Place to Grow is a program supporting fragmented communities to come together after disasters through intergenerational workshops that connect children, elderly and outside volunteers.


Nao, Aoi, and Kokoa create art with the Ohana International School team at Place to Grow Jan.21st, 2016.

Connecting Communities

When you experience a disaster, when you lose everything that was important, your world falls apart.  You lose hope.  You lose purpose.  You lose the capacity to recover.  Those who survived the disaster now must survive the recovery. 

Recent Workshops

Place to Grow with Ohana International School

Teachers and parents from Ohana International School with local children on January 21st, 2016.

Place to Grow + Santa Soul Train with Stuart-O

Volunteers have their cake and eat it too, at Santa Soul Train on December 11th, 2015.

Safe Learning Environment

For children Place to Grow provides an emotionally safe learning environment, and local role models for children by introducing them to the older generations through activity specific workshops.  For the community it provides a platform where the two generations connect and knowledge is passed on to the younger.

Crossing the Generational Divide

With "locally grown" know-how.

Organic, healthy, and local.  Various local specialties sourced from Minami Sanriku farmers.

Our Furusato Box project supports local women and elderly to share their knowledge and the skills of the local farming community with new generations, and funds Place to Grow through ongoing deliveries of fresh vegetable and local produce boxes to donors and supporters. 

Upcoming Workshops

Stuart-O revisits Minami Sanriku

Communication and Expression

"Creating an environment of energy and inspiration."

Survivors Inspire Volunteers. 
Volunteers Inspire Survivors.

Crank up the volume, and watch
Santa Soul Train volunteer video:

A high-energy overview of the event from a volunteer point of view, from packing presents to card-making, to celebrating and dancing.

Check out the full Santa Soul Train web report here.

What does Place to Grow provide?

Community support

  • Facilitates volunteer connection with locals.
  • Monitors MSR residents' needs and coordinates local events and activities.
  • Offers art and agriculture classes and a series of generational connect events.

Infrastructure support

  • Utilizes shared facilities to hold local workshops and events.
  • Physical hub and office facilities for local agriculture businesses.

Livelihood support

  • Offers direct support to local residents, such as housewives and high school students, for part-time work opportunities
  • Coordinates interested parties and acts as a think tank for the creation of agriculture business.
  • Provides facilities, people and resources to test and launch new agriculture businesses

Coordinator Wanted

Place to Grow is looking for a volunteer coordinator to help with administration and research for the veggie box program.  If you speak Japanese and English, and want to get involved in community rebuilding, connecting, and inspiring the survivors in Tohoku, please contact us below.

Ps. Big thank you to the team at Ohana International School, Kaori Yokomizo, Lucia Ishikawa and Kieran Gane for their photos and text supporting the Place to Grow website.