After the unprecedented disaster of March 11, 2011, Women Help Women served as a gateway for emergency support from female entrepreneurs in Korea, with that new initiative becoming an incubator for ideas. At the invitation of Sung-Joo Kim, founder and CVO of Korea’s Sungjoo International Group, Japanese female entrepreneurs who had met Ms. Kim at the Global Summit of Women (an international conference also known as “Davos for Women”) worked together to provide emergency support to areas stricken by the disaster. We who were involved on the Japanese side took the opportunity to begin activities intended not just to provide emergency support, but also to aid the recovery and rebirth truly necessary after such a disaster.
On March 11, 2011, the day of the disaster, we learned the powerlessness of humankind in the face of nature. But at the same time, we also learned humanity’s caring nature – a priceless experience which brought the world together. Inspired by this experience, we plan to continue our activities indefinitely, relying on the meaning of the words “Women Help Women” as our guiding concept: Women across the world joining together to help each other and survive together.
We believe that it is important to help each other with the handiwork we as women know so well, creating new economic value and contributing to the creation of a better society. The women of the Tohoku Region have been able not to just earn a living through their work, but to feel useful, a reason to live, and the pride that comes based on these values. The people who have purchased products created by women in the disaster areas have felt satisfaction with their purchases, happy to purchase an item which has strong significance to them, and also to make a purchase which itself gives meaning. We intend to continue showing how a single job can connect to amazing value creation.
Currently, we are working toward the revival of Tohoku communities, crossing international borders and utilizing women’s special talents. The manual labor of women in the Tohoku Region contributes to the promotion, revival, and preservation of traditional culture, in addition to generating new values. In concrete terms, we are contributing with the latest technology, specialist skills (sewing, design), specialist business skills (global branding/marketing, management consulting, and market research), providing education, and offering global market development support.
Just as our name “Women Help Women” signifies, we strive to create social values for each other, sharing our own resources with the people who need them right now. We also work to provide the same values and resources for the next generation, as in the phrases of “pay it forward” and “bank of good will.” Our ultimate goal is “creating a women’s global happiness value chain,” and we hope to continue developing, step-by-step, all kinds of activities to fulfill our goal of working together to create new values.