Peace Boat conducts Disaster Relief Volunteer Training both in Japan (in Tokyo and the earthquake and tsunami affected areas of Ishinomaki, Miyagi) and onboard its ship throughout global voyages. This onboard programme not only equips participants with the knowledge and skills to volunteer in a disaster situation, but also gives them first hand experience of disaster mitigation and relief programmes around the world. This video shows the programme onboard and in Cuba during Peace Boat’s 75th Global Voyage, 2012.
After losing its own premises in the tsunami, Minato Daini Junior School is now located in temporary prefabricated buildings on the grounds of another local junior school. However, none of the facilities enjoyed by the students as before are yet available. Upon request from the school, Peace Boat has worked with the PAL System Cooperative Association to provide the school with 13 child-oriented computers for lesson purposes, successfully installed on March 1.
A total of 150 people joined volunteer activities to shovel snow in 30 locations throughout Ojiya City, Niigata Prefecture. This report outlines their achievements and interviews a volunteer and a coordinating staff about their experiences and the system now in place for coordination of disaster relief volunteers through Peace Boat.
Thank you once again to all those who took part and supported this project.
After going to Ishinomaki as a member of Peace Boat’s advance team in March 2011, then working as a volunteer coordinator in Tokyo, Takeda Nobuhiro is now working to coordinate support for Fukushima. He himself is also from Fukushima – from Koriyama City, also deeply affected by the 3.11 disaster. This interview tells of his activities in Ishinomaki, coordinating in Tokyo, and planning ongoing support for Fukushima including youth temporary evacuation projects and opportunities for dialogue amongst citizens.
We are nearing the one year anniversary of the March 11 disasters. In this time, over 1,000 international volunteers from over 50 countries have come to Ishinomaki, together with over 10,000 Japanese volunteers, and provided much-needed assistance to survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. The city has made fantastic progress; and while there is still a very long way to go before full recovery, with your continued support, the city can begin to flourish once more.
This report shares some news from Ishinomaki, more information about Peace Boat volunteer work and plans for the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
Due to an unusual cold wave, a record snowfall has been reported at various locations in Japan. In Ojiya city of Niigata Prefecture, snow shoveling operations have not been able to keep up with snow accumulation. The lives of the elderly and children in the area are in danger and such conditions are casting a burden over their daily lives.
Based on such conditions, the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) has started recruiting volunteers to help shovel snow!
Miyagi Prefecture is proud to cultivate the second largest volume of oysters in Japan. Volunteers are active helping to collect scallop shells to use for the cultivation of oysters. This is especially important as the recovery of the fishing industry is vital for the local community, yet many local residents working on this are elderly people living in temporary housing or partially damaged houses.
Kinkasan around 20 minutes by boat from Ayukawa on the Oshika Peninsula, Ishinomaki. Located in the Pacific Ocean, the entire island of Kinkasan is considered to be sacred areas of Koganeyama Shrine. Because it is said that if you visit this shrine for three consecutive years, you will never be in financial difficulties for the rest of your life, the shrine attracts many visitors from throughout Miyagi and other prefectures every year around the new year.
The road connected to the approach, however, was collapsed after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and subsequent typhoons. The island’s only souvenir shop was inundated with dirt and sludge, as was the water tank that holds the water required for daily life. Thus, the island was not in the condition to host visitors. To once again enable people to visit the island comfortably, organizations belonging to the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC) gathered and implemented the “Kinkasan Support Project” between December 19 and 23.
Peace Boat activities to support the local fishing industry in the Ishinomaki area were carried out in 16 coastal locations in Ogatsu and the Oshika Peninsula, on 160 days in 2011. Throughout 2011, a total of 10,300 volunteers (7,757 Peace Boat regular and short-term volunteers (including international volunteers) and 2,543 corporate volunteers) took part in this operation.
While providing assistance for aqua-farming season may be restarted in 2012, Peace Boat would first like to extend our appreciation to all those who participated in activities this year, and report on the results of 2011.
The documentary, “One Step Towards Recovery – Ties Between Survivors and Volunteers” is now available on line! It is a 24-minute-long film featuring the Kawabiraki festival held in Ishinomaki this summer, interviews with local survivors, and footage of relief activities such as provision of meals, mud clearance and fishing industry support.
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