Stories from Dr. Yukari, Story #21-2, Rachel’s Well

[ Stories from Dr. Yukari ]

Guided by the hope of St. Nichiren, we continue to work towards a peaceful society. Honolulu Myohoji Mission collaborates with Psychologist Dr. Yukari Kunisue, a trained and experienced therapeutic life coach, to offer a safe online space: Stories from Dr. Yukari



A Short film about Rachel’s Well


As soon as Rachel heard of this heart wrenching story, she declared to her mom that she did not need any birthday gifts. Rachel also learned that she could participate in a charity project with as little as $10 through a NPO called Charity Water. Her $10 contribution could help one child by providing them with fresh water. The organization donates money to dig a well for people with no fresh water resources. 


“I am going to collect money so that Ethiopian girls can get fresh and clean water. I don’t want any presents. I want money to donate.”


She called out to her neighbors and relatives and asked them to donate $9 each since this was her Ninth birthday. She set an initial goal of collecting $300 in order to help 15 children. She only collected $220 in lieu of her birthday gifts, but her mom encouraged her to continue the following year. 


The day when the collected money was sent to the organization, Rachel got into a horrific traffic accident on the highway. A huge truck hit the car she was in and ultimately lost her life. Her story, however, was picked up by the media and eventually became viral resulting in 3,800 donors giving over $1.2 Million. There were even people living in Ethiopia who donated $9 each. 


A year after Rachel passed away, her mom and grandparents visited a village in Ethiopia where Rachel’s donation money was used to build a brand new well. The well was named Rachel’s Well.


Both Rachel and the 13-year-old Ethiopian girl both had their lives cut short. As a result, I feel that these girls have taught us all a precious lesson. This tragedy has taught us to reflect on what it means to be compassionate and be giving to others. If heaven exists, I believe the two girls would have met there. I imagine they are watching over us to see if we will continue their important work to care for others. 


In front of Rachel’s Well, these words are engraved:

          Rachel’s great dream, kindness 

          and vision of a better world 

          will live with and among us forever