University Relations and Communications

MSU Billings Japanese students raise money for recovery at home

March 22, 2011



International Studies, 657-1705
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — While daunting recovery efforts continue in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Japanese students who attend Montana State University Billings are doing their part to help those at home.


Japanese students at MSUB getting ready to accept donations for recovery efforts in Japan

Wakana Iwata, Miyo Takayabu, Kazuyoshi Tagami, Kavindu Gamage and Mio Kibata, who are spending this academic year at MSU Billings in a variety of programs, have been using all available waking hours in the past 10 days constructing donation boxes for their own earthquake and tsunami relief fund.


The 15 boxes, deployed at different offices and locations across the university, have been decorated with small origami figures and other art. They will be out until April 11 and all the donations will be sent the Red Cross for distribution for recovery and relief.


The brainchild of Takayabu, a 21-year-old English education major, the donation box effort is a way for them to help when they are half-a-world away. Thousands were killed and injured in the 9.0 quake and tsunami and the World Bank has put the recovery cost at more than $200 billion.


For MSU Billings students, however, they knew they wanted to do something, even in a small way.


“We got together on Sunday after the earthquake and got started,” she said.


Kibata, a 26-year-old who is getting her master’s degree in the MSU Billing athletic training program, has family members in the Tokyo area and the days after the quake have been emotional and trying.


“I tried calling them, but I couldn’t get through,” she said. “So I had to text them. They are all OK as far as I know.”


The Japanese students continue to work on their project and will be doing original artwork and origami to sell at the March 31 International Food Fair on the MSU Billings main campus.


For more information or to contribute, contact 657-1705.


PHOTO ABOVE: Japanese students at MSU Billings have rallied their friends and colleagues to help raise funds for victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The students have constructed and decorated 15 contribution boxes and have put them out throughout the university. Students involved in the project are, from left to right, Wakana Iwata, an English major; Kavindu Gamage, Health and Human Performance major; Kazuyoshi Tagami, a general education student; Mio Kibata, a graduate student in the athletic training program; and Miyo Takayabu, an English education major. Collections for the fund will be taken by the students through April 11.