It may not be much (5,000 yen or around $50), but a 6-year-old Japanese boy’s small contribution to the relief efforts in the Philippines for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan has restored a lot of people’s faith in humanity. Shoichi Kondoh donated all of his life savings after he saw the situation on TV, according to the Philippine embassy in Japan, becoming one of the youngest donors on record.
The story carried by the embassy website says that Sochi, together with his mother Miho, personally went to the embassy to personally hand over all the contents of his piggy bank savings to Second Secretary and Consul Bryan Dexter Lao. They said that the young boy “did not think twice about giving away his childhood savings”. In behalf of the Philippines, Lao expressed his joy over such a “sincere gesture of kindness and sympathy” from the 6-year-old, who they say is the youngest cash donor who went to the embassy. Sochi also signed a condolence book for the Southeast Asian country in the embassy’s library, to express his solidarity with the Filipinos.
For its part, Japan has pledged $10M in aid for the victims, as well as preparing around 1,000 Self Defense Force troops to be deployed if the Philippine government will need additional manpower to help in medical and transport operations. The government has already deployed a medical rescue team and 50 SDF personnel in the early days of the relief efforts. New Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has also given $10,000 (1 million yen) additional aid, while Japanese company Marubeni Corp has donated $15,000 (15 million yen) for both Haiyan victims and also for those affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month.