Some notes from a discussion on "Including Local Community Input in Rebuilding, while Encouraging Out-of-the-Box thinking" in Tohoku

There are many issues we need to deal with in the transition from emergency to recovery phases.

The participatory approach is not only important because it makes sense but because it has been proven to work. 

We should be careful in our trying to "respect peoples local ways" that we are not taking a paternalistic or protective role or view. 

I realised in our talks
1. that many people are still thinking of people in tohoku as victims to be protected rather than equals who need support in getting their feet back on the ground.
2. there is not a clear understanding of the differing roles that volunteers and professional not only can take but also should take,

We should clarify the roles, responsibilities of as well as the need for general volunteers and professionals - both are needed but have different purposes and benefits. 
For example - general volunteers are important in numbers and for both hard and soft recovery - whether it be serving tea, baby sitting or shoveling.
Professional facilitation and community organizers are necessary in order to help people move towards innovative recovery and to help them bring about the changes needed.

* Also there still seems to be a lack of understanding of nonprofit organizations in Japan and the need for both generalists and professionals with specific skills.(but I guess this is why i have a job...)


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