JAPAN – Hamawarasu Coastal Project
On 11 March 2011, the Japanese coastal town of Kesennuma, in Miyagi Prefecture, was struck by The Great Eastern Japan earthquake and Tsunami and over 1200 lives were lost. Also lost, importantly for this coastal community, was any positive relationship with the sea on the part of local children, who as a result of the Tsunami developed a fear of the sea, with local schools banning children from any contact with the ocean. Thus, there developed a dis-connect between local children and the sea on whose shores this coastal community lives.
Hamawarasu is a local NGO set up to re-introduce children to, and, whilst encouraging them to remember the events of 11 March 2011, remove their fear of, the sea which forms a large part of their local traditions. Additionally, with the right training the children will know, if another Tsunami strikes, where to run and what to do.
To achieve this, Hamawarasu organises some 15 activities each year, with several hundred local children. Beachcombing, beach clean-ups, learning from local fishermen, receiving water safety training and exploring their local seashores all remove a fear of the sea on the part of local children, re-connecting them with their coastal and cultural environment.
Hamawarasu needed a vehicle to transport equipment needed for these activities and to provide emergency transport if necessary. Our funding will enable the provision of such a vehicle, as part of helping to change young lives in this coastal community and reconnecting them with their coastal environment.