close close
previous project
previous project
Japan, Kesennuma

Sokoage (H³ #2)

Supporting youth initiatives for community renewal in post-tsunami Japan

In Japan, Sokoage is a not-for profit association established by four community leaders in the wake of the 2011 tsunami, to support local youth projects bringing renewal and fresh hope to the devastated city of Kesennuma.  

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Sokoage (H³ #2)
© Sokoage

In the wake of the tsunami of March 11, 2011, four young people committed themselves to rebuilding the devastated community of Kesennuma. The friends, all in their early thirties, felt an urgent need to rekindle the younger generation, whose dreams were shattered by the disaster. Together, they founded the not-for-profit association Sokoage (literally, ‘to pick yourself up from the ground’), to support and accompany projects steered by school pupils aged 15 to 18. Their initiative and optimism have dynamised an entire community.

Sokoage organises forums for discussion and exchange after school and on weekends, spawning new projects dedicated to deepening young people’s knowledge of their city. Students aged 15 to 18 organise guided visits and publish tourist brochures promoting Kesennuma. This revaluation of their city goes hand in hand with the local community’s reappropriation of its public spaces and collective memory. The initiatives have reforged social ties, with a particular focus on transmitting memories and culture across the generations.

With exemplary commitment, these young volunteers have established codes of best practice at the local level, winning the support and approval of older generations. Their dedication has inspired the community as a whole and boosted the local economy, with potential to impact the wider region. Sokoage is supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of our project H³ #2 (Heart – Head – Hand).

> Find out more about H³ #2

next project
next project