Six months after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeastern coast of Japan, American band Linkin Park visited children affected by the disaster in Ishinomaki, a city ravaged by the disaster.
After the disaster, Linkin Park launched a fundraising campaign through their non-profit organization, Music for Relief, with all proceeds going to Save the Children's relief and recovery efforts in Japan.
Linkin Park visited Taizen Elementary School, where band members met students and school officials. At the school, band members Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and Dave Farrell tried on disaster-preparedness hoods that Save the Children supplied to the school to protect children from falling debris and possible fires during future earthquakes.
Band members also visited a childcare center and Ishinomaki Kita High School, where they were greeted by a group of excited fans. The band toured the campus and joined a music class. In a workshop led by Save the Children partner, Drum Café, teens and band members were given drums and challenged to follow the rhythms of the Drum Café percussionists.
“It was incredible to see firsthand the happiness in the students’ faces, despite the hardships they have endured for the past six months,” said Mr. Shinoda. “It was an honor to represent Music for Relief and our supporters worldwide on this visit, bringing their good wishes to the young people still recovering.”
Six months after the earthquake, although children’s immediate needs have been met, the longer-term recovery is a process that will take years, says Save the Children.
“Linkin Park’s visit has been so important to us in highlighting the longer-term needs of children in recovering from this disaster,” said Save the Children Japan CEO Hironobu Shibuya. “The visit also helps our donors see the impact our response to date.”
Music for Relief was created by Linkin Park in 2005 to provide aid for those affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami. It has since raised more than $4 million toward humanitarian relief efforts.