It seems like the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 was a long time ago, and chronologically, I guess it was. Here in Japan, however, the events of the day are still in the front of our minds, brought to the fore with just the slightest whiff of reminder. Many people across the country are still affected by the events of the day, and many people are still working hard to repair and rebuild those affected areas, as they will be doing for a long time to come, still.
One such young woman who is working on rebuilding is Sohpia Slater. I had the privilege of interviewing her recently and she speaks with the wisdom and foresight of someone well beyond her years. Sophia is sixteen and a junior at the American School in Japan. She started the charity “Charmworks” that you can find here. Twice a month, she and various people around Tokyo get together to paint charms made from the roof tiles salvaged from a fishing village in the Tohoku region called Funakoshi.
You can read more about my talk with the delightful Ms. Slater on the site A Hopeful Sign. All money she receives from the sale of the charms goes back to the people of Funakoshi so they can rebuild their industry and lives.
As a note, in addition to starting Charmworks and being a good student, Ms. Slater is a rather insightful young lady. She has a lot of good ideas about the notion of recovery as it encompasses both physical and emotional healing, and how the two go hand in hand. You can read more about that in her blog posting in the Huffington Post.
The young Ms. Slater’s work is one example of the dedicated men and women across Japan who are working to rebuild the once beautiful seaside towns in the Tohoku region. Please consider buying a charm from her, or continuing to support Japan in some way. We live in a 24-hour news cycle these days, and one crisis tends to give way to the next. But people continue to suffer long after the reporters are gone and the initial sensation is over. We should always remember.