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Volunteer Work Turns into a New Style: “Let’s go to the sea!”

Following the 3/11 disaster, many people from across the country, including personnel and volunteers, have visited seaside communities in the Oshika peninsula to help with disaster-relief work. Locals in the communities have had aspiration: “We’d like to say a big thankyou to those people who helped us and stay connected with as many people as possible.” That led JEN to launch a new program in the end of 2012 named “Let’s go to the sea!”, a series of tour events. The program is aimed at encouraging the locals to “rebuild their communities for the future” by providing them an exchange environment with people from outside. The committee composed of the locals are hosting the program, JEN helping them organize it.
The program provides you an opportunity where you can not only enjoy the Oshika peninsula’s attraction to fullest, including fishing, the cycle of the seasons, but have a nice long talk about community recovery.

【The participants posed together for a group photo after experiencing fisheries.】

This time we will introduce to you the people who joined in the eights “Let’s go to the sea!” held in July. They came from Tokyo, Chiba, as well as from as far afield as Kobe and Hokkaido. During the wo-day trip they had an opportunity to interact with locals in the Oshika peninsula, the interaction developing into spontaneous exchanges among themselves. Listening to the locals talk about their actual experiences during the disaster, seeing the locals coping positively with recovery, they were able to learn realities on the ground that media outlets don’t report. Finally, the participants and the locals were seen to pledge a reunion at the next “Let’s go to the sea!”

The Participants were heard to say:

・“I’ve been wondering whether to volunteer in the quake-hit areas in Tohoku; I decided to participate in the program, ‘Let’s go to the sea!’, because it’s an experienced-based program and so I thought I might be able to enjoy myself by joining it.”
・”I was able to hear the situation in Tohoku on the ground after the disaster; I’ve read it in the media but found that the actual experience was totally different.”
・”This event’s biggest appeal is that you can interact with the locals; they are genuinely kindhearted, warm and so I came to like Oshika very much.”
・”Unique to this program is that you can volunteer to participate in festivals; and also impressive thing about this program is that they work together to organize the festival, displaying smile.”
All told, it seems that they became aware of and learned many things during the program.

【They had an experience of carrying mikoshi.】

【A commemorative photo after exchange party.】

Next program is held at a remote island, Ajishima, on July 12-13. Come to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the island and gorgeous blue sea.
Participate in “Let’s go to the sea!”, a new style of recovery assistance that replaces volunteer work, and experience what the Oshika peninsula of today is like three years after the disaster.

【They experienced hauling fixed nets.】

Future Plans:

The eleventh event;
- Saturday August 9 and following Sunday
- Beach and site cleanup, fishing experience and sea bathing

○The twelfth event;
- Tuesday September 9
- Experience in carrying mikoshi and joining naorai (feast) in traditional festival at Oginohama

====For donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.
○Credit card: http://bit.ly/c7R8iA
Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact Tomita or Asakawa in JEN Tokyo Office at 03-5225-9352

【Click here to know more about JEN 20th Anniversary innitiative】

July 10, 2014 in Tohoku earthquake |