Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund donates five buses to schools in disaster-hit areas
News On Japan via cocacola.co.jp -- Oct 19
The Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund held a ceremony in front of the Iwate Prefectural Office on October 16 to commemorate bus donations to three prefectural vocational high schools (Taneichi High School, Kuji Higashi High School, and Ofunato Higashi High School) and two special support schools (the Miyako School for Children with Disabilities and the Kesen Koryo School for Special Needs Education) in coastal areas that were stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The fund donated the buses in response to a request from the prefectural government to assist young people who will eventually help the local fisheries industry recover from the tremendous damage suffered in the quake.
The buses for the high schools are mid-sized models that can carry around 45 passengers between school and coastal training sites. The buses for the special support schools incorporate wheelchair lifts and can carry 53 people. The fund supplied the buses at a total cost of around ¥100 million.
The shared objectives of the fund and the prefectural government with this initiative are to encourage students to undertake activities and to help revitalize the community. The two parties thus arranged a bus design contest for current high school students. The contest theme was "recovery." The fund chose the best designs from students at three high schools for wrapping around donated buses.
The bus donation ceremony began with opening remarks from Kunihisa Yamura, director of the Iwate chapter of the Coca-Cola Educational & Environmental Foundation and president of Michinoku Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd. Mr. Yamura said that, "it is a great honor to present five buses based upon the advice of the Iwate prefectural government, and we hope that everyone is pleased with these vehicles. We wish to continue contributing as much as possible to the community through the soft drinks business.
Mr. Yamura presented five buses to Hiroki Kanno, director of the Iwate Board of Education. Mr. Kanno then gave a letter of appreciation from the Governor of Iwate Prefecture to Mr. Yamura and expressed his own thanks to Mr. Yamura.
Keiichi Matsutaka, executive managing director of the Coca-Cola Educational & Environmental Foundation, presented the bus design awards of each school and showed video messages of appreciation from the winners. He also handed out commemorative gifts to prize winners. Kazuo Takahashi, head of the Iwate Prefectural High Schools Principals Association, expressed appreciation on behalf of these winners for the buses and added that he hoped that the vehicles would embody hopes for a recovery.
The Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund will continue supporting quake-affected areas in Japan by helping to construct educational and public facilities for local children and otherwise foster their learning.
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