Regional Revitalization Shotengai Team introduction with a focus on both Jim and Pema
AYF’s Shotengai Revitalization is a project focused on bringing new life into a shopping street in Iwaya, a small town located in the northernmost region of Awaji Island. The Iwaya Shotengai is a current display of many problems facing rural Japan today: aging populations, urbanization and home abandonment. In Iwaya, the symptoms of these infrastructural issues can be observed on a daily basis. However, in a place where many residents saw a hopeless situation, the individuals who now lead the Shotengai Revitalization project uncovered a new opportunity to demonstrate to Japanese people that you can do more than to say that nothing can be done.
So far, the project has emphasized three elements in kick-starting the revitalization of the Iwaya Shotengai:
– Acquiring property which will be used to open a new community space, luxury hostel and rooftop bar.
– Organizing the Awaji International Market, a place where both local and foreign crafts and cuisines can be enjoyed by visitors.
– Holding community events (educating the elderly about new technologies, local club activities, etc.) in an effort to strengthen local activity and trust.
Four individuals have taken charge of this ambitious project:
– Freddy Lim, a serial entrepreneur designer and entertainer from Singapore. He is the driving force behind the team. He works day and night on business plans, designs and moving the project forward any way he can.
– Ira Permana, marketer and event promoter from Indonesia The organizer who manages the events organized by the team, handles the project’s logistics and oversees relations with various stakeholders.
– Jim Bouman, marketing and HR professional from the Netherlands. The brains behind the team. He finds solutions in any situation the team encounters, keeps everyone focused on the task at hand and coordinates the various tasks and schedules.
– Pema Yangchen, HR and finance professional from India. The team’s treasurer. She handles the team’s finances, takes care of budgeting and financial plans as well as maintaining the team’s chemistry.
We had a chance to meet with Jim and Pema who allocated their time to help us learn more about Shotengai Revitalization and each of their roles in the project. Below are Jim and Pema’s profiles, which display their roles within the Shotengai Revitalization project and reasons for participating in the AYF program.
– Jim joined the AYF program with two things in mind: to help develop AYF and to take part in revitalization projects on Awaji Island. Jim strives to parallel his AYF goals with the two most important things in his personal philosophy: to develop his own self and to have a positive impact on others. Having worked in a start-up, Jim has relevant experience with new business development and has managed to translate the skills he acquired to help manage both the Shotengai Revitalization project and AYF as a whole.
– Pema comes from the Indian side of the Himalayas and has been dedicating most of her time to the development of the Tawang region and more precisely the remote village of Zemithang, where she established a banking facility. From a very young age Pema has been driven by the sheer will of leaving a positive mark on this world by helping the unprivileged, educating them and sharing what matters most to her: love and compassion. Naturally, Pema quickly saw the opportunity to participate in AYF and regional revitalization as an appropriate use of her talents and experience. Through the AYF program, Pema aims to further develop new skills in order to contribute more to the betterment of people both at home and around the globe.