From 1~4 July, a group of OCU student volunteers travelled to the town of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture to provide relief work for the Great East Japan Earthquake. They presented their experiences at the OCU Media Center on 14 July. Not only students and teaching staff but several Osaka City Council members and the Head of Sumiyoshi-ward assisted the meeting.
After a welcome word from Vice-President Miyano, chairman of the OCU disaster relief council, Yukiko Wakikawa (Faculty of Law, 4th year) led the presentation on behalf of the students that participated.
Next Koji Shinsha (Faculty of Economics, 4th year) explained how on the first day they cleared away rubble and on the second day helped direct traffic for an event.
After showing several images taken during the volunteer work, the students sat down and each talked about their experiences in a panel discussion style.
-Kyohei Ishikawa, Faculty of Law, 1st year
"I was inspired to help out through the stories of my father about the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Now I could really experience the things my father told me about, these four days have been very significant for me."
-Yuka Sakiyama, Faculty of Human Life Science, 3rd year
"At first I was worried how we would be accepted by the local people, but then everywhere in the town we saw posters saying –Thank you for your help – and realized how welcome we were. I think I have broadened my horizon by participating."
-Shigeki Yoshida, Faculty of Law, 2nd year
"It was so good to see the smiling faces of children. By having actually gone there I now feel close to them. It also made me think of what I can do if a disaster would hit my own area."
-Atsuko Tai, Graduate School of Engineering, 1st year
"Finding photos and CD's in the rubble gave me a shock. Until now the disaster area felt very far away, but now I really felt the reality of it. It also changed my feeling about volunteer work."
A lively discussion followed about the significance and future necessity of relief work and the audience commented by saying they were glad to see the high awareness of volunteer work among the OCU students. "If everybody gives even just a small contribution, all that effort together will become a great help", someone said.
After the presentation finished the students held an explanation session for students interested to participate in future volunteer projects.