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

“The 6th Tohoku Children’s Community Building Summit: The Dream Towns We Realize” (2015.5.12)

With 213 participants (82 children and 131 adults), The 6th Tohoku Children’s Community Building Summit; “The Dream Towns We Realize” was held on Children’s Day, May 5, 2015. The Children’s Community Building Clubs were established in Yamada Town and Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture, and Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture, in June 2011. Let’s find out what the children presented and what was discussed during the summit.

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■Presentations by the Children from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures on Community Building and Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts■

The children MCs started off the summit with activity reports from the Children’s Community Building Clubs of Yamada Town, Rikuzentakata City and Ishinomaki City. Over the past four years, the members have worked closely with their local governments. They reported on their achievements and read actual comments from those who were involved. Then, representatives of the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction reported on global disaster risk reduction efforts along with their own experiences and opinions.

“I was impressed by the fact that each member is eager to listen not only to other children, but also to adults and other community members.” “It is amazing to see that the members are making a difference in cooperation with the government and community members.” The members’ presentations seemed to have impressed the participants.

 

●Children’s Community Building Club in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate

Members reported their efforts in having their voices reflected in the process of rebuilding the library and the “Machi Photo Part II” project, through which they used pictures to transmit their messages and remind society what has happened. The presentation included video messages from the mayor of Rikuzentakata and library staff who could not attend the summit. At the end, those who have and will help with the exhibition of photos taken by members came on stage and presented their messages to the children.

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●Children’s Community Building Club in Yamada Town, Iwate

The members presented their Yamada Children’s Communication Center (tentative name) project, which functions as a place for children to meet and a library. The official mascot of Yamada Town, “Matsushii,” came on stage to support the presentation. The members explained the design of the center, and involved the audience by getting off the stage to ask people in the crowd questions.

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 ●Children’s Community Building Club in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi

They reported how the Children’s Center in Ishinomaki designed and developed by the members, “Raitsu,” has been utilized by the community since it’s opening in January 2014. They also described how the map of the shopping area around Raitsu was created. They explained how Raitsu and the map have been benefitting the community, and showed a video featuring interviews and commentary from store owners. A monument commemorating 3.11, opened on March 11, 2015, was also presented. At the end, they literally sent out their messages to participants by letting fly paper airplanes that had their messages written upon them.

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■Representatives of the Tohoku Region (Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures) at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction■

After explaining the disaster risk reduction efforts that the world has been working on since 2012, the members explained their activities and achievements at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Then they eagerly shared their ideas based on, “What if I were the Secretary-General of the UN,” along with their passion and opinions towards future disaster risk reduction efforts.

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■“Children’s Opinions” Messages to adults from the children, and to children from the adults■

The last half of the summit was spent in discussion. As the gong went off, the members stood up and made requests to the adults. “I would like to ask the government and the Reconstruction Agency to spread the word and let many people know what took place here today so that there will be more Children’s Community Building Clubs in many other areas.” Then it was adults’ turn to respond. The representative of the Reconstruction Agency promised that they will not only post the article of this summit on their website and circulate the article via their email list, but also pass it on to NPOs nationwide.

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■Discussion: What can we do to have more children involved in community building?■

In response to the “children’s opinions,” participants from all over the country engaged in a discussion to address, “What we can do to have more children involved in community building?”

After the discussion, everybody wrote his or her opinion on what we can do on a megaphone-shaped sheet of paper, which will later be compiled into one large megaphone-shaped poster. The club members are planning on delivering this poster to the Reconstruction Agency during the “Children-led Clubs Leader Tour 2015,” scheduled in August.

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■Children and important members of the community will keep moving forward towards recovery■

The following are comments collected from participants after the summit:

“I am glad to have met the children in Tohoku and the adult community members who live here and now, keeping their heads up.” “It was my first time attending the summit, and I was impressed by the high level of awareness of the adults and the children, who are the bearers of the future.” “It reminded me that children are equally responsible for our city, community, and community building.” “I now totally understand how children’s opinions are less likely to be reflected within the community building process and that they feel frustrated by this fact.”

In the next report, we will post more messages from the participants and a video of the event so that you can learn more about the summit. Please check back with us again soon!