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Development of a Curriculum for “Community Reconstruction with Children,” to Achieve Community Reconstruction Reflecting the Ideas of Children

―Full-Scale Adoption and Initiation of the Product of an on In-House Competition for Full-Scale Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction―

October 11, 2012Takenaka Corporation

Takenaka Corporation (President: Toichi Takenaka) has, under a contract from the Japan Committee for UNICEF (Chairperson: Ryoko Akamatsu) and in cooperation with Yamagata University, developed “Community Reconstruction with Children,”* which is a curriculum intended to achieve participation in community reconstruction while supporting the maturation of children in disaster regions. It is a comprehensive program applying expertise and know-how in the field of community reconstruction and building construction, which are specialties of Takenaka Corporation, to the field of education. It will be implemented in Otsuchi-cho in Iwate Prefecture, in Ishinomaki City and Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture and elsewhere.

The projects are implemented along with activities of administrative bodies, scholars, and regional NPOs. In addition to developing the implementation program, Takenaka Corporation is, also responsible for supporting regional universities and NPOs that actually implement it, and supplying instructors for community reconstruction and building construction related workshops. At the workshops, children will be given the chance to plan the classrooms for their school reconstruction projects and to imagine how their communities will appear in the future. Taking part in reconstruction will help restore their hopes and their vigor and encourage them to play major roles in community reconstruction as they mature. It is also thought that once the children have grown up, they will feel affection for the new communities, which will show the traces of their actual participation, slowing depopulation by people relocating in cities.
As part of the “Takenaka Corporation Environmental Symposium 2011,” the company held an in-house competition titled “Things We Can Now Propose or Suggest to Respond to the Great East Japan Earthquake” in July 2011. The Symposium publicly announced one result, namely “Community Reconstruction with Children,” which resulted in the initiation of this program.

※ The Disaster Region Support Proposal Competition sponsored by the Association for Children’s Environment awarded the First Prize to “Community Reconstruction with Children” in August 2011, and the program is being implemented under a contract from the Japan Committee for UNICEF, which cooperated with this competition,

【Significance and Purpose of Support for Reconstruction】

It is predicted that under present circumstances, reconstruction of the disaster region will not be completed soon, but will actually take more than 10 years. Thus, by letting children enjoyably experience, study, and participate in community reconstruction, we will bring up many children and groups of children who, once they are grown up, will feel affection for their home towns, enabling them to play full-scale roles in reconstruction. Even where the program does not immediately produce satisfying results, seeing adults striving to realize reconstruction near at hand will give them hope and the courage to face difficulties.

The object school age according to each program, and the image of continuous participation.

【Specific proposals for the implementation of “Community Reconstruction with Children”】

1. Reconstruction and adventure playgrounds (children’s outdoor play): picnics, reviving traditional forms of play, growing farm products, etc.
2. Reconstruction and children’s communities (children’s indoor play): Reconstruction festivals, children’s planning conferences, experiencing and selling arts and crafts, reconstruction summit, etc.
3. Community reconstruction courses (school education): Announcing ideas for the improvement of temporary housing, preparing visual chronologies, independent film production, etc.

【[Planned Programs]】

“Children’s Community Ishinomaki”

Date: October 13, 14, 2012
Location: Itopia Street Neighborhood (Chuo, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
Sponsor: Children’s Community Ishinomaki Steering Committee
Supporters: Japan Committee for UNICEF, Takenaka Corporation