To benefit the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that shook the lives of so many in March 2011, 49 artists from 18 countries came together in Singapore to rerecord Coldplay’s Fix You. This song has now been released worldwide, and all proceeds will go towards the Japanese Red Cross Society and Peace Boat.
Peace Boat has been carrying out its relief operations with the support of many individuals and organisations both within and outside Japan. As well as the international volunteers featured in reports on this site earlier, many members of the international community living in Japan have been greatly active in supporting the relief and recovery efforts going on since March. One such group is the Nigerian community in Japan, who gathered to support Peace Boat’s project for people moving into temporary housing in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture.
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These dolls are “tsunamika” – gifts to citizens of Ishinomaki from the Auroville community in south India, who were greatly affected by the 2004 Sumatra tsunami. “Having overcome the tsunami ourselves, we are alive here today. These small dolls are a living symbol of that. As we were able to become independent, we also believe that you will be able to recover,” is the message sent by these dolls from India to Japan.
When Peace Boat visited India in April and May in 2011, many tsunamika were brought to the ship to be given to survivors of the tsunami which hit Japan this year. Thanks to Peace Boat’s volunteers, these tsunamika have now reached the hands of the community in Ishinomaki. These dolls remind us of the importance of supporting each other, even across the sea. Thank you to the people of Auroville!
Jeremy Browne MP, Minister of State at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and British Ambassador to Japan David Warren visited Ishinomaki on July 10.
After meeting with officials at the City Hall, Mr Browne then visited Peace Boat’s Central Kitchen in Ishinomaki together with Mayor Kameyama Hiroshi and Ito Shuki, Chair of the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC) in order to see the actual activities to support survivors and the recovery of the affected areas.
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A new poetry book by Welsh writer based in Yokohama Jon Mitchell has been published this week, with all sales going to support Peace Boat’s ongoing relief efforts in Tohoku. “march and after – poems from tsunami country” – chronicles life in Japan following the 3.11 earthquake, and is available in limited edition hard cover and e-book version also. See here for more details.
Peace Boat, in cooperation with the Minamisoma Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), has developed a program that would support the youth and parents of the town in their desire to keep their children safe over the summer holiday period. The Fukushima Youth Voyage is a two-week opportunity for 49 Junior High School students from six different schools in Minamisoma to spend the summer in a healthy, dynamic and radiation-free environment, where they can learn new skills, enjoy new experiences and gain a fresh perspective on the future, while enabling their parents to focus on rebuilding their community.
“After I volunteered in Ishinomaki, I wanted to make sure it didn’t just end as a ‘good experience’ and I wanted to keep doing as much as I can even back in Tokyo.”
After volunteering in Ishinomaki between May 20-28, Mr Sekine Masataka is now active volunteering to support the relief efforts from Tokyo.
Many people felt that they wanted to contribute something immediately after the earthquake, and yet many people are have not been able to directly go to the disaster affected areas due to work duties or physical capacity. Peace Boat has many opportunities for such people to support the activities even from in Tokyo.
A volunteer from the UK has launched a project to sell tshirts designed by the children of Minato Primary School in Ishinomaki, with all funds going to Peace Boat’s disaster relief activities – see more details here.
The Nigerian Community living in Japan raised over 2 million yen in donations, designated to be sent via Peace Boat to support the purchase of necessary items for temporary housing in Onagawa, Miyagi. On July 24 at the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre in Tokyo’s Takadanobaba staff and volunteers involved in the relief efforts will gather and report about the activities.
Peace Boat’s relief activities diversifying to respond to the evolving needs of the community in the affected areas, including now supporting the moves of survivors into temporary housing, ensuring a comfortable and liveable environment. This entry details the delivery of relief goods for 94 houses Peace Boat is supporting in Onagawa, 30 km from Ishinomaki.