Monday, August 6, 2007

She Stands At Every Door

(910 words)

By Kathy Kelly
Amman, Jordan
At a small, informal school in the basement of a church in Amman, many strings of colorful paper cranes bedeck walls and windows. The school serves children whose families have fled Iraq. Older children who come to the school understand the significance of the crane birds. Claudia Lefko, of Northampton, MA, who helped initiate the school, told them Sadako’s story.

The Japanese child survived the bombing of Hiroshima, but suffered from radiation sickness. In a Japanese hospital, she wanted to fold 1,000 origami crane birds, believing that by doing so she could be granted a special wish: hers was that no other child would ever suffer as she did. Sadako died before completing the task she’d set for herself, but Japanese children then folded many thousands more cranes, and the story has been told for decades in innumerable places, making the delicate paper cranes a symbol for peace throughout the world. Today, August 6, children who’ve recently joined the informal school in Ammam will learn Sadako’s story.
Having survived war, death threats, and displacement, they may be particularly aware of the enormous challenge represented by Sadako’s wish. ###
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Kathy Kelly ( is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence

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