We have an important update regarding the carnival. We are happy to announce that we will be working with a group of Japanese university students who are from the Rikuzentakata area. They ran an event last year called “Wakodosai”. Here is their website:
The city encouraged our two groups to work together to organize a super fantastic carnival this year. With their experience and our international can-do spirit, we hope we can make the vision of our carnival a complete success.
Due to our two groups working together, the city has moved the carnival to:
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
We think this is actually a better date and doesn’t conflict with as many events. We hope the new date still works for everyone.
Other information about the carnival:
-The carnival will be held at Takata Elementary school. The principal has graciously allowed us the use of the grounds and the gym!
-We have some confirmed musical acts for the carnival, including some local talent from Akita!
-Monty Dickson’s sister has offered her full support and hopes to attend the carnival as well!
-We have a Facebook Page! “Carnival in Rikuzentakata” Please join and use it as a forum to discuss booths and ideas for the carnival!
As always, you can find up-to-date information on the website and Facebook page, Carnival in Rikuzentakata.
Mark your calenders, we can’t wait to bring you more information soon!
Jon and KK
For our upcoming carnival event, you might be wondering how you can volunteer. We want to run a variety of booths and activities. We’ve sent out a brainstorming call for ideas, so here is a compiled list of them all. This list is not finalized, if you have any other ideas for the carnival, please get in touch with us. If you see something on the list you really want to be a part of, let us know!
-Water bucket drop
-Ateji for “Carnival” to be used in following Rikuzentakata carnivals.
-Magic and balloon animals
-Water Balloon toss/Egg Toss
-Fishing over curtain for a prize
Anyone can participate races
- three legged
- wheel barrow
- tray race
- egg spoon race
Anyone can participate events/field games
- scavenger hunt
- penalty kick shoot out
- Easter egg hunt
We also would like to have food stalls with items that are commonly found/served in our home countries.
- Sugar cookie decorating/no bake cookies
- English tea time
- Candy apples
- (cup)Cake walk
We’d love to provide live entertainment on a stage at the carnival, further details to follow.
There is so much we can do with this event, keep thinking about it, and volunteerAKITA hopes you will be there with us in August!
VolunteerAKITA is proud to announce a joint event with the city of Rikuzentakata!
With the immediate dangers past, the needs of the survivors have changed. While many people feel that they have to start supporting themselves financially, it doesn’t mean we cannot still give them support to continue moving forward. We need to remind the people that have survived the March 11 disaster that they are not forgotten and that we still care about their situation.
With this in mind, we have partnered with Rikuzentakata, Iwate in cooperation with the mayor, city hall and the citizens, to organize a carnival style event where everyone can get together and enjoy themselves. We want booths and stalls with events ranging from carnival games to balloon animals, face painting to face stuffing. The individual booth ideas are up to us, the volunteers.
This is a chance to give back to the community, to get back to the coastal cities and volunteer our time and show them support.
Time and location-
The event will take place in Rikuzentakata city on August 31, 2013 (Saturday). The location within the city hasn’t been determined yet, as they need to know the number of participants in order to reserve a big enough location.
What we need right now-
We need volunteers who are willing to commit their time to this event. We know it is far in the future, but in order to make the event a success this time and for many times to come, we have to start planning now.
If you are interested but don’t know if you can commit yet, please let us know as we need to tell the city our numbers ASAP, and would rather overestimate than underestimate.
Even if you can’t make it to the event, we can still use your help! Please send in your ideas for booths. The more ideas we have the more memorable we can make the day.
We can also use donations, be it monetary or supplies. Donation details have yet to be finalized but please stay tuned for more information.
How you can donate-
Please donate your time and ideas to our cause. Send us an email with your contact information if you want to participate and/or any ideas you have for the event.
While the event date is August 31, 2013, there is much to do right now. We need a head count of participating volunteers so the city can reserve an appropriate size space. We also need to include ideas for booths/stalls in a report to the city so they can determine what resources they will need to provide. We want to send them this report as soon as we can, so please contact us now!
If you are interested in more information about the city of Rikuzentakata, the mayor, or this project, please look at the following links.
As always, you can look here for the latest information Rikuzentakata Carnival Event
Thank you very much!!
Jon and KK
Co-directors of volunteerAKITA
October 23, 2011 – I wasn’t in Japan when the earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit. Even so, the loss, the pain, and the grieving, I sympathized whole-heartedly with the country that I had grown to love when I had studied abroad less than a year before. While in America, I helped anyway I could through relief efforts and donations, but I knew, especially after being accepted into the JET program that I wanted to volunteer, however I could, in the affected areas. I was always asking people, “What can I do to help?”
Then you turn a corner.
Images prepare you for what you will see. Television provides firsthand accounts of the sadness and pain of the people living there. Nothing can prepare you though for what you’ll actually feel when you are there. Only a few buildings remain, and they are empty carcasses that remind you of the tragedy. There is no noise but the occasional car that is zipping by, rushing to be free of the silence. Even smell, the odor of fish that many seaside towns possess has disappeared. There.is.nothing.
Our day ended after we met Futoshi Toba-san, the mayor of Rikuzentakata. In all honesty, I expected him to be sad, old and weighed down by the magnitude of everything that has happened to him and his city. He couldn’t be more opposite of this. He is young and vibrant, a leader and believer that his city will recover from the destruction. Best of all though is that he smiles and he laughs. He wholeheartedly appreciated our efforts of the day, thanking us over and over again.
(A special thank you VolunteerAKITA, JETAAi, the Rikuzentakata Volunteer Center, Toba-san and all the current JETs that went with me to Rikuzentakata. You rock!)