1000 Cranes for Hope: A story of hope, folds and union

Origami Society is a small group of students that likes to meet every Tuesday evening to talk about their day, use their creativity to fold origami designs and de-stress. You haven’t heard about us? Well get your phone out, find us on Facebook and follow us @uoeorigami, I know, I couldn’t resist. We are that one small society that strives for better student experience, loves being active and takes part into lots of events. It’s safe to say we rarely miss an opportunity even in deadline season, all the execs pull it off together and we deliver 😊. Did you know we were the most active society on campus last year? 😊 Told you we might surprise you.

It all started with…

It all started with the new year, new me trend back in early January and that’s how this amazing story of folds, fundraising and hope started. Hope is a walking dream, as Aristotle said. One symbol of hope and peace is a young Japanese girl who died after being exposed to the radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Her name was Sadako Sasaki and she was diagnosed with leukemia, age 12. She never gave up by starting to make 1000 cranes believing in the legend saying that after 1000 cranes have been folded, a wish will be granted. Unfortunately, Sadako has died before being able to finish.

We never gave up!

We decided not to give up either and this is how 1000 Cranes for Hope Fundraiser started. We chose Cancer Research UK as the charity to donate the money towards, a cause so close to our heart. Then we wanted our story to impact as many students as we can and we have invited many societies to be part of our story and show how strong and amazing the societies bond can be here at Essex. We were joined by 9 wonderful societies.

Four brilliant societies – Anime and Manga Society, Italian Society, Japanese International Society and Human Rights Society – have taken a keen and active role in teaching how to fold a crane on the day ensuring that everyone is having fun while focused on the task. We shared our skills and showed them how to teach designs, communicate with event participants as well as the importance of team work.

We were joined by 5 enthusiastic participant societies that jumped to the call for being part of Sadako’s story: RPG Society, Romanian Society, Humanists Society, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Society and Writing Society. We have been so happy to be joined by such a variety of society members eager to try something new or donate even a few pennies.

The best part of the event, was seeing the diversity of people attending, from societies, undergrad and postgrad students, staff, student parents to alumni’s and so many more.

We did it!

After 6 hours on the dot together with over 50 people attending throughout the day, we have created an amazing 1065 cranes and fundraised 150pounds for Cancer Research. We had so much fun and enjoyed every minute of it! The committee has gone through such a roller-coaster of emotions in the days leading up to the event. Looking back we all think about the experience with a big smile on our faces. It’s been stressful pulling out such a big event with little experience but the eagerness to learn! It’s been lots of laughter, and lots of serious talks! Lot’s of chasing and lots of sharing (most of our posts on Facebook have seen by over 2k students at Essex 😊) but it has all been worth it! Here are what two of our volunteers said about their involvement in the event:

Japanese Society Member, Hai Feng said: “Folding the cranes was very meditative. Once I got into a groove, it really helped me to de-stress. Talking about cancer and other medical conditions with the people at the event further convinced me to appreciate the life I have. Helping people in need is essential to being happy.”

Anime and Manga Society President, Cameron said: “The 1000 Cranes for Hope event was excellent – getting involved with it was not only great for my society but it was also great for me, who had not really taken part in a large, collaborative charity event like this before. Not only did I get to participate in a fun, interesting event for a worthy cause but now I have a permanent origami party trick!”


If our story of how we brought 10 societies together for an event, does not make you want to have another look at that long list of societies and try something new, then why don’t you join us on one of our weekly sessions each Tuesday 6 – 8 PM in room 3.105 and we would love to have a chat with you. We will be having lots of sessions in the summer term focusing on destressing, having fun and relaxing, so why not come and meet us, buy our 3 pound membership (cheaper than a cheeky pint) if you like us, and learn something new!

You never know, you might get that great society experience that you hear people talking about!


Your 2017/18 Kick Ass Society of the Year

Origami Society

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