Give place to study for children whose home were washed away by the tsunami: Collabo School

Collabo School is an afterschool program offered for children in the disaster affected areas. Located in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture and Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, Collabo School has provided academic and phychological support to 1, 684 elementary school, junior and senior high school students (as of September 2015. Accumulative figure)

“Because of the Earthquake and Tsunami, I had to give up my dream.”

Great Eastern Japan Earthquake has left a big scar on the educational environment of children and the effect is still visible in their community. More than one-third of students in both towns still live in temporary housing.

“Because of the earthquake and tsunami, I had to give up my dream.” “I failed my entrance exam.” “I could not go to my top-choice school.” We would never want students to say such words, and that was the motivation for creating Collabo School.

Collabo School opened in two towns that had the severest damage from the tsunami.

Katariba created Onagawa Kougakukan in July 2011, as a part of Hatachi Foundation Project. In December, the second Collabo School, Otsuchi Ringakusha, opened in Otsuchi Iwate Prefecture.

Onagawa Kougakukan

The town of Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture suffered a serious damage from the tsunami of Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. The rate of houses destroyed in town reached 82.6%, the highest figure in the entire disaster areas, and 90% of students at Second Public Elementary School had their house washed away by the tsunami. Some of the classrooms of the Former First Onagawa Elementary School, which was used as the shelter immediately after the disaster, became Katariba’s Collabo School from July 2011, and we provide academic and mental support to students at elementary, junior and senior high school level.

Otsuchi Ringakusha

Similar to Onagawa in Miyagi, the town of Otsuchi in Iwate Prefecture was also severely damaged by the tsunami of Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. 64.6 %, the ratio of house destruction, is the third highest in the whole disaster areas, and the town hall also collapsed due to the tsunami. Since December 2011, Collabo School has offered academic and mental support to elementary, junior and senior high school students at various locations. Collabo School first opened at a local community center, junior high school classrooms and sometimes at temples and shrines. Thanks to generous support, we were able to build a temporary facility to offer programs to students from fall of 2013.

230% increase in academic motivation

Positive feedback from students have been the source of our motivation. At Otsuchi Ringakusha, the number of students positively responding to the questionnaire (I study because it is exciting to be able to do something new) has increased 230% by March 2015.Studens at Onagawa Kougakukan are also diligently participating in the program.

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Collabo School is where students can belong

84% of students at Otsuchi Ringakusha commented that they would like to recommend Collabo School to their friends and fellow students. Collabo School serves as a place for children who were hurt and face various family issues to gather and interact among themselves.

“After studying English, I would like to become a flight attendant.”

Kobeni Takahashi, 6th grade, Onagawa Elementary School

Great East Japan Earthquake hit my town Onagawa when I was first grade. We lost a place to study. However, Onagawa Kougakukan was created. After the earthquake, I did not have much place to study outside of school, and I really wanted to go to Kougakukan and started studying there. What I am studying the most is English. English will become useful when I start working or travel abroad. My dream is to become a flight attendant and board a plane that takes us abroad. That is why I will continue to study hard at Onagawa Kougakukan. Last but not least, I would like to thank people who gave such generous donations to us.

Together we support children

It costs about 60 million yen to operate one Collabo School. Collabo School which started in July 2011 as a Hatachi Foundation Project has received generous support to from various companies, foundations and individuals inside and outside Japan. Collabo School also became a part of the emergency school counselor dispatching program (2011-2015) funded by the Ministry of Education and Science, and incorporated into a broader policy of regional reconstruction. In addition, Collabo School signed the partnership agreement with the local government of Onagawa and creating a place for students to study with the help and collaboration with local government, board of education, local elementary and junior high schools and parents.

230% increase in academic motivation

Positive feedback from students have been the source of our motivation. At Otsuchi Ringakusha, the number of students positively responding to the questionnaire (“I study because it is exciting to be able to do something new”) has increased 230% by March 2015. Students at Onagawa Kougakukan are also diligently participating in the program.

Creating the leaders of reconstruction

“We want to move on from the stage of being recipients of support, and try to do whatever we can!” With such strong passion in their heart, students have taken initiative and started various educational projects that contributes to the reconstruction of the town. Collabo School will create community leaders that will support the reconstruction.