Restore dreams and hopes to Ishinomaki: UNIQLO volunteers to help reconstruction.
UNIQLO CO., LTD, which was among the first to work on providing garments for people who had sought shelters without any belongings, has started a new project to boost recovery of the areas hit by the disaster and build a town full of vitality in the severely damaged city of Ishinomaki under the slogan: "Let's make Ishinomaki a town of dreams and hopes." On Tuesday, June 5th, the first group of forty UNIQLO employees gathered together at Ishinomaki from every region of the country as volunteers.
Upon arriving at Ishinomaki, the party of employees attended an orientation at a hotel in Shiogama, where they stayed. At first, a UNIQLO official made an opening address to them saying, "Now that we are going to spend three years finding out and working on what we can do for people in the affected area, please come up with a lot of ideas." Then a store manager of UNIQLO Hebita store told them what the current situation is like in Ishinomaki. After that the employees were divided into ten groups, of which seven were scheduled to find the difficulties teachers face and the problems students have in primary schools, junior high schools and high schools. The rest of them were to survey present conditions in local shopping areas, temporary shopping malls and rural areas like Hata, Tonami, among others.
【The orientation is now taking place.】
【Teams have organized.】
After groups had been organized, group members visited Nobiru district in the city of Higashimatsushima, the industrial port, Minamihama town, Sakana town, and the surrounding city of Ishinomaki. At the end of their first day, they mounted to Hiwayama park, where the base of operations for the affected area is located, to have a full view of the disaster.
【Hiwayama park has the command center of the entire affected area.】
On Wednesday, May 6th, all groups examined their assigned areas and reported their findings at a review meeting. They identified their findings into four categories: "Awareness", "Needs", "Readily actionable" and "Demanding" and put each of them on a small piece of paper then taped them to a large-sized paper.
【They are reviewing findings.】
【The paper full of Post-it notes on findings.】
Sharp observations by UNIQLO employees and large amounts of Post-it notes filled the paper with useful information. Through the information, the employees were able to find the problems and solve them carefully one by one.
JEN will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people in the areas by cooperating to develop a town with dreams and hopes through volunteer activities.
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