Over the past few weeks on Instagram, I've been sharing about the Nozomi Project, a social enterprise making beauty out of brokenness - literally. The Nozomi Project takes broken pieces of pottery and dishes, left in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami, and turns them into beautiful pieces of jewelry.
With today, being the fifth anniversary of that fateful day, the work the Nozomi Project is doing is more important than ever in helping to rebuild the tsunami-torn communities of Ishinomaki. Nozomi (which means "hope") Project works with women in the community; empowering them by providing sustainable income and the skills to create these gorgeous yet delicate pieces of jewelry and accessories. The profit gained from sales are invested in the women, their families, as well as the community. More significantly, this project has helped the Nozomi women to find purpose, dignity, and hope in the face of adversity.
You may be wondering how I came to know about Nozomi Project and why I felt led to share their story. Some of you know that I used to have a blog about sweets and baking. Around the time I started baking/blogging, the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. I felt helpless watching the footage of the devastation on the news. My heart was breaking for the Japanese people. I shuddered, thinking that this could have easily been my birth country of Taiwan, a small island just south of Japan.
I had to do something. Anything.
At that time, Twitter was a huge resource - as a result of a few tweets, I was able to take part in a national bake sale fundraising effort to benefit the affected region of Tohoku.
Fast forward four years, to this past September when I came across Nozomi Project founder, Sue's post in a Facebook networking group. Sue was brainstorming ideas to promote and share the Project for the upcoming holidays. I was immediately drawn to their story and wanted to help in some way. I pointed her in the direction of an influencer in the food blogging world, whom I thought might be able to make a bigger impact. Then, as I grew in my lettering skills and became more connected with the Instagram lettering community, I thought I would do my small part in raising awareness this worthy social enterprise. Thus, began my #LetteringNozomi Instagram project.
To learn more about the Nozomi Project and the amazing women behind each carefully crafted piece, visit: www.nozomiproject.com