To encourage local residents in their long and steady journey toward recovery, activities in our third year expanded beyond supporting everyday life to also include helping out at festivals, as well as activities to support tourism. We also held crafts classes for children, who have almost nowhere to play. Activities have shifted to a greater focus on interaction.
|Period||8 times between July and November 2013|
|Region||Kesen District, Iwate Prefecture (Ofunato City, Rikuzentakata City, Sumita Town)|
|Activities||helping at festivals, holding crafts classes for children, repairing fishing nets, maintenance in temporary housing areas, sorting debris, cutting grass, and more|
|Collaborators||Ofunato City, Ofunato Seinen Kaigisho, Sumita Town, Sumita Tourist Association, Non-profit Organizations NPO Aichi Net, the P@CT non-profit organization, Yu Support, Fuji Dream Airlines, and others|
When I was cutting grass that had been left untouched since the earthquake, I found bottle fragments, rusted batteries, and pairs of glasses. Even as I hoped that the owners of these things were safe, I keenly felt how much was still left to do.
I was really happy to hear primary school students ask me not to leave, or to come back again someday.
About helping to fry 2,000 saury over 5 hours during the Ofunato Saury Festival: It was the first time I fried saury, but with the local residents teaching me all the details, I was able to do my part as I interacted with them.
I only realized how little progress has been made toward recovery after I arrived, and I urgently felt the need to keep these activities going. I want to convey the differences in the damage suffered by the cities of Rikuzentakata, Ofunato and the town of Sumita, the things I never would have known if I had not come, as well as the lessons I have learned.
About participating in the Sumita Industry Festival: With so many people still living in temporary housing, the thought that I had made even a minor contribution to making everyone smile made me feel glad, from the bottom of my heart, to have participated.