The River Foundation in JapanGuest post by Kazunari Sugawara, researcher at
At a Project WET workshop in November 2015, Mina Shibata got a new kind of recognition. Named the Miss Japan “Water for Life” award winner at the 47th annual Miss Japan Contest earlier in 2015, Ms. Shibata successfully completed the November training workshop with Project WET Japan and was named a certified Project WET educator. The certification will help her in her official role as Miss Japan’s “Water for Life” award winner, which charges her with teaching people how Japan has contributed to the development of water infrastructure around the world.
“I was looking for an easy-to-understand tool to help children learn about water and its infrastructure,” said Ms. Shibata, a 20-year-old from the Kanagawa Prefecture who is currently a student at Shirayuri University. “I am glad to have found Project WET.”
Miss Japan Contest, first held in 1950, encourages women to take a leading role in Japanese society. Each year, it awards a grand prize winner as well as six awards for runners-up. In 2015, nearly 2,500 women entered the Miss Japan contest.In addition to using her new skills to teach people about water, Ms. Shibata will also help raise the profile of Project WET in Japan. The River Foundation, an organizer of Project WET in Japan, is expanding its water education activities in part through innovative partnerships with diverse organizations outside of their traditional niche, including the secretariat of the Miss Japan Contest. The