HANDs! Journey 2017

Senin, Oktober 23, 2017

Japan Foundation’s HANDs (Hope and Dreams) project is a project that bring young professionals and academics from Asia to learn about Disaster Education and post Disaster preparedness through art and creativity. Throughout this program, we had an opportunity to work together with amazing young artists of Philippine High School of Arts, finding solutions for PHSA issues with design thinking process and visited Tokyo, Sendai, Onagawa, and Ishinomaki to learn about Disaster preparedness and past Disasters.

There were 26 fellows from 9 different countries gather together to start the HANDs! Journey.
Excited, Enthralled and Energised; with an amazing welcome from the students and authorities of the Philippines High School for the Arts, we start our day with Nagata-san’s Philosophy of Wind, Water, & Soil and further dive into the topics of Design Thinking and Observation Skills. 

We start the 2nd day of HANDs! to understand System thinking, Designs, Strategising, Planning, Interviews and Observations around PHSA area to practice our research skills to develop sustainable projects for the community. The students from the Philippines High School for the Arts joyfully joined our field tour and during the interviews with the communities to gather knowledge about the surroundings. Further, there were lectures and activities to develop a statement to indicate the issues that we identified during our short visit to the community. 
Workshop Design Thinking and System Thinking in The Philippines High School of Arts
Prototyping in The Philippines High School of Arts
In the 3rd day of HANDs! In The Philippines was about creating prototypes and designing. We spent our day in brainstorming and creating new ideas to arrive at a solutions for the problem statement formulated on Day 2.

To mix up all the sessions learnt so far, and to add up to the creativity and fun part, we participated in the program "Gobyerno" designed by HANDs alumni. We took part of "Gobyerno" with amazing and energetic performance. 
We did "Gobyerno" together with the PHSA students
We called this "sexy poseee" XD

Having fun, exactly we did on our last day in The Philippines. To share our story and process using the Designs Thinking and Systems Thinking, we exhibited each of our prototypes and made the whole process creative and innovative. The students from PHSA participated equally and provide creative and innovative solutions to the problems of their surroundings. The last day of the research trip to the Philippines ended with mixed feelings of joy, accomplishment, friendship, laughter, and sadness.

Watanabe-san was our favorite buddy ever XD

On October 13, 2017 was our first full day of the 2nd leg of the 2017-18 research tours and we spent the day with HANDs general adviser Nagata-san of Plus Arts NPO at the Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Park in the Sona Area, Tokyo.

After the lecture session, we went through the 72 Hour Disaster Prevention Zone, where they experienced a 7.3 earthquake and using Touchpads and augmented reality to learn what to do to survive the critical first 72 hours after a major earthquake. We ended up the tour by walking through the Disaster Prevention Learning Zone, learning about the many ways to safely and successfully prepare for a major disaster. 

In the Day 2 of the Japan program, we visiting the Toyosu BO-SAI expo, an event for kids and their families to learn about BO-SAI (i.e. disaster prevention, preparedness, or disaster risk reduction) through some fun and enjoyable games. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Toyosu BO-SAI expo, held in collaboration with Plus Art NPO and the government. Later in the afternoon we participated in Iza! Kaeru Caravan with TEPCO learning more about what it takes to put together an educational DRR event that helps children and families prepare for major disasters. After went to Iza! Kaeru Caravan, we departed for Sendai later in the evening and will continue the rest of our research tour in Ishinomaki and Onagawa. 

We have taught by the kids how to make an emergency plate using those paper

We also trained about Disaster preparedness in the Bo-Sai event (exciting)

After arriving in Sendai in the evening, we spent a night at Chitoseya Ryokan. The following morning, we visited the Center for remembering 3.11 to learn more about their work disseminating information and recording the restoration and recovery process of the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami.

In the afternoon we visited Aramaha Elementary School, which was a evacuation center for 320 local residents, students, and school personnel. The tsunami surged up the 2nd floor, but everyone who had evacuated to the school was able to escape safely to the rooftop. Now open to the general public, the school is a memorial and museum that hopes to pass on the lessons learned to future generations.
Aramaha Elementary School

Memorial (Aramaha Elementary School)

Beside that, we also visited the Ishinomaki Community and Information Center to speak with its director, Mr. Ricard Halberstadt. He was in Ishinomaki during 3.11 and chose to remain in his adopted community to assist in its recovery and reconstruction. Finally, we were treated to the traditional Lion dance from community members of Takenoura. Using carved lion heads of different shapes and sizes, the dance is used for spring prayers for good fortune and this intangible cultural heritage has given those affected by 3.11 a way to come together. 
Lion dance who welcoming us in Miyagi

Mr. Ricard bravely told us his struggle from the tsunami and post disaster in the Ishinomaki

The morning of Day 4 was spent with the proprietress of El Faro Hotel in Onagawa, hearing the story form the manager about how the hotel was started after the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami. “El Faro” means “The Lighthouse” in Spanish, and her wish is for the hotel to become a lighthouse that will lead people around the world to Onagawa, Japan and its wonderful people that continue to recover and rebuild. 
El Faro hotel (Miyagi Perfecture)

During the afternoon, we toured Ishinomaki City with the Ishinomaki Future Support Association, to learn more how the city was deeply affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and the steps the city is taking a slowly recover 6 years after the devastation. We ended the day with a workshop with Ishinomaki 2.0 to brainstorm different ways the town could stimulate and promote tourism to Ishinomaki City.

A final dinner was held with Ishinomaki 2.0 before we heading back Tokyo for the HANDs Public Debriefing session at The Japan Foundation Asia Center.
Ishinomaki 2.0 (lecture, workshop, and group discussion)

I joined HANDs hoping to learn about Disaster education but HANDs offered me more than that. Working with PHSA students opened my mind that anyone can become a change maker, despite our status, age or career. Japan trip enlightened me that if we want people to learn and study, we need to create a space for them for learnings and the recorded data for research and study. 

It had been an amazing productive trip. I got to meet with the inspiring individuals with interesting stories across Asia, I got to work together with the community I had never worked before, learned new cultures and well learned a little bit more to put myself in someone’s shoes. In the midst of learning about DRR, I become more and more aware of the threat of saving the environment and well prepare for disasters.

(Keep Learning Widia) Ganbatte naa :)

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