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2011年7月30日 (土)

震災遺児2千人―私たち皆で支えてゆく

2011/07/30
--The Asahi Shimbun, July 29
EDITORIAL: Support needed for children who lost parents in disaster
震災遺児2千人―私たち皆で支えてゆく

The number of children who lost at least one parent in the Great East Japan Earthquake is estimated at more than 2,000. Of them, slightly more than 200 are orphans who lost both parents.
 大震災で父親、母親のいずれかを亡くした子ども(遺児)の数は、推計で2千人以上。このうち両親ともに失った孤児は200人余りいる。

We must not allow the disaster to deprive these children of their future possibilities.
 この子らが、未来の可能性まで奪われてはなるまい。

Iwate and Miyagi prefectures are preparing to establish a system to provide bereaved children with monthly payments for schooling through donations.
 岩手、宮城両県は寄付金をもとに、孤児や遺児向けに学業資金を毎月給付する制度を準備中だ。

There are also various moves in the private sector to support the children.
民間でも様々な支援の動きがある。

We hope the generosity for their education and development will continue over a long period.
手厚く、息長く、学びや育ちを応援し続けたい。

The mental support for children is just as important as financial aid.
 経済援助と同じくらいに大事なのが、子どもたちの心をサポートすることだ。

Families around them are beginning to return to their lives as they were before the disaster.
 周囲には、少しずつでも元の暮らしを取り戻す家庭がある。

Watching them, children who lost their parents may feel they are being left behind.
遺児たちは、取り残された気持ちでいるかもしれない。

Hundreds of children have been unable to properly say goodbye to their parents because the bodies are still missing.
 遺体が見つからず、親ときちんとお別れができていない子どもが、数百人はいる。

How should adults approach them? This is a difficult problem.
"It's time you stop crying." "You are the one who should support your mother." Such words could cause children to bottle up their emotions.
 大人はどんな声をかけてよいか、戸惑う。「いつまでも泣いてちゃだめ」「あなたがお母さんを支えなきゃ」といった言葉に、子どもはますます不安を閉じこめてしまう。

We should tell them it's all right to cry as much as they want, that we are always here for them and will accept them as they are.
 泣きたいだけ泣いていい、とありのまま受け入れる。いつだってそばにいるよ、と伝える。

Such psychological care is needed.
そんな心のケアが必要だ。

Sendai Griefcare Association, which has supported families whose loved ones committed suicide, started a program to train mainly students to care for children who lost their parents in the March 11 disaster.
 自死遺族支援などに取り組んできた「仙台グリーフケア研究会」は、学生を中心に、震災遺児のケアにあたるスタッフの養成講座を始めた。

Ashinaga, a private nonprofit organization that supports children who lost their parents due to suicides or other reasons, is advancing plans to build a facility in the Tohoku region where children who have the same experience can stay.
「あしなが育英会」は、同じ体験を持つ子の居場所になるような施設を東北につくる計画を進める。

Such private organizations and the administration should cooperate and establish teams to support bereaved children, for example, in municipalities in the stricken areas.
 こうした民間団体と行政が連携し、たとえば被災地の市町村ごとに、遺児をサポートするチームを置いてはどうか。

Young volunteers can act as big brothers and sisters to watch over the children on a daily basis.
 若いボランティアが兄、姉になり、子どもの日常を見守る。

They can refer difficult cases to school counselors and child consultation centers.
難しいときはスクールカウンセラーや児童相談所につなぐ。

They should also provide counseling to guardians and help children with schoolwork.
保護者の相談にものる。学習支援を提供する。そんな仕組みだ。

When we look at society, the circumstances surrounding orphans and children with single parents are harsher than ever.
 社会を見渡すと、親のいない子、一人親の子を取り巻く条件は、かつてなく厳しい。

Educational expenses weigh heavily on household budgets.
 教育にかかる家計への負担は重い。

Some children whose family situation is disadvantageous cannot study even if they want to, which could lead to a gap in income when they grow up.
不利な家庭条件にある子が学びたくても学べず、大人になってからの所得格差につながる。

"Child poverty" has become a major problem in recent years.
「子どもの貧困」は近年、大きな問題になってきた。

In the old days, community ties complemented child care, but such ties have also weakened.
地域の絆が子育てを補う力も、衰えている。

This is all the more reason we need to take a step forward and create a system to support children who lost their parents in disasters.
 だからこそ、従来から一歩進め、災害遺児の支援制度を整えるべきではないか。

Such a system could also serve as a model for communities to support child care for poor homes.
それは、広く困窮家庭の子育てを、地域で支えるモデルにもなる。

We should provide a stepping board for these children so that they can all stand at the same starting line.
 子どもたち誰もが同じスタートラインに立てるよう、踏み台を用意し、背中に手を添える。

After all, Japan's future is in their hands.
 彼らがこの国の将来を、担うのだから。

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