Yota Tsukada is not your typical self-centered teenager.
A third-year high school student from Kanagawa Prefecture, Tsukada heads TF3 (Teen for 3.11), a group of high school students in the Tokyo area who are doing their part to help out in the disaster-stricken areas of quake-hit northeastern Japan.
The 30-member group publishes booklets and organizes bus tours for teenagers to the areas affected by last year's Great East Japan Earthquake.
“I felt a sense of crisis," Tsukada says. "Those around me from my generation were living as if the disaster had never happened.”
Tsukada has worked as a volunteer in the disaster area several times since last summer, but rarely worked with other teenagers. In April, he and his friends organized TF3.
Although many junior and senior high school students are interested in assisting in the reconstruction efforts, many tend to think they cannot do anything, Tsukada says. They do not have money they can spend as they wish, and often their parents are opposed to the idea of visiting the disaster-stricken areas.
TF3's goal is to provide support for reconstruction that meets the needs of teenagers.
The group’s booklet for teenagers runs interviews with teens in the disaster areas, as well as members’ opinions on the earthquake and tsunami, and their experiences.
They also put out an e-mail magazine each month, which carries a variety of information, including events for reconstruction assistance.
One of the main pillars of the group is organizing inexpensive bus tours to the disaster-stricken areas.
The first tour group visited Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on Aug. 11, and met with local teenagers and participated in local festivals and activities.
TF3 is currently seeking new members and financial support for activities.
For further information, visit (teenfor-311.jimdo.com/)
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