Orientations, training and safety measures for volunteers have been developed greatly as the activities have proceeded over the past six months. Read here for further information about such issues.
Taylor Anderson was an assistant English teacher from the United States who lost her life in the tsunami. Taylor was teaching English at 7 schools in Ishinomaki city, a place she was known to love. Four members of her family came to Ishinomaki on September 8.
Peace Boat was contacted by Taylor’s family because they wanted to volunteer. As a result, the Anderson family participated in Peace Boat’s clean-up activities in the Shintate region.
We interviewed Taylor’s father Andy about his visit to Japan and his motivation for joining the volunteer activities.
On September 9 approximately 30 volunteers participated in the Festival at Hayamahime Temple Festival Temple, which is located in the Oginohama area of the Oshika Peninsula. Volunteers participated in the festival because they have been assisting with debris removal and work in the fishing industry in the Ogihama area for a long time, as well as helping with cleaning activities around the temple in the lead-up to the festival.
This was a wonderful day which no doubt gave both the local residents and volunteers lots of energy and inspiration to continue on with from here.
Slate stones are a traditional industry of Ogatsu town, near Ishinomaki. Volunteers have been working to collect these resilient stones, many of which were washed away in the tsunami, to enable them to be reused for various things such as roof tiles, accessories and ink stones.
The main activity of volunteers in Ishinomaki, the city severely damaged by the tsunami, was clearing mud and cleaning the area.
To date, Peace Boat has completed the cleaning of over 1,200 locations in Ishinomaki, including homes, shops, schools and other public institutions, drains, cemeteries and so on.
This post features photographs showing the differences in scenes of April 10 (one month after the tsunami) and August 30, thanks to the cleanup work of volunteers participating in efforts including the Machinaka Smile project.
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.
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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.
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.