Thank you for all your support to our Tohoku Youth Venture program initiated by Ashoka Japan. We have received 36 donations from 32 donors, in a total of $3,666 U.S. dollars. Together with our other funding, the money will be used to bring 10 teams of youth ventures from 10 prefectures to Tokyo for 20 workshops. In the following passage I am going to share with you an overview of the project, and introduce to you one example of Youth Venture project.
The ten teams of Tohoku Youth Venturers started their action in October 2012. With a strong idea of “doing something for the Tohoku area”, these Young Venturers have been carrying out a variety of projects in the past few months. These projects aim to motivate more students to participate in and engage with the reconstruction process of Tohoku area, ranging from building a website for high school students to discuss and share ideas on unclear energy to proposing and carrying out a business plan to grow sales of local products. This time, I want to introduce to our dear GlobalGivers one aspiring Youth Venturer, Astushi Shida, who opened a second-hand clothing market, named Local Cross Market, to connect volunteers with local residents in Kesennuma area.
Mr. Atsushi Shida
Atsushi was born in Kesennuma, Miyagi, an area severely damaged and flooded during the last earthquake and the following tsunami. Immediately after the disaster, crowds of volunteers went to Kesennuma to help with the disaster relief and recovery of the area; yet as time goes by, the number of volunteers staying there has decreased dramatically. Unfortunately, the time is yet to come until Kesennuma can fully recover from the damages.
To keep volunteers and helpers coming, Atsushi thought, a place for volunteers and local residents to communicate and exchange ideas freely must be established. But “what type of place would motivate and facilitate people to communicate with each other,” he wondered.
Realized that people tends to communicate with each other pressure-free in the markets, Atsushi decided to open a used clothing store in the area. He recalled his high school years when students in a more remote area yearn for fashionable looks of students from Tokyo, where he attends college at—the idea of affordable second-hand clothing market emerged. He thereafter more than collected 200 pieces of used clothing from friends, and on December 9th, 2012 opened his first Local Cross Market.
This most inspiring event became possible thanks to your donations to Tohoku Youth Venture program. Aspiring projects like this one would not be possible without support from people like you. I, on behalf of Ashoka Japan and Youth Venturers, wish to show our gratitude to your generosity and wish the continuation of your support.
I wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and the New Year full of health and happiness.