15
Nov

0

6th Newspaper Published!


(See here for a PDF of the newspaper’s 6th edition: 3/85MB.
Archives of the newspapers (in Japanese language) can be seen here.)

This newspaper has been handed since October 2 by hand to 4000 households at over 80 temporary housing areas in the area. 6 newspapers have been published so far, and the 7th edition will be published and distributed on November 12.

The newspaper team is composed of regular volunteers every week. The newspapers are published every Friday, and distributed to each household over the week by the hands of 4 to 5 volunteer teams of 20 to 25 members each.

The following is the general flow of volunteers;

Fri Night: Depart Tokyo (Bus)
Sat Early Morning: Arrive at Ishinomaki, handover from the previous team, lecture, distribution commences
Sun-Thur All day: visiting homes and distributing newspapers
Fri: Visit/Distribute, publish of next newspaper, printing
Sat Morning: Handover to the next volunteer team, bus ride back to Tokyo

While this work may seem to be simple delivery of newspapers, the area has been severely affected by the earthquake. Thus, volunteers are trained in how to respond to certain situations they may face. After directly visiting the temporary housings to see the reality, volunteers start distributing newspapers with the AD (Assistant Director) and volunteer leaders.

Receiving a briefing at the volunteer accommodation facility.

Volunteers visiting the Minamihama town in Ishinomaki city. This holds a large importance for the volunteers to take in the reality and think about the lives of the people living in the temporary housing.

Depending on distance, teams head towards the temporary housing by car or bicycle.

This newspaper is published only once a week and so the amount of information that can be included is limited, however for households without internet, this newspaper has an important role in daily life. Many people thank the volunteers, saying they cannot wait for the next edition.

The newspaper is distributed to 4000 households over 6 days, meaning that 700 households need to be reached each day. While of course time and efficiency are considered, a priority is communication with the local residents. If the person is not home, a different group will later on bring the newspaper to the household to directly hand them the newspaper. Over the 6 weeks of distribution, over 90% of deliveries have been done by hand.

8 months have passed since the earthquake, but much support and eager volunteers are still needed in many areas.
Please see here for more information about how to volunteer.

All photos by Nakamura Mitsutoshi.