寄付・募金・ボランティアのセーブ・ザ・チルドレン・ジャパン

Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami Emergency response and recovery program

Sending Out the Voices of Children in Tohoku to the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction! The third workshop on “Our Message on Global Disaster Risk Reduction” Vol.2 (2015.1.17)

As today marks twenty years since the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake, there has been increased attention of disaster risk reduction.

To deliver the voices of children in Tohoku to the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), we held a preparatory workshop at the end of last year. Previously, we reported how 41 children, from 5th graders to high school sophomores, from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures, discussed disaster risk reduction. In this report, you will find out how the children, who have gone through 3.11, did at the workshop and what was on their minds through the feedback they provided.

 

■“I let it all out!” at this two-day workshop■

According to our post-workshop survey, all 39 respondents marked “yes” to the question, “Would you like to talk to more people?” What they want to talk about and whom they want to talk to seems to vary, as reflected in their answers:

“I want to talk to more children about something that only children could think of.”
“I want to talk to those who are very different from me or who have opinions that I have never thought about.”
“I want to share opinions on disaster risk reduction with a lot of people, including those who survived other disasters.”
“I want to exchange opinions with people around my age or older.”
“I want to share our experience of 3.11 with foreigners.”
“I would like to talk to people of various ages about what we would like the world to know.”
“I want to share opinions with the government, the adults in our community, teachers and friends.”
“I would like to tell the Committee on the Rights of the Child that the rights of children in Fukushima are not protected.”

Through this workshop, children broadened their outlook and became eager to share their own experiences with more people.

As for the question, “Did you feel the need to transmit children’s opinions to adults or society?” 38 out of 39 respondents said “yes.” Some reasons were:

“I want people to know that we want to have our own place.” (6t Grader, Female, Miyagi)
“Our opinions are as powerful as those of adults.” (7th Grader, Male, Fukushima)
“Now that I let it all out, including complaints that have accumulated inside of me, at this workshop, we, together with the adults, can discuss what we can do to change the world.” (8th Grader, Male, Fukushima)
“If we keep our mouths closed, nobody would know what is on our mind. We need to speak out if we want society to reflect our opinions.” (9th Grader, Female, Iwate)
“Just like adults, children have opinions, which should be incorporated within society, I believe.” (High School Junior, Female, Fukushima)
“We can’t make a difference without speaking out.” (High School Sophomore, Female, Fukushima)

Children are convinced that they should not only to keep speaking out, but also to continue working with adults to change the world.

共有①軽話し合い②軽

After the workshop, the children left positive feedback:

“This is my first time participating in the workshop, and I was impressed by other children who are very social and have strong opinions. Everything was new to me today, and I found it very motivating. This experience gave me confidence to speak out!” (High School Junior, Female, Miyagi)
“I saw the strong passion in everyone. What’s important is not a delicate expression but a strong passion” (High School Sophomore, Female, Iwate)
“I would like to talk to as many people as possible since there are as many opinions as there are people.” (High School Sophomore, Male, Iwate)

It has been almost four years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and every participant has his or her own experience and unique story to share. Over the past four years, they have developed personal opinions on disaster risk reduction, which made this workshop very meaningful.

 

■To let the world know what the children experienced on 3.11: Speaking Out From Tohoku!■

           This March, there will be the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, where an international action plan on disaster risk reduction will be developed. The representatives, elected by the children among children during this workshop, will be attending this event to deliver the voices of the children in Tohoku in two months. You can see a report about this here soon!

Save the Children will continue working with children to have their voices heard and to help them participate in society. Your continuous support is appreciated!