Dec 2021


Happy Holidays 2021/2022: Looking back domestic projects

As the end of the year is fast approaching, Peace Boat Disaster Relief (PBV) would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to our donors, supporters and volunteers who have made great contributions to our activities throughout this year again. Thanks to your generous support, we have managed to continue carrying out disaster relief projects and training programs despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Thank you very much!

Let us look back on this year. Our disaster response team in Chiba continued the project to support communities affected by the typhoons in 2019. This project has grown into a community-wide program to encourage people to develop additional skills that will help the community if faced with future disasters. Now local fire fighters are voluntarily attending training on roof-repair and house preservation, this training is organized by the association of support groups in Chiba. The team also responded to help communities in Miyagi, after the Fukushima offshore earthquake in February.

Japan experienced the largest surge in COVID-19 infection cases during the summer. Restrictions on cross-prefectural travels and group gatherings were put in place across the country. Disaster relief organizations had jointly published the guidelines on staff travelling to affected areas in June 2020, and these guidelines have been kept updating to reflect the changing situation. In August, during the infection surge, heavy rain and flooding occurred in a large part of western Japan. After careful consideration and discussion with the local authorities, residents and support organization networks, the PBV decided to dispatch a team to Omachi-cho in the Saga prefecture to support the communities affected by the flood. The team took thorough precautions to prevent any spread of infection throughout their time on-site for this project.

While we continued our relief efforts in different parts of Japan, the PBV also carried on offering training programs. In normal years, our training team give lectures and workshops on disaster preparedness in-person upon requests from diverse stakeholders, including local governments, social welfare councils and schools. However, the restrictions on travel and gathering posed challenges to the team to carry out the training on site. While many requests were cancelled due to the pandemic last year, we were able to accommodate more requests for online workshops and lectures this year. Although this change to online training has been an unexpected one, the online workshops have the potential to reach out to a wider audience where we are not able to visit in person.