B4 Miyagi various

Building a new community of local people and survivors of the tsunami through handicraft workshops

Organization RQ Support Centre for women in the affected area  supported by: Urban Design Works
Location Miyagi: Kesennuma-shi, Minami Sanriku-cho, Ishinomaki-shi, Tome-shi
Period 1 December 2011 – 31 May 2012 (6 months)
Amount 2 million yen(1.5 million yen project funding / 500,000 yen organization capacity building)
Brief outline This project will use handicraft workshops to create an environment where women living in temporary accommodation can exchange views, strengthening bonds and mitigating against isolation. It will also seek out and train people from the local community to act as coordinators in the long term.
Capacity building Sharing of expertise in training of coordinators and on the facilitation of participatory workshops.
Rationale for project Women and elderly people spend their days in temporary accommodation and have a sense of loneliness and isolation because they have few opportunities to engage with society outside their homes. In addition, the majority of people in temporary accommodation are in an area remote from their original homes and are inevitably living among people they did not previously know. Community organization is slow to develop in these areas of temporary accommodation. The social character of the area makes it difficult for women to express their views and there is no place or opportunity for women to discuss the management of the temporary accommodation or the recovery plan. 

Through a series of ‘Winter Handicraft Workshops’, this project will create a place for women to meet and exchange ideas, providing necessary support for the creation of community and preventing isolation. It will:

  • Organize handicraft workshops for 2 hours, once a week at 10 temporary accommodation centres, in total 260 times. These are primarily tools to facilitate communication, and will be structured accordingly. They will be making ‘eco’ scouring brushes, which will be bought from the maker and sold.
  • Train local coordinators in 5 areas to run the workshops.
  • Create a handbook on how to run such workshops.

This project is not simply concerned with creating a better living environment or means of earning cash, but is intended to enable women to participate fully in the recovery process and development of the region, recognizing the importance of obtaining a female social perspective. The support organization understands the region well and has experience in the design of consensus building processes for municipal development. The identification and training of coordinators to manage the activity in the medium to long term is an important factor.

Website http://www.rq-center.net/blog/women
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