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Koganehama Festival in July 7; JEN help a community rebuild its community hall.

On July 7, a festival took place at the Koganehama Hall, a community hall in the western part of Watanoha dictrict. The Hall was inundated up to the ceiling and heavily damaged by the tsunami; its walls were swept away. Since many volunteers removed sludge and made emergency repair, it has been used for various purposes. JEN has been engaged in hall-based support for local community.

The raging tsunami inundated the Hall to the ceiling and swept away its walls.


【Having received an emergency repair, the Hall has been used for distributing relief supplies and all. 】

After an emergency repair, the Hall has been used as hub for different support groups to engage in assistance activities such as distributing relief supplies to victims living in the neighborhood, preparing hot meals and providing psychological support to victims.
JEN started full-fledged renovation last fall because of a request from the Koganehama Hall Administrative Operation Committee.

【Preparation for renovation】

【After the renovation】

The picture below shows people preparing the site for the festival. Unfortunately, it rained on that day but more than one hundred people gathered.

【People gathered at the Hall】

【Stalls opened in front of the Hall】

The man in the middle of this picture is Mr. Konno, a local carpenter who contracted to repair the Hall. He is a nice guy who removes debris on his own initiative as a citizen volunteer.

【A local women opened a stall to sell homemade curry rice. 】

【A karaoke singing competition was held in the evening.】

【They played a live Gospel show!】

Other programs were also included in the festival such as hula, string concert and so on. You could see smiling faces everywhere at the festival site. Needles to say, repairing the Hall neatly is necessary, but we think giving assistance to "people" who use it is much more needed. Some of the committee members were killed in the disaster and quite a few members still live a life of evacuee. That's why the operating body of the Hall, its self-governing ability, has been lost.

Therefore JEN is helping local community set up places for discussion or workshops among local residents on behalf of the Hall committee in the hope that our support will encourage the local community to reorganize the Hall committee. In subsequent reports, we are going to present how we help local community administrate the hall.

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July 19, 2012 in Tohoku earthquake |