Building Resilience and Social Capital in Disaster-affected Communities: Salvaging Historical and Cultural Heritage as a Form of Psychosocial Support

[Speaker] Daisuke, Sato:1
1:Tohoku University (Japan)

Miyagi Rekishi Shiryo Network is an NGO which works to salvage and preserve the historical and cultural heritage of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It was founded after earthquakes in 2003, and since 2011, has conducted over 100 salvage operations. In conducting our operations, we mobilize and link together professional historians and curators, local government employees, and local people in multi-layered networks on an ongoing basis. Salvaging endangered heritage materiels provides people with an important way of recovering personal and community identity, and thereby strengthening resilience. Moreover, since most of our volunteers are women or elderly men, they serve as a platform to actively engage these groups in post-disaster recovery work.
This paper will provide an analysis of the psychosocial merits of our operations in building resilience and social capital.
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