The “Peace Boat Center Ishinomaki” was officially opened on June 2, after renovation taking place since the Golden Week break in May. The grand opening for this community exchange space took place with an event in which local community members and many other people who have been involved and supported Peace Boat’s activities in Ishinomaki over the past 1 year and three months.
A group of young participants onboard Peace Boat’s 73rd Global Voyage in 2011 took the initiative to start a new project, considering what each individual can do for Tohoku. They decided to just take pen and paper, and collect messages of love for Tohoku from across the world, in a project they called “Hope for Japan 2011.”
Fukushima & Venezuela Music Youth Ambassadors – Widened Horizons: Opening the World’s Door for Fukushima’s Youth
FUKUSHIMA & VENEZUELA MUSIC YOUTH AMBASSADORS:
Delegates from the Fukushima Television Junior Orchestra will join Peace Boat’s 76th Global Voyage together with delegates from the world renowned The Simón Bolívar Music Foundation (also known as “El Sistema,” providing free music education to 350,000 children in an effort to discourage them from crime and develop a culturally rich society), following music exchanges with the Gustavo Dudamel Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) program, the El Sistema Los Angeles group which provides programs for under-privileged young people.
“Oraho’s experience” (“my experience” in Tohoku dialect) is a new volunteer programme launched in 2012, in which participants can interact more with local people in the disaster affected areas by talking, eating, and sleeping together, not just working together. Peace Boat initiated this programme in the hope that participants can gain a rich experience based on direct personal connections with the local community, and that this programme can bring people closer together and inspire more ideas for the future.
This article features an interview with Komori Shizu, a participant in the 2nd program held in Oginohama, and local fisherman Fushimi Kaoru who hosted her.
A group of 3 sixth grade students from the Canadian International School Tokyo have been visiting Peace Boat and learning about disaster relief activities, as part of a class project to learn about NGOs and NPOs. Thank you to the students for their efforts to raise awareness and funds for Tohoku!
The fishing village of Funakoshi sits on the northern side of the Ogatsu Peninsula, about a one-hour drive from central Ishinomaki. Today, there is no sight of children at the Funakoshi Primary School, where the 17m-high tsunami flooded up to the 3rd floor. In the school building, however, you can hear the laughter of the ‘Funakoshi Ladies’ in their workshop, furnished with tatami-mats in the hallway.
The ‘Funakoshi Ladies’ now famously make and sell necklaces and cellphone straps made from Ogatsu Stone, as well as “Kai-no-Netsuke (shell charms)”, a popular charm for happiness in marriage.
Among the beautiful cherry blossoms filling the Ishinomaki Senshu University campus, you could hear the chatter of happy children from a parking lot. On April 30, about 40 local primary school kids gathered there for a cycling school ‘Wielerschool,’ which is held in over 30 locations every year throughout Japan.
The school is hosted by the ‘Chainring Project for Kids’ which was established by volunteer cyclists after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
As Peace Boat volunteers went around distributing copies of the “Kasetsu Kizuna Shimbun” newspaper, the residents of these facilities often shared their troubles with us. It was their voices which inspired the volunteers to start creating maps of the local area, bus schedules and information about other local services for the communities living in temporary housing facilities.
Messages of support for the Ishinomaki Technical High School competing in the national high school baseball championships!
Thank you so much for such warm support from around the world. Please see below for messages from the Ambassadors of Panama and Cuba to Japan, as well as former MLB player Bobby Valentine.