As the local needs change with every day, the Peace Boat volunteers are also required to adapt to developments in their varied activities. This report follows Cleaning Team Assistant Director Ichijo Kenji for a day. Mr Ichijo, known as Mantle, has been in Ishinomaki since March 21 when he travelled ahead to prepare to receive the first 50 volunteers, and since then has been responsible for debris clearance and home cleaning activities.
Since Peace Boat launched its relief activities in Ishinomaki, the food provision team has prepared a total of more than 100,000 meals. This report follows the Assistant Directors (ADs) who have long been working with this team, Morinaga Yoko (in charge of the kitchen) and Kitamura Kazumi (in charge of support towards self-sufficiency).
Assistant Directors are responsible for coordinating volunteers, in groups of around five persons each. Peace Boat appoints ADs for each kind of work, according to their experiences and skills. These staff work in the field long-term, and through being familiar with the changes in required relief activities play a vital role in ensuring that the work undertaken is safe, smooth and efficient.
Oct 13 Event: Relief Activities Report and Launch of the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Leader Training Programme
Peace Boat will be holding a special event on October 13, reporting and looking back on the activities in the 200 days since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and announcing the launch of the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Leader Training Programme. This programme will train people in disaster relief skills to ensure that the effects of future disasters can be mitigated. Please join us to learn about our work, our future goals, and to connect with other Peace Boat supporters.
On September 25, the 8th Tricolore Music Festival was held in Ishinomaki! It was uncertain whether or not the festival would be held this year because of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, but the local residents’ passion for music and strong desire to work towards recovery and revitalize the local community was the driving force behind this year’s festival.
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.
On September 11, 6 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused unprecedented damage, 10 high school students from Tochigi Prefecture came to help with Peace Boat’s debris removing volunteer activities.
One of the students said, “I am sure that I will happily remember this day one day when I eat fish that are caught in Miyagi. That’s what I am looking forward to!”
We hope that the students tell their family and friends from school about their experiences after returning home and that these experiences become something that they will benefit from in the future.
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.
Over the past two weeks the number of visitors to the public baths, “Kizuna no yu” and “Fudou no yu” that were opened to the public on August 22 exceeded 3500 people!
In conjunction with the conclusion of the bathing facilities that had been provided by the Japanese Self Defense Forces, and upon consultation with local city hall officials, public baths were constructed by the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council Inc, with Peace Boat in charge of the operation of the baths including changing the water, cleaning and reception duties. Many people use the baths everyday, most of whom are living in evacuation centers or in the surrounding areas where infrastructure has not yet been restored.