On Friday, January 13, a massive sculpture was unveiled in Japan’s Sendai Train Station created from 100,000 paper cranes folded by children worldwide after the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami—a sampling of the over 2 million cranes mailed in during the Paper Cranes for Japan campaign.

The sculpture is the centerpiece of a three-day public event called “Gift by Gift for a Better World,” featuring interactive workshops with several area schools.

This is the latest chapter for DoSomething.org and Students Rebuild’s Paper Cranes for Japan campaign, a worldwide movement that has mobilized thousands of young people in more than 38 countries and all 50 U.S. states, and raised $500,000 (38 million yen) in matching funds for rebuilding projects in the Tohoku region.

Sculptures in Sendai Train Station

Last fall, acclaimed artist Vik Muniz donated his time and ingenuity to the effort through the creation of a massive visual piece using thousands of the cranes, which was chronicled in a 4-minute film and featured in the New York Times Magazine.

“Gift by Gift for a Better World” is a three-day public event Jan. 13 – 15, which takes place at Sendai Train Station in S-Pal Square.

The centerpiece of the event is the public unveiling of a magnificent Paper Crane Sculpture, designed by the students at the Tohoku University of Art & Design. Utilizing 100,000 paper cranes, the sculpture will be representative of the outpouring of support from young children around the world, who folded over 2 million cranes that generated $500,000 in matching funds.

Paper Cranes for Japan

The funding supports Architecture for Humanity’s efforts to rebuild youth and community centers in the Tohoku region, in partnership with Japanese architects and builders.

“Architecture for Humanity’s approach to reconstruction and recovery isn’t just about building schools or community centers, but also about inspiring a renewed sense of community and belonging,” says Hiromi Tabei, Program Coordinator for Architecture for Humanity’s Tohoku Rebuilding Program.

Paper Cranes for Japan

“By bringing young people together for this participatory workshop, we hope to celebrate the importance of children carrying forward the spirit of optimism imbued in the Paper Cranes for Japan challenge.”

After the installation is presented at Sendai Station, young people and their families will gather to make gift boxes filled with paper cranes for their peers throughout Japan as a symbol of hope and healing.

More info: studentsrebuild.org/japan

Source: Architecture for Humanity