervention(グループ危機管理)」の2つの講座を提供しています。アメリカではこの2つのコース終了後に、上級講座として「Emotional and Spiritual Care in Disasters;災害の心のケアについて」が用意されています。 DRCnet(災害救援キリスト者連絡会)は、この上級講座をCRASH Japanや救世軍と協力して数年にわたり研修会を提供してきました。その際にコースを受講された方々は、是非この機会に基礎コースに参加していただきたいと思っています。今回日本で初めてICISF の基礎講座を開講するNPO法人PSV Japan(http://psv-japan.org)は、すでに航空業界などの職場や災害現場で危機的状況にある人々を支援するためのトレーニングやサポートを実施してきました。講師は、ICISF公認のインストラクターが日本語のテキストを用いて行います。コースの内容・申込み方法については以下の通りです。ご案内が開催間近となり、スケジュール等の調整が難しいかと思いますが、ご検討のほど、よろしくお願いいたします。クラッシュ・ジャパン 心のケアコーディネーター 郭ヘレン(日本語代筆:アシスタント 原田華子) ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー【コースの内容について】個人の危機介入とピアサポート(危機にある個人の支援する) 危機介入は心理療法ではなく、むしろ専門的な訓練を必要とする急性緊急メンタルヘルス介入であり、外科手術に対する身体的応急処置のように、危機介入は心理療法なのです。このため、危機介入は「感情の応急処置」と呼ばれることもあります。危機介入は通常、個別(1対1)またはグループで行われています。このプログラムでは、個別介入の基礎と具体的な手順を参加者に教えることを目的としています。このクラスの対象者は、メンタルヘルスに関する正式な訓練を受けていない救急隊員、軍人、企業・牧会者・教育者・産業界のピアサポート担当者、および個別(1対1)の危機介入技術に関する知識を深めたいメンタルヘルス専門家も含まれます。プログラムの総時間(13時間) 心理的危機と心理的危機への介入 抵抗力、回復力、回復の連続性 惨事ストレスマネジメント 根拠に基づく実践 基本的な危機管理コミュニケーション技法 一般的な心理的・行動的危機反応 推定および経験的に導き出されたメカニズムSAFER-改定モデル 自殺への介入▼ コースの申し込みについての詳細はこちら ▼惨事ストレスマネ-ジメントAssisting Individuals in Crisisセミナーのご案内 | ストレスマネジメントプログラムpsv-japan.org/archives/554開催日時:2023年2月11日(土)10 :00〜17:00 / 2月18日(土)10:00〜15:00 2日間※ ZOOMオンラインを使用したプログラム  今回だけ特別価格17,000円 ... See MoreSee Less
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