« Nowruz Celebration in the Former Central Kurram District | Main | Mrs. Pameena’s Story: A women who spends a majority of her time collecting water »


'Children`s Diner— Friend Café 2018' in Miyako-shi, Iwate Prefecture

   We hosted the “Children`s Diner—Friend Café 2018” on March 23rd at the Miyako-shi Tsugaruishi Community Center. Over 20 individuals from the area, including local welfare officers, members of aid organizations, “Shiokaze Dining” support members, and people thinking about supporting “Shiokaze Dining” came together to participate in this event.

   In the first half, 2 things were accomplished:

  1. Introduction of activities done by “Kokokamu Diner”, a Children`s Diner hosted in Yahaba-cho, Morioka-shi
  2. Report of activities done by “WakuWaku Happy Children`s Dining”, a Children`s Diner hosted in the Tsugaruishi District.

We were able to learn a lot from both of the events, and during the Q&A session, many questions were asked by the participants.


Inside the venue


     In the second half of the event, we hosted a Children`s Diner Project Planning Workshop.

     The participants were divided up in to groups of 5 to 6 individuals, and were instructed to make project plans by placing sticky notes of important things to remember regarding venue location and participant demographics on “The Children`s Diner`s Tree”, drawn on a large piece of art paper. Many of the participants shared great ideas about Children`s Diners. “I want to cherish interactions between age groups, such as children interacting with the elderly” and “We should host Children`s Diners at various locations, such as at a park for Hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) so kids who live far away from the usual locations can participate!” are just some of the ideas shared by the participants.



During the workshop 1


       Afterwards, we had the participants share their project plans and ideas with the other groups. Everyone seemed to be very enthusiastic about asking questions and sharing opinions and ideas with their own groups, as well as the other groups.



During the workshop 2


      We hope that with the efforts of the individuals who participated in this event, many “Shiokaze Dining” events can be hosted in various areas of Tohoku, starting with Tsugaruishi, and can provide a place for children in the area to come together, and also serve as a support base for struggling individuals.


~What is Children`s Diner, “Shiokaze Kitchen” and “Shiokaze Dining”? ~

       In a nation where 1 in 7 children are impoverished, poverty levels in single-mother households exceed 50%.

“Shiokaze Kitchen” serves as a monthly place where the parents and children from those households, along with the staff members of the Miyako-shi Social Welfare Council and volunteers, come together to make and eat meals together. It also provides a place for the children to have fun, and to talk to older members of the community about any concerns they may have.

       However, many of the “Shiokaze Kitchen” events in the past have been hosted in the urban areas of the region, and as a result, many families were unable to participate due to the distance. The Miyako-shi Social Welfare Council has been working to start their own “Children`s Diner” facility, “Shiokaze Dining” in various parts of Miyako-shi, to combat this issue.


JEN is currently supporting “Shiokaze Kitchen” and “Shiokaze Dining”, a dining facility for children from impoverished households, hosted by the Miyako-shi Social Welfare Council in the Iwate Prefecture.

May 7, 2019 in Tohoku earthquake |