Report on Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

News and Press Release
Originally published

Activities in the affected areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake
(The NGO Collaboration Center for Hanshin Quake Rehabilitation)

We pray for each individual deceased and sincerely express our deepest sympathy for each individual who lost their family members by Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11th. Additionally, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to all disaster victims and the sufferers who have forced to evacuate as a result of the crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear power plant.

The NGO Collaboration Center for Hanshin Quake Rehabilitation was founded by a citizen group who volunteered at Hanshin-Awaji Quake disaster. With learning from our volunteer experience in disaster assistance, our experience taught us important lessons of supporting each other, learning together, and standing together. Since 1995, we have been fielding our volunteer team into numerous suffering areas by disaster with this philosophy. Based on this philosophy, we will continue supporting lives and livings for all the people who suffered as a result of this disaster.

[Support at suffering area]

By utilizing our network, we will establish the foundation to support recovery process smoothly.

We have dispatched the first support team on 3/11, which is the very same day of Great East Japan Earthquake, and immediately initiated the survey and support activity in Miyagi, Iwate, and Yamagata prefectures since then. From 3/14 till now, we’ve been collaborating for management of shelter operation in Yonezawa city. As a part of our activity, we thought about easing sufferings from people with what we can and began offering “Hot Foot Spar” physical therapy, in which soaking the foot into warm water using beam tub and making people relax both psychologically and physically.

Since 3/25, we’ve also dispatched our staffs to Tono city, Iwate prefecture. As a backend support base for the coastal areas, where severely damaged by disaster, we launched “Tono Disaster Assistance Volunteer Network”, commonly known as” Tono Magokoro Net” along with Tono City municipal office, Tono Council of Social Welfare, Tono Junior Chamber International, and Tono local NPO. We conduct the acceptance of volunteers and supplies and assisting the people’s day to day lives who evacuated at shelter. Also, here is the Tono base (Tono Magokoro dormitory) of “Road Project”, which is the joint project by “The Nippon Foundation”, “Nationwide Network Connected by Earthquake”, and “Tokai Earthquake and other disaster assistance Volunteer Network Committee”, and we have been actively working on accepting the volunteers from Kanto area, and other assistances. At the shelters near coast, we are servicing “Hot Water Spa”, crafting “Makenaizou” (which means one word of “Never Give Up!” in Japanese and could be also consists of two Japanese words “Makenai”, meaning “Never give up” and “Zou”, meaning an elephant in Japanese) products, catering, and cleaning muds, and more. “Makenaizou” products are the handcrafted elephant dolls, initially began by the Kobe Earthquake victims intended to create motivation and also jobs, and the process of gathering and work together to craft this, have been helping us greatly to improve the communication inside the shelter.

[Backend Support]

At Kobe Office, we operate the following projects.

We have been fielding our volunteer staffs to undertake disaster relief activities of Mount Shinmoe volcano eruption affected area in Miyazaki Prefecture, as a part of “Nationwide Network Connected by Earthquake” (located Nagoya-city) since January. At this Great East Japan Earthquake, we’re leading “From Miyazaki to Tohoku, Circle of help - Vegetable Supporter –“ project. In this project, we start from purchasing vegetable grown from famers suffered by the volcano eruption in Miyazaki, and deliver those vegetables to the disaster affected area to provide foods to disaster victims. The target of this project is not only providing the food supply, but also delivering the message of “You are not alone, we are here for you” from one disaster affected area to the other.

In addition to the projects we’ve already mentioned, we’ve began operating “Let’s deliver power milk to children project”, in which we ask for a donation for the allergy proof powder milk among all people and deliver them to the shelters and facilities where needed.

From this point onward to help these people bring back to their normal lives, we believe the most important matter is to create the job for disaster victims. To brighten up economy in Tohoku towards their reconstruction, we are currently planning to support them by purchasing the agricultural products, traditional craft, handmade handicraft.

Murai, Masakiyo
Executive Director
The NGO Collaboration Center for Hanshin Quake Rehabilitation