As the final part of study tour, fellows had an opportunity to visit Japan and learn about the role of community after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.
Fellows visited local organizations in five cities to learn about their projects and their impact for the communities. The Japan study tour program started with a discussion workshop in Tokyo, inviting key persons implementing community-based activities to support the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
The HANDs fellows then visited the Touhoku region and learned about projects like the Lost Homes Project, which is restoring lost towns and villages through the building of 1:500 scale models in order to inherit and preserve memories accumulated in local scenery, environment and life.
On the last day of visiting the Tohoku region, fellows visited an elementary school at Fukushima prefecture. The school building was devastated by the tsunami. Fellows listened to powerful survivor’s stories to better understand what the community had experienced.
Furthermore, fellows also experienced Kriko, a traditional handicraft with Japanese paper, washi. It has become a way to boost the local economy and provide psychological support in creating comfort for local residents.
Finally, fellows returned to Tokyo to present and finalize their action plans which will be implemented after arriving in their respective countries.