We ran EGAKU for a group of high school students from Fukushima, as part of a retreat hosted by non-profit Bridge for Fukushima. This was part of a 3 day retreat for high school students to interact with adults and reflect on their future plans. On the 2nd day of the retreat, the students were asked to paint "What I want to value - now and in the future" engaging in a dialogue with themselves and with others, and imaging the future. The powerful creations that emerged were full of hope for the future - do take a look. 

Here are some of the thoughts and reflections the participants shared with us: 
"I feel like I came away with something precious - a sense of who I am. Something I'd been thinking was really hard completely changed in the space of 3 hours. Wow!" 
"I realized that the future really matters to me" 
"I discovered the joy of expressing myself, and through drawing a picture at that! I experienced the deep meaning behind the introspective process of drawing a picture. I can see why businesses are adopting this approach." 
"I learnt the importance of not only examining my own heart and mind, but also of engaging with the hearts and minds of others." 
"It was the first time I'd experienced anything like this. It was a good experience." 
"From now on I want to be true to my feelings, and act from this core." 
"I was surprised to discover that looking at my picture again objectively as a viewer, I discovered some things that I'd never thought about while I was painting. And these insights totally made sense. There are times when things aren't going well, and I get down or anxious - but I realized that it's important to acknowledge this part of myself, to accept that it's part of who I am."

Theme: What I want to value - now and in the future
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 22 senior high school students
Venue: Forest Park Adatachi, Fukushima Prefecture
Host institution: Bridge for Fukushima
Instructor: Kuni Yazawa
Facilitator: Kimi Hasebe