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« Back to School 2013 presentations | Main | Call for Presentations at Back to School mini-conference on Apr.14 »

What 3/11 means for the future of volunteering -- Mar. 30 in Takatsuki

What 3/11 means for the future of volunteering
Saturday, March 30, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Speaker: Yuko Nishiyama

Much like in the aftermath of the Hanshin Earthquake, official response to the 3/11 disasters was inadequate and slow in coming. And much like in 1995, local businesses, community groups and NPOs are filling the breach. One of these is Minna no Te, a community action group of Tohoku evacuees living in Kyoto. Its founder, Yuko Nishiyama, will detail her personal story, her efforts to partner with local aid groups, and explain how you can help those affected by the 3/11 disaster.

Many of us have looked on in sympathy with those undergoing such tremendous misfortune but are at a loss for how we can help without the expense and time commitment of a trip to Tohoku. Yuko will expand our knowledge of the 3/11 crises' local dimension, and offer opportunities for us to “think globally and act locally.” Finally, she will explain how the community is spreading the word of the ongoing challenges besetting those affected. Among those projects is a website featuring blogs by victims and a speaking tour at the University of Hawaii-Manoa during the week of March 11, 2013, commemorating the two-year anniversary of the earthquake.

The television news may have moved on to other topics, but the continuing events and consequences of 3/11 continue to inspire a collective response from all of us. Formerly loosely-associated groups around the globe are using the internet and social media to raise awareness and answer the challenges. Learn how you and your students can become more involved!

A native of Fukushima city, Yuko Nishiyama earned a BA in linguistics from Iowa State University, where she lived for five years. Following an eighteen-month French immersion in Canada, she returned to Fukushima and worked as an English teacher and interpreter. She left her career with the birth of her daughter Mariko and was living with her in Fukushima when the 3/11 disasters struck. She evacuated with her two-year-old later that month, eventually settling in Kyoto in June. Surrounded by other evacuees, she founded *Minna no Te*, a community organization dedicated to providing information and assistance to those displaced. Current initiatives include the Dream Summer Project, which reunites evacuees with their friends and family both in Kyoto and Fukushima. This January, the organization started a cafe to provide local evacuees a network and a source of employment.

This event is co-sponsored by SIETAR Kansai and will be conducted mostly in English with some Japanese.

Location: Takatsuki Shiritsu Sogo Shimin Koryu Center, 3rd floor, Room 1

Fee for JALT members, Sietar members, and students: 500 yen

Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen

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