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04/03/2014

Now That Community House Restored, Community Now Stands by itself

On March 23, a concert was held to celebrate the completion of restoration work on Koganehama Community House. Singer Yuki Katsuragi sang live, 130 locals turning up. Singer Okunn, a member of gospel group RAG FAIR, also made a surprise appearance, together with locals congratulating the community on having started its first step toward recovery.
【Celebrating the completion of restoration work on Community House, many people assembled.】
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Situated at Watanoha district, the northern part of Ishinomaki city, Koganehama Community House which used to be a regional necessity of providing a place for meeting, voting and summer festival was heavily damaged by the Tohoku earthquake. JEN, as part of its community support program, had been assisting the locals in restoring their community house along with many volunteers and support groups since July 2011.
JEN helped the locals set up a workshop for establishing an operation system on how to keep a new community house, while helping restore its interior and restroom in March, 2012. For JEN’s community support in 2012, click here.
Five officials chosen from five administrative regions are now in charge of the community house’s management. They successfully worked on the local authorities to fund additional repairs this go-round on a car park, wall coating and gutters. They also played a central role in planning and organizing the concert to celebrate the completion of restoration work, JEN’s staff members accepting their invitation to be their guests for the concert.
One of the officials, Mr. Takahiro Nagai, talked about his thoughts on need for independence saying “We couldn’t have come this far without support from many people; we will work toward developing our independence in the days ahead.”
Completing the repair work to Watanoha Elementary School within Koganehama’s school district, Koganehama area will have children commute to it from April. The area now can see a sign of bustle of the movement for its inhabitants to rebuild homes. Still the area’s population remain only about half of pre-quake level and many of its former inhabitants are ambivalent about whether to return to Watanoha. So JEN is committed to continuing necessary support while maintaining a dialogue with communities.
【Clean-repaired Koganehama Community House by locals】
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April 3, 2014 in Tohoku Earthquake |