American expat reaches out to former home in Japan with fund-raiser in Central

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 March, 2011, 12:00am

It's been almost three weeks since the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, but victims are still suffering from the aftermath. A group of good-hearted local residents is holding a fund-raiser at Central's Tazmania Ballroom tonight in aid of the charity Save the Children.

'Children have a lot of needs right now, especially for psychological help,' said Alicia Weiser (pictured on left), head of events for the charity Hong Kong Helps, who has organised the event with about 20 other volunteers.

Weiser, an American who moved to Hong Kong in December after living in Tokyo for two years, was earlier involved in Tokyo Helps, a Japan-based charity founded last year in response to the Haitian earthquake. Tokyo Helps founder Samar Shaheryar is also in town to help with the Hong Kong branch's first event.

Weiser recalled the moment she heard the news of the quake. She was back in the US to attend a wedding.

'It was devastating. The minute I heard the news, I started calling all my friends in Japan, but e-mails worked better,' she said. 'My friends who have come to visit from Japan said the situation was getting better, but it's still quite an eerie place back there.'

The fund-raiser starts at 7pm. Entry fees, proceeds from raffle-ticket sales and auction takings will go to Save the Children's Japan Relief Fund.