49 Junior High School students from Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture who travelled through Asia onboard Peace Boat will return to Japan tomorrow (August 4, 2011). The youth ambassadors, from 6 different schools in Minamisoma will return to Japan having completed a 13-day journey to Viet Nam, Singapore and Sri Lanka since their departure from Minamisoma on July 23. A press conference will be held at Narita on August 4.
Jeremy Browne MP, Minister of State at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and British Ambassador to Japan David Warren visited Ishinomaki on July 10.
After meeting with officials at the City Hall, Mr Browne then visited Peace Boat’s Central Kitchen in Ishinomaki together with Mayor Kameyama Hiroshi and Ito Shuki, Chair of the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC) in order to see the actual activities to support survivors and the recovery of the affected areas.
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A new poetry book by Welsh writer based in Yokohama Jon Mitchell has been published this week, with all sales going to support Peace Boat’s ongoing relief efforts in Tohoku. “march and after – poems from tsunami country” – chronicles life in Japan following the 3.11 earthquake, and is available in limited edition hard cover and e-book version also. See here for more details.
Peace Boat, in cooperation with the Minamisoma Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), has developed a program that would support the youth and parents of the town in their desire to keep their children safe over the summer holiday period. The Fukushima Youth Voyage is a two-week opportunity for 49 Junior High School students from six different schools in Minamisoma to spend the summer in a healthy, dynamic and radiation-free environment, where they can learn new skills, enjoy new experiences and gain a fresh perspective on the future, while enabling their parents to focus on rebuilding their community.
“After I volunteered in Ishinomaki, I wanted to make sure it didn’t just end as a ‘good experience’ and I wanted to keep doing as much as I can even back in Tokyo.”
After volunteering in Ishinomaki between May 20-28, Mr Sekine Masataka is now active volunteering to support the relief efforts from Tokyo.
Many people felt that they wanted to contribute something immediately after the earthquake, and yet many people are have not been able to directly go to the disaster affected areas due to work duties or physical capacity. Peace Boat has many opportunities for such people to support the activities even from in Tokyo.
A volunteer from the UK has launched a project to sell tshirts designed by the children of Minato Primary School in Ishinomaki, with all funds going to Peace Boat’s disaster relief activities – see more details here.
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.
With summer vacation coming up soon, the role of student volunteers is extremely important. Yet despite this, the number of student volunteers is unfortunately still quite low.
A group of university students who have volunteered in Ishinomaki are organising an event on July 20 for fellow students to gather and discuss how they can contribute to the recovery efforts, in cooperation with Peace Boat. As a special guest, Mr Bandai Yoshinobu will come from Ishinomaki to share with students his own experiences.
This is a letter from a couple in Ishinomaki thanking volunteers for their assistance in cleaning their shop as a first step towards rebuilding their lives. Thank you to all of the volunteers and to the community in Ishinomaki for their cooperation.
The need for many volunteers to assist relief and recovery efforts in Ishinomaki are still crucial, yet the number of volunteers has been decreasing in recent weeks. In order to encourage more volunteers to participate, Peace Boat has revised the conditions for volunteers including the transport costs, required items, meals and so on.
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