26
Oct

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Newspaper delivery to temporary housing

Peace Boat is now creating a weekly newspaper to be delivered to temporary housing throughout Ishinomaki as part of its relief activities. Currently it is being delivered to around 4000 households in 70 different locations. (The newspaper itself can be downloaded at the bottom of this report.)

On this day, a temporary housing location near the centre of Ishinomaki City was visited. Although it was a weekday morning, most residents other than those either going for a walk or chatting on a nearby bench were in their houses.

At the time of delivery, a resident known by the volunteers happened to be coming home, so we had a chance to speak with him about the current situation.
He experienced the disaster in the Watanoha district. The restaurant he used to run was totally washed away other than its signboard out the front, however he strongly hopes to rebuild and open once again next year.

“We’ll go to eat there as soon as it opens!” “Really? Thanks, I will have to do my best then!”

It is thanks to the links created through the newspaper service that such a conversation came to be.

Many new connections are being built through the newspaper.

At the moment, a team of 20 volunteers are working together to deliver the newspapers, made up of leaders for each evacuation centre, editing staff and so on. The newspaper itself is created once a week, however it takes several days to spend the time to visit each home one by one, and so the volunteers are working on a very tight schedule. The articles include information from local authorities such as the city office about government support or procedures, medical and housing information, and volunteer activities. Based on a similar project following the 2004 Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake, the newspaper aims to provide information and hints to help support the residents in temporary housing’s lives to be as comfortable as possible.

Mr Kitamura of the newspaper editing team – he often spends time out researching for stories also.

The contents of the newspaper are centred around information that will be useful to residents in rebuilding their lives, collected in collaboration with the Social Welfare Council and local city authorities. As well as this, in order to provide more interesting and lively contents, volunteer reporters (in their blue Peace Boat bibs) have also started to cover various events and lectures in relation to support and recovery activities in the area.

Another report soon to be published will include some more detail about their activities and hopes.

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The weekly newspaper can be downloaded here (in Japanese only):

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All photos by Nakamura Mitsutoshi