Today we ate lunch at a small little cafe that’s run by local teens all from Ishinomaki; it’s called Kagikakko, which means quotation marks, like the ones you make with her fingers when quoting someone. They made the cafe after the March 2011 disaster as a way to bring young people together after the disaster. When we went to the cafe today we had great food accompanied by the sound of each other’s laughter. Once our meal was finished, we sat and listened to the testimony of one of the teens who helped start the café. She graduated from high school and is now a university student who still works there. She spoke about how after the disaster she didn’t want anything more than to help the people of Ishinomaki in some way, so she posted flyers asking for young leaders who wanted to make a change in multiple high schools. Once it was done she had 40 students who all just wanted to help some way so they made the cafe to help beautify Ishinomaki.
What I take away from today’s experience is that there is always a way to help – always. Yet, what was most touching was that they were high school students! My age and all. The high school students made a cafe after one of the biggest disasters we have seen in a while and it turned out to be a big hit. They brought the people of Ishinomaki together by giving them something to take their minds off of what happened. They created jobs and got young locals involved. Like a light in the darkness, leading the people of Ishinomaki out of their own pain and grief. This café provides residents a place to get full and break from the pain of the disaster.
Friendship Charter Public Charter School