The Cornerstone Christian College Red Cross Cadets are currently participating in a campaign which is aiming to direct attention to the plight of those affected by nuclear weapons.
The Australian Red Cross always works to limit suffering during war. Nuclear weapons cause extreme and unacceptable suffering. This year, Australian Red Cross launched a campaign to raise awareness of the devastating consequences of nuclear weapons and the need to ban their use.
The aim of the campaign is for schools and community groups to help the Red Cross collect 1000 paper cranes in the ‘Target: 1,000 Cranes Photo Competition’. The program is inspired by the famous true story of Sadako Sasaki, a brave 12-year-old girl who became ill with leukemia as an after-effect of the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.
While in the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital, Sadako recalled a Japanese legend that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will be granted a wish. Sadako folded 644 cranes before passing away at age 12. Sadako’s school friends folded the remaining 356 paper cranes and buried all 1,000 paper cranes with her. Whilst the Cornerstone students don’t believe that the legend holds truth, the campaign is a worthy one.
The Australian Red Cross has a goal to collect 1,000 cranes in support of a ban on the use of nuclear weapons so that stories such as Sadako’s need not be told.
To enter the students need to fold paper cranes and email the Red Cross a photo of their handiwork for their chance to win a Nikon Digital SLR camera or an iPod shuffle. There are also educational packs available for the first 20 schools and community groups to also mail in 50 or more actual paper cranes. So far, the Year 11 students have folded 150 in bright red paper, which makes a striking image.
Year 11 form teacher, and co-ordinator of the College’s Red Cross Cadet program, Mr Greg Spencer, said that the campaign holds merit, as well as highlighting the work that the Red Cross are doing globally. ‘The students are amazing with the speed in which they can produce these folded cranes – with some of them being incredibly tiny and requiring a steady hand to achieve’. He plans to send off the current batch of cranes, but students are determined to fold 1000 cranes alone. Quite a feat.
A final total will be advised at the completion of the project.