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.
As of October 11, 7 months since the disaster, all evacuation centres of Ishinomaki City have been closed. This report introduces the situation as people move into evacuation centres, and Peace Boat plans to continue supporting the local community such as through provision of newspapers to temporary housing.
The second half in the report following Cleaning Team Assistant Director Ichijo Kenji, who has been in Ishinomaki since March 21 and is responsible for debris clearance and home cleaning activities.
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.
Peace Boat staff member Kobayashi Shingo (30) entered Ishinomaki together with three other colleagues on March 17, 2011. For the past five months, he has been based there working daily to build the “circle of aid” linking governmental and civilian agencies and groups there. Kobayashi was involved in the launch of the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC), and has been the local coordinator between various volunteer groups, the local Social Welfare Council, the City Hall and the Self Defence Force.
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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!
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.
In Ishinomaki, if provision of meals through NGOs and other citizens’ groups was to cease, many people would still not have access to any food other than rice balls and bread provided through donations. Considering this situation, Peace Boat decided to open a Central Kitchen in order to increase the number of meals that can be provided, improving efficiency, safety and hygiene.
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