Message from Chairperson
On February 1, 2010, Solaputi Kids' Camp was formally recognized as Public Interest Incorporated Association Solaputi Kids' Camp by the Governor of Hokkaido. As we work to build trust and support while improving our activities, we ask for your continued kind support and guidance.
Message from the Chairman
We set up a Preparatory Committee for Developing Solaputi Kids' Camp as a voluntary organization in March 2004, thanks to the joined forces of many people interested in making a dream camp for children with illnesses. We registered the organization as General Incorporated Association Solaputi Kids' Camp on December 25, 2008 and then, after receiving approval from the Hokkaido government, made a new start as the Public Interest Incorporated Association Solaputi Kids' Camp on February 1, 2010.
The roots of Solaputi Kids' Camp lie in the near simultaneous efforts of two groups working in Japan to start building this kind of camp.
One group consisted of doctors. When the chairman of the preparatory committee of Solaputi Kid's Camp, the late Dr. Seishichi Yokoyama (Professor, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Tokai University) attended a camp for pediatric patients with serious illnesses in the US in 1999, he was struck by the sight of the children experiencing life to the fullest, and resolved to make a similar camp in Japan. Later, he took part in the "Smart Moon Stone Camp" conducted by myself and fellow pediatric oncology specialists. The camp is for kids who have been diagnosed with cancer, and has been held at existing facilities around Japan every year since 1998. Subsequently, at the 19th Conference of the Japanese Society of Pediatric Oncology in 2003, Dr. Yokoyama - the chairman of the conference - brought up the theme of raising QOL for children with cancer through a camp and related activities, and sent out a message about the importance of such an initiative throughout Japan.
The other group consisted of parks and recreation professionals. Taking a step past the idea of barrier-free parks, Mamoru Matsumoto (former Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) and Fusayo Asano (Professor of Horticultural Therapy, Tokyo University of Agriculture), wondered if they could build a park that would bring happiness to children fighting illnesses. After visiting the camp for pediatric patients with serious illnesses in the US, the pair began working to realize such a park in cooperation with the nature-rich city of Takikawa in Hokkaido and other partners.
When these two like-minded groups came together, the first step was taken towards a permanent camp site specifically for sick children, the first of its kind in Japan. In the future, we aim to improve our system of medical support so that we can provide forms of care available at children's hospices in Europe, namely, ‘respite care’ (support for families of children receiving care at home by providing temporary care service to such children at a facility) and ‘grief care’ (support for families that have lost a child), among others.
Now that we have obtained the legal status that we dearly hoped for, we will now be looking to build trust and support and improve our activities. To this end, I would like to ask those of you who have just read this short message for your continued belief in, and support for, the Solaputi Kids' Camp.