Four years ago, a wall of water the height of a 12-storey building hit north-east Japan. It wiped out villages, took thousands of lives and destroyed countless homes.
People and nations across the world stepped in to help. World Vision's generous supporters enabled us to assist almost 300,000 people whose lives were shattered.
Images of the aftermath are unforgettable: ships resting on fields of debris kilometres from the shore; whole towns turned to flat, grey splinters of waste where once there were schools, hospitals and homes. Even for a highly-developed, organised nation such as Japan, the 11 March earthquake and tsunami was a disaster of unimaginable scale.
Helping fishermen to rebuild their livelihoods was just one of the programs run to help families regain their independence and strengthen communities.
World Vision worked with local organisations and the Japanese government to improve the lives of tsunami survivors. Spaces for children to play and study safely were set up in the early days of the emergency, and longer-term programs such as educational scholarships are continuing the support.
Children and their families in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures have been helped to be self-sufficient again through a variety of relief and reconstruction programs. Children in Minamisanriku also played an integral part in the redesign of their town, as part of a child participation project run by World Vision.
Stocking evacuation centres with relief supplies and installing solar panels and water wells was part of a disaster preparedness project to protect children during future emergencies.