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【Day 2 Report】“With Love from the DRR Conference” 4th update

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This is the 4th update of the “With Love” series, delivering the voices of forum participants.

 We have collected messages from junior and high school students of the “Team Higashi Nakada Kids” from Sendai-city Taihaku-ku Higashi Nakada. For the details of the workshop held by “Team Higashi Nakada Kids” members, read this article.

 

Ms.Ayu Kano wrote that she “hopes to share ideas on DRR with a lot of people”.

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  She says that most workshops were held with people of the same generation “but this time, we had a lot of adults participants whose detailed ideas were really refreshing”. She also felt that the Sendai atmosphere feels a bit different with so many people gathering from around the world.

 

Ms.Ami Kano wrote “I hope that the DRR ideas will expand to people around the world”.

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Ms.Manami Karino, who held the workshop to think of the goods to be stuffed in backpacks, shared detailed images with the participants such as whose backpack and what should be stuffed, how heavy is too heavy for people to run with the pack on their backs.

 She shared her takeaway from the session, “There are kids who can’t express their ideas but with the adults working as mediators, we were able to inspire them to speak”. The wide variety of generations seemed to have been a great benefit.

 

“Do away with the adult/children barrier to think about DRR” is the message from Ms. Tsukasa Saijo (16 years old).

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  Looking directly into the reporter’s eyes, the high school junior gives a strong impression. Within “Team Higashi Nakada Kids” with members as young as elementary school students, she acts as the big sister. She says that in the past workshops most participants were younger kids and so getting them to express their ideas was difficult. “We had a lot of adult participants today sharing many ideas, so the trouble for me was how to bring those ideas together”.    

 

Mr. Mao Kudo (13 years old) with his bold handwriting, wrote “try listening to the kids’ ideas! (especially for DRR!)”.

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 With a wide range of generations taking part, there were times when the adults were surprised by the kids getting to the heart of the matter.

It’s important for the kids to listen to the adults’ views but I learned that it’s equally important for the kids’ views to be heard.

Mao says that by joining this conference he is “more confident about talking in front of a crowd”.

 He share his commitment of “further thinking about DRR with various people”.

 

Ms. Yuuna Kokuta (13 years old), in a definitive tone forthrightly wrote “enhance DRR awareness!”.

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Yuuna says that she rarely thought about DRR prior to the disaster.

It’s impressive how she says that “since the disaster, I don’t leave it to my parents to prepare ourselves but have rather put my own necessary goods in my own DRR backpack”.

Yuuna’s group mainly talked about earthquake resistant at this symposium. “I hope the people living in potential disaster regions will think about earthquake resistant and be prepared”.

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 Talking with their friends make them look like ordinary junior/high school students, but when interviewed, it was surprising how they articulated their own opinions. Thinking about DRR with kids can enable us to prepare for disasters with perspectives that could be lacking among adults. I hope this UNWDRR will work as an occasion for kids like Higashi Nakada Kids to be better known.

<Reporters>
Miu Kunii, junior at Tohoku University
Erika Suzuki, junior at Nihon University

 

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