Each SIFJ Delegate is selected based on merit, impact, and motivation for accelerating change in Japan through the growth of domestic and global partnerships. You can view their Saturday, May 12th talk at the Seattle Center here: "From Disaster to Hope: Resilience and Social Transformation in Post-3/11 Japan".
Since 3/11, Miori has been leading various kinds of volunteer work such as cleaning up mud, providing information and delivering supplies in the Tohoku area. However, Miori came to realize there are critical problems that cannot be solved by only doing these kinds of immediate and more reactive tasks. Miori also thought that it was important to work with local people in order to improve the situation little by little. Miori launched Guruguru Cheer up Supporters/Omni Bus as a transportation service for people in the Tohoku area. The Tsunami washed away hospitals, supermarkets, schools, and other buildings and there are many people who still cannot get out of their temporary housing due to a lack of transportation. Currently, her focus is on providing the “Kodomo Guruguru Bus” (bus services for kids to support children to learn in school and participate in club activities) and the “Shopping Bus” (bus services for people who need to go shopping). To make these projects sustainable and ongoing, Miori is learning through trial and error.
Think the Earth engages in four major types of activities: networking with companies, NPOs/NGOs and private individuals, project development and service provision, providing learning opportunities and information on Earth-related topics, and supporting work to build a better future for children around the world. Think the Earth places emphasis on building relationships through business relations to build mechanisms in society. This approach is based in the belief that good social relations can leave the Earth a beautiful place for the next generation, and public relations can create opportunities to think about our relationship to the planet. After 3/11 Miho is committed to the work of building dialogue to find solutions and contribute to the world as a global citizen. Through the SIFJ, Miho has heard what professionals think about how the world should be, regardless of the barriers and challenges. To have a beautiful and rich world Miho wants to explore what we can do for short and long term social innovation plans such as 10, 50 and 100 years into the future.
Since 2002, Keisuke has been a leader in KAMO. KAMO's mission is to prevent child sex trafficking and they launched their Cambodian office in 2004. Keisuke lived in Cambodia from 2006-2011 to manage this social enterprise which works with local institutions to create job opportunities in rural areas to help to prevent trafficking. Currently, Keisuke is in charge of a law enforcement program in Cambodia and India, supporting the police and judiciary in law enforcement. Keisuke was in Cambodia when 3/11 happened, and he is currently approaching the situation with a broader lens--deeply considering the relationships between communities, neighbors, and himself.
In 2008 Mai made a six month sojourn to Turkey where she listened to local women's groups and their interest in developing partnerships with Japanese supporters. What emerged was the idea of the Coffret Project, a nonprofit social business with a focus on beauty, access, and dignity. Since that time, Coffret has worked in Turkey, Indonesiam, Nepal, and the Philippines with a focus on small business development and fair trade cosmetic production. Mai is originally from the Sendai area and, after the tsunami, she began to work closely with women in the Tohoku area, offering cosmetic workshops and building collaborations between private companies and overseas partners.
Madre Bonita is a Japanese nonprofit organization founded to support the mental and physical well-being of women through the process of pregnancy, childbirth, and post-natal care. After her first childbirth in 2003, Kanako became deeply interested in the mental and physical changes that postnatal women go through. At the time she learned about the activities that Madre Bonita offered. In 2007, she became the first Madre Bonita’s certified trainer living in a local area, and she had her second baby that same year. In 2009 Kanako moved to Tokyo from Okinawa and is now running postnatal care studios in Setagaya and Shinjuku, Tokyo. Currently, Kanako is in charge of the trainer certification course and the translation project of “Sango-Hakusho”(A Study on Postpartum Life) into English. In February 2012, Madre Bonita started the Trainer Scholarship, which provides training for a woman from Fukushima to create a sustainable job as a certificated postpartum care trainer. Also, Madre Bonita started the Workshop Caravan in Tohoku in April 2012, where a series of postpartum fitness and mental care workshops are being held in various affected areas of Tohoku including Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima.
At the age of 19 years old, just 2 weeks before she entered university, Terumi's mother took her own life. Since that time, Terumi has been committed to supporting children through grieving processes, and she facilitates self help groups for children who have lost their parents as the result of disease, disaster, suicide, terrorism and war. Terumi has been very active with educational outreach, giving lectures to the government, schools and temples (with monks) in order to educate people in Japan on what grief care is, and how Live On supports this process. Since 3/11, Terumi has been active in providing workshops, grief care for orphaned children, and providing information on grief care for victims of 3/11. After 3/11, Live On distributed over 7,000 booklets about grief care to the families who lost their family members as well as 10,000 incense sticks so that people could take time to pray. Terumi is now planning a memorial event for orphaned children on Mother’s Day. Her goal is to create a society where people can find hope out of grief. Terumi is working to establish grief care support in a society so that whenever, wherever and whatever way people experience loss, people can make their own decisions and start their lives again.
Takuya was born in Osaka in 1977. After graduating from his university, he acquired CPA certification and started working in the corporate regeneration section at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In February 2011, Takuya left PwC and shortly thereafter, 3/11 happened. In April 2011, Takuya became the representative director of SVP Tokyo and at the same time he became a board member of Katariba. Takuya has been responsible for the management of the social venture Katariba and as well as serving Japanese social sector development through his work in SVP Tokyo. In the Tohoku area, with Katariba Takuya is working with other non-profit organizations to develop various projects including the“Korabo School” (Collaboration School) as a board member as well as Executive Director. From his tough experience in the Tohoku area, Takuya learned the importance of supporting each other as well as having an independent mind. Takuya believes that the world is not ideal yet, however, that is the reason to take a leap based on your beliefs – which is beautiful. Takuya knows well about the importance of having a dream and believing in the potential of creating a positive future as well as being honest and doing what he believes. Takuya thinks that these humble acts lead to social innovation.
Harajuku Terrace offers a place where social entrepreneurs can gather and share their passion and ideas to create innovative projects or businesses regardless of their ages or professional background. After 3/11 Tomonori also launched a non-profit organization called World in Asia (WIA) with Tetsuo Kato. WIA assists social entrepreneurs in the Tohoku area by finding, encouraging, fostering social innovation and connecting with the next generations. To provide social innovation funding and to support rebuilding the Tohoku area, WIA is actively working with a Japanese American donors, and they are creating a platform called “Stone Soup” which supports projects started in the Tohoku area.