In the wake of the March 2011 disaster,  34 of Ofunato City’s 132 community centers were partly or completely destroyed. These centers play a vital role in civic life, and with the JTI Foundation’s support, KnK Japan plans to renovate or rebuild a number of these.

JTI Foundation allocation: CHF 640,000 over 18 months

Community centers are at the heart of Japanese society. They are places where people of all ages gather to play, study, hold meetings and organize traditional events. During times of national crisis, community centers also play an essential role in disaster response – serving as shelters, distribution bases and communication centers. Their importance to the communities they serve cannot be underestimated.

KnK Japan (‘Children without Borders’) – a Japanese not-for-profit organization – has already completed community center rebuilding projects in nearby Yamada and Kamaishi cities. With the JTI Foundation’s backing, KnK Japan  will work closely with Ofunato’s local authorities and beneficiary communities to develop and implement an ambitious rebuilding project.

This will initially provide three semi-permanent centers with a useful life of about ten years. These will be completed in 2012.  The JTI Foundation’s support will continue into 2013 with funding for the reconstruction of a further eight permanent centers.

Thereafter, KnK Japan and the Ofunato municipality will take charge of a second phase, running between 2013 and 2016, overseeing the reconstruction of a further six centers. As a result, a total of around 5,000 individuals from 17 local communities are expected to benefit from the two-phase project.

By funding the project during 2012 and 2013, the JTI Foundation is also allowing Ofunato City authorities to reallocate scarce resources to other urgent long-term revitalization projects.

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KnK Japan: KnK Japan is a Japanese-based non-governmental organization. Since September 2000, when KnK's first project was initiated in Cambodia, the association has never stopped growing. read more