Peace Winds Japan has been supporting students and faculty at Koyo Maritime High School, a vocational school located in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. The school prepares its students for careers in the fishing industry and other maritime careers. About 360 students enroll at Koyo High School every year. The March 2011 tsunami devastated Koyo Maritime High School, destroying the school building, training equipment, and educational supplies. Fortunately students and faculty had retreated to the school rooftop and suffered no casualties. In November 2011 the Japanese government constructed a new Koyo Maritime High School building. Peace Winds is supplying classrooms with equipment to properly educate and train Koyo students.
Most recently Peace Winds upgraded the chemistry and cooking laboratories to ensure safe and functional laboratories for the 360 Koyo students. In the chemistry lab, a new fume hood limits exposure to hazardous and odorous chemicals. Also in the chemistry lab, a vacuum freeze-dry machine now provides students the opportunity to study and experiment with food processing and packaging techniques. Peace Winds also installed hot water heaters and plumbing in the cooking lab and in the chemistry lab. Prior to installation both labs had sinks and faucets but no running water, hot or cold.
In the autumn 2012 term, more than 50 students are using the chemistry lab daily. Students receive hands-on training in nutrition, food development, canning and other food processing methods in both laboratories. The equipment enables vocational training to prepare students for maritime careers, particularly girls. Ninety percent of the Koyo students in the Business and Industry Department are women who gain employment at Kesennuma’s numerous seafood processing plants.