The World After 3.11 Top Page> Efforts for Earthquake Reconstruction—the Role of the Meiji University Earthquake Reconstruction Support Center—

Efforts for Earthquake Reconstruction—the Role of the Meiji University Earthquake Reconstruction Support Center—

Since immediately after the earthquake, Meiji University started engaging in efforts to confirm the safety of students, assess the damage situation within the university, strengthen its disaster prevention structure and disaster prevention activities, including energy conservation, and enhance risk management control under the direction of the Disaster Prevention Headquarters. The university has also been considering how it can contribute as a university to assist with reconstruction in disaster-stricken areas and enable people in those areas to return to their normal lives as soon as possible. As one measure, the university established the Meiji University Earthquake Reconstruction Support Center (founded on May 1, 2011) under the President’s Office. Through a unified university-wide effort, the center aims to fulfill the university’s social responsibility through reconstruction support activities being carried out by each school and to centralize information.

For the interim, the center’s activities will focus on disaster area support by student volunteers in cooperation with the Academic Affairs Office and Student Affairs Office. As a base for disaster area support, the Urayasu Volunteer Work Base was established in Urayasu City, Chiba Prefecture, which was designated as a severely affected disaster area due to soil liquefaction. In addition to volunteer work for leveling school courts and teaching assistance at junior high schools in Urayasu, activities are held such as hosting a Tohoku disaster area support market in which Meiji University students and local junior high school students sell local products from disaster areas in the Tohoku region such as Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture and Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.

Mainly using this volunteer base, we aim to foster individuals who will be involved in reconstruction through the university-wide general course, Volunteer Work Practicum for the Great East Japan Earthquake, and at the same time, contribute to disaster area support through collaboration with disaster-stricken areas.

In the future, we aim to strengthen collaboration with disaster-stricken areas and continue with assistance and projects for disaster area reconstruction as well as education and research activities related to reconstruction assistance at each Meiji University office.