A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl and a group of friends raised more than a £1,000 for the victims of the Japanese earthquake disaster with a charity swimathon on Sunday.
Alina Kiewell, of St Thomas' School, in Fulham, was set to visit Japan with her family in Easter and watched the news in horror as a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the country on March 11.
It was a followed by a giant tsunami and both tragedies have claimed an estimated 18,000 lives and a triggered a potential nuclear fallout at their Fukishima Power Plant.
The youngster was so touched by the disaster that she immediately began organising a fundraising swimation at Fulham Pools, in Lillie Road.
On Sunday (20/3) she was joined by 33 friends for a challenge with each participant to swim for 15 minutes to complete a 12-hour swimathon.
In the end, the group swan for a total of 17-and-a-half hours and have raised £1,345 for the global Save the Children appeal.
Alina said: "My friends and I were swimming in aid of the 100,000 children which have been separated from their parents during the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
"Save the Children, my chosen charity, will be setting up kids centres to care for those children until they are reunited with their families or new families.
"I think it will be nice for them to have a place to come to while their schools and homes are being re-built."
Her mother Antje said: "The swimmers were fabulous and several kids from the pool joined us spontaneously to take part."
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