After going to Ishinomaki as a member of Peace Boat’s advance team in March 2011, then working as a volunteer coordinator in Tokyo, Takeda Nobuhiro is now working to coordinate support for Fukushima. He himself is also from Fukushima – from Koriyama City, also deeply affected by the 3.11 disaster. This interview tells of his activities in Ishinomaki, coordinating in Tokyo, and planning ongoing support for Fukushima including youth temporary evacuation projects and opportunities for dialogue amongst citizens.
We are nearing the one year anniversary of the March 11 disasters. In this time, over 1,000 international volunteers from over 50 countries have come to Ishinomaki, together with over 10,000 Japanese volunteers, and provided much-needed assistance to survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. The city has made fantastic progress; and while there is still a very long way to go before full recovery, with your continued support, the city can begin to flourish once more.
This report shares some news from Ishinomaki, more information about Peace Boat volunteer work and plans for the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
Matsumura Junichi has been working long term as a volunteer in charge of one of the volunteer accommodation facilities – a vital aspect of Peace Boat’s volunteer programme. Initially, volunteers were asked to bring their own tents during their stay in Ishinomaki. In conjunction with volunteer activities becoming long-term, more diverse and increasing in scale, volunteers are now provided with accommodation facilities with a roof and four walls. It is from these facilities that they depart each day to carry out volunteer activities.
“Mattsun” (Matsumura Junichi) has been in charge of operating one of the volunteer accommodation facilities located in a store called “Kaska Fashion.” This entry tells of the facilities provided and Mattsun’s experiences in Ishinomaki.
Peace Boat has started collecting donations for the purpose of providing emergency relief to people suffering in earthquake affected areas of Turkey. See here for details.
On October 13 the “Report on emergency relief efforts 7 months on from March 11 – ‘Creating a system to utilize volunteers’” report session was held at the JICA Global Plaza in Hiroo, Tokyo. Many guests attended the event including people who came all the way from Ishinomaki. This report covers the report session which included information from the mid-term report.
Approximately 500 people including, including representatives of media organisations, embassies and corporations, attended the event at the JICA Global Plaza. Many of the individual participants were people who had experience as volunteers in Ishinomaki and there were joyful reunions here and there prior to the commencement of the event.
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.
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.
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.
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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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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