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High School Students Promote Disaster Preparedness

The World Bosai (“Disaster Preparedness) Forum was held from March 10 to 12 at the Sendai International Center in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Twelve students from Kamaishi High School and Otsuchi High School in Iwate Prefecture, who experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake in their childhood, participated.

Students' "Bosai" messages

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"I was taking a nap at the nursery school, and I thought I was dreaming that I was on a train, but it was an earthquake."

"I endured the cold on the school bus." Students recounted what they remembered about the disaster when they were still small children. These children are now in high school and conducting research on disaster preparedness. For the forum, they divided themselves into three groups and prepared presentations.

During a session titled “From High School Students, Bosai Messages,” eight students talked about disaster lessons learned, memories, and presented their "BOSAI (disaster preparedness)" efforts.The session also included a Q&A session with the participants.

"You have to be able to protect yourself. Do no just rely on others"

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During another session titled  "Disaster Preparedness Class by High School Students," two students discussed how to bridge the gap in disaster preparedness awareness between the coastal and inland areas, and used the game "Crossroads" to simulate disaster response. This game also provided an opportunity for the participants to think about disaster preparedness as a personal responsibility. Another pair of students created a calendar in Japanese and English that showed the dates of past disasters and conveyed the importance of always thinking about sudden emergencies.

An exhibition presented by the Otsuchi High School Reconstruction Study Group showcased photographs of Otsuchi Town taken from the same spot to observe the change over time since 2011 and cards highlighting the students' own experiences during the disaster. Many visitors stopped by and took their time looking at the exhibition.

 

Storytelling to save lives

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These students’ activities are supported by Civic Force’s partner organization in Iwate, Walavie. Civic Force is supporting Walavie through NPO Partner Project and sponsoring their participation in the forum.

Walavie will host an exchange program for high school students in Iwate and Ache, Indonesia to discuss disaster preparedness.

Crowdfunding to support storytelling activities

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