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#JpQuake NPO: Ganbatte365 Kizuna Project

by Neil Van Wouw on February 29, 2012

Ganbatte 365 and You

After the 3.11 disaster, I started an NPO called Ganbatte 365 to increase awareness of the recovery and renewal of Tohoku. The content is a combination of 15 second videos (especially suited for outdoor digital media) and longer videos for the web. It’s all Creative Commons licensed so anyone can freely use it on any media world-wide just by downloading it from the Ganbatte 365 web site. Since last summer we have made almost 300 videos in English and Japanese, which have been played on screens at hundreds of locations in Japan and around the world.

As we come up to the 1st anniversary of the disaster, the focus will once again be on Japan. We’re taking a break from our usual activities to run a special crowd event called the

“Ganbatte 365 Kizuna Project: A Million Hearts To Japan.”

Now is the time to send another round of messages. If the outpouring of support from around the world last year was like the response to a friend who has just been in an accident, then this will be more like reminding a friend in the midst of a long, hard challenge that you are still there for them and that you are thinking of them.


Your Message on outdoor signs in Tokyo with a reach of 30M per week

It’s a Global multi-platform event, and we’re putting out the call through our fantastic outdoor media partners, the Web, and various social media. Send us your message to Japan! We’re collecting the messages, translating them and putting them on outdoor signs in Tokyo at over 300 locations with a reach of almost 30 million people per week.

We’re also taking the messages right to where the people need them most, at some of the places hardest hit by the disaster. We are setting up special screens there to publish messages as they come in.

Million Hearts To Japan Contest – Win a trip to Japan! (Come back in two days – when it goes live!!!)

We couldn’t stop there so we kept on going and made a contest. We know that people sending messages of support don’t need to win anything. They do it because it feels good. But the bigger we make this, the better everyone will feel, so let’s make it really big and have some fun at the same time. Submit a photo using Instagram and use the #HeartJapan hashtag and you can win some great prizes. Contest details via Statigram to be announced in two days. We are giving away products from Tohoku. Some are even from the stories we are covering in Ganbatte 365. All the finalist photos will appear in the Ganbatte 365 documentary film.

Grand Prize: a trip to Japan and an appearance in the documentary film.

Four easy ways to participate:

Send a Tweet (Copy, Edit & Sent the tweet. You’ll be retweeted)
Write a message on Facebook
Write a message on Google+

And then there’s the contest – enter the brand new contest here (With a prize of a trip to Japan!)

Ganbatte is a Japanese word that can mean “Do your best!” when you are working or “Go for it!” in sports. When someone is faced with a personal challenge, it can also mean “Stay strong!”. The name of this project, “Ganbatte 365″, refers to “staying strong” and “doing our best” for a whole year (the minimum length of the project), and also “doing our best” for each of the 365 days in a year.

About Neil Van Wouw

Managing director of Ganbatte 365 NPO, raising awareness of the renewal of Japan after 3.11.2011 size it!

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  • Neil Van Wouw

    Saul, thanks again for running this on your blog!

    • Saul Fleischman

      Of course, the honor’s been mine to play some small part in helping out, @ganbatte365:twitter

  • Sandor Benko

    Neil, thanks for this post. The world has moved on but people in the disaster areas – my wife’s sister is one – have to live with the consequences every day.

    • Neil Van Wouw

      So true, Sandor! It’s something I’d never stopped to think about deeply until I got involved with visiting the disaster area in Japan. It made me think about all the other disasters going on in the world and how people have similar situations. I hope to take the know-how I get of raising awareness for the recovery of this one and make it available to somehow to help others in similar situations.

  • Hugh Cann

    This is such a good idea. Well a year later and people’s lives are slowly coming back together. Glad to see someone doing something constructive about keeping the rest of the world aware. Contest is a great idea using Instagram!. Great job Neil.

    • Neil Van Wouw

      Thanks Hugh. I think the Instagram contest is going to be a fun way for people to participate.

  • Geoffrey Tegjeu

    Neil, good goings on the the Project, Happy to see people from different walks of life coming together and providing support in their own way. It would be great if this could happen without a catastrophe to move people, but i believe there is within the depths of each person lies a spark of care and compassion. Cheers on your efforts and to the people of Japan , Ganbatte we are with you, and all the rest of the world, that are going through hard times.

    • Saul Fleischman

      Thanks @ea6ea1c1fe0f8fece93d212273868543:disqus and hope you’ll do the Tweet thing. Imagine your tweet up on the giant screens (there are many, that’s Neil’s work)!

  • Milieunet

    Greta work Neil

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