Recently volunteers have become busy with cleaning graves, as local residents have requested help to have the graves cleaned by the time of the equinox. Mainly short-term volunteers have been involved with this and everyday many volunteers are spending time cleaning graves and the surrounding area. Today’s report is about such grave cleaning activities at Saikou Temple in Kadonowaki-cho.
A barbecue is on the menu for today, as a new style of meal preparation. Up until now, ready-made meals were handed out to residents. This new style is where volunteers take the ingredients and equipment necessary to cook on the spot, together with residents. As the needs in the area are changing, the idea emerged that residents could regain some independence by creating an environment where they can cook what they want to eat themselves.
The “Dani-buster” team been working since June, and is in charge of cleaning of bedding, drying and delivery of futons, pest control in evacuation centres and particularly removing bed bugs in the more than 60 evacuation centers in Ishinomaki area according to the needs of each particular centre.
Two new videos have been uploaded by the Ganbatte 365 project introduced earlier on this web site. See here for two clips of Peace Boat efforts supporting the oyster industry in Ishinomaki.
On July 26, a charity sports event called “Corrida por Japon” or “Let’s run for Japan!” was held by the Japan Chamber of Commerce in Paraguay in the capital city of Asunción. Approximately 1000 people participated in the event, during which there was a presentation explaining the current situation in the disaster-affected areas as well as a lively Taiko (Japanese drumming) performance as a prayer for recovery. Support funds which were collected at the charity event were donated to Peace Boat to be used in Peace Boat’s disaster relief operations.
It is already passed the middle of August and despite hoping that the Tohoku region would soon cool down, the hot weather continues. Here in Ishinomaki, the bug spray and fly-catching paper that arrived amongst aid supplies from all over the country had somewhat of an effect on reducing the number of flies but now the number of mosquitoes is increasing.
In response to the increase of flies and mosquitoes, Peace Boat has been installing fly screens in the evacuation centers in each region. Today’s report is about the installation of these fly screens.
On August 7, the closing ceremony of the Dougenin Temple evacuation center (“Dougenin”) in Ishinomaki was held. Dougenin was established soon after the earthquake and tsunami occurred and has been helping to protect the residents of Ishinomaki ever since. The Dougenin evacuation center taught us the important lesson that in the face of disaster, “Relationships with other people and helping each other can save lives.”
Short-term and weekly volunteer positions for September are now open. We are now in need of volunteers to help with diversifying needs including cleaning of graves, fishing industry support, provision of bath facilities, delivery of daily necessities to temporary housing facilities assistance with town-building activities.
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An exhibition of photographs from areas affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami was conducted during Peace Boat’s 73rd Global Peace Voyage (April 24, 2011 to July 12, 2011). Volunteers and staff members who had volunteered in Ishinomaki immediately after disaster struck joined Peace Boat as it traveled on its journey around the world to visit 19 ports around the world.
The photo exhibition was called “Standing Together! Standing Stronger!” and was developed with the aim of showing people the situation in the disaster-affected areas and to communicate Japan’s appreciation to all of the people and countries around the world for their support.
Ganbatte 360 is a project which aims to visually document and disseminate information about the rebuilding process following the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. They have created a series of 15 second-long videos which explain the work that Peace Boat is doing. The videos can now be seen on our website here.