Fukushima Prefectural Futaba Future School Community SpaceWith support from The Nippon Foundation Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, students and residents working together to rebuild a community
The Nippon Foundation is supporting an effort for community-building involving local residents and students of the Fukushima Prefectural Futaba Future School at the school’s new building in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture. The design for the school’s new building has been finalized, and a media event was held on July 31 to unveil the design.
The Futaba Future School is a junior and senior high school that opened in Hirono-machi, Futaba District, Fukushima Prefecture, in April 2015. Hirono-machi is located just outside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone declared after the nuclear power plant accident triggered by the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan in March 2011, in the emergency evacuation preparation zone, but the town government recommended that all residents evacuate. The emergency evacuation preparation zone designation was lifted in September, but the town government maintained its evacuation recommendation until March 31, 2012.
The school’s new building is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2019, and will include a Community Space for a variety of projects that bring together a cross-section of society in addition to students, including local residents, NGOs, and companies, with the aim of restoring the community and making it sustainable. The facility will include a student-operated café, an activity space for a school club promoting community revitalization, and meeting rooms for community use, creating a unique, creative space within the school where students and other community members can work together. The design incorporates input from students, school officials, local residents, and architects.
Support from The Nippon Foundation
The Nippon Foundation is providing the following support to equip the Community Space (multipurpose space, multipurpose auditorium, library).
- Planning and design: Support to design the specific space, taking into account specific activities envisioned
- Creating a productive environment: Support for the manufacture and procurement of furniture based on the facility’s design, and the donation of roughly 4,000 books, periodicals, etc. for the library
- Operational structure support: Support for the establishment of an organizational structure to operate the facility.
- The structures themselves are not included in any of the above. This project is part of The Nippon Foundation’s support for reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, which began in fiscal 2011.
About the Fukushima Prefectural Futaba Future School
The Fukushima Prefectural Futaba Future School opened in April 2015 in Hirono-machi, Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, to cultivate human resources capable of working on a national and global level toward the region’s recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Many of the students who study there were forced to evacuate to other areas of Fukushima Prefecture, or outside the prefecture, as a result of the earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear power plant accident.
As the students work to overcome the effects of the unprecedented damage caused by the disaster, the school is working closely with the local community to make the students “agents of transformation,” by transforming themselves, transforming their communities, and transforming society. The school is developing unique curricula, including community revitalization projects using themes that the students develop themselves, like creating products to debunk rumors about the region and becoming involved in community-building through renewable energy.
The school has 422 high school students (148 first year, 147 second year, 127 third year; as of April 10, 2018). It is currently using an existing junior high school as a temporary facility, with plans to move into the new facility upon its scheduled completion in the spring of 2019.
About The Nippon Foundation Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund
The Nippon Foundation Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund was established as part of The Nippon Foundation’s ROAD Project to support relief and recovery operations in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Fund collected roughly 3.1 billion yen in non-designated contributions (for use at The Nippon Foundation’s discretion) from donors in Japan and around the world, and these contributions have been used to support activities that meet the constantly changing needs of affected areas. The Fund stopped accepting donations at the end of July 2017, and this project at the Fukushima Prefectural Futaba Future School is the last project the Fund will support.
The Nippon Foundation