On June 12 (Sun), just over three months since the earthquake and tsunami, Peace Boat held an event in Tokyo to reflect upon the relief activities of the past three months and consider next steps. This report tells of the efforts of volunteers, including international and corporate volunteers, in Peace Boat’s efforts to support emergency relief and the recovery of Ishinomaki.
Peace Boat will hold an event in Tokyo on June 12 (Sunday) to report on its activities in Ishinomaki in the three months following the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11.
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Over 180 non-Japanese volunteers, or ‘International Volunteers,’ have joined Peace Boat’s relief activities. As a rural town, Ishinomaki does not see many non-Japanese visitors, so the presence of International Volunteers is a source of fascination and encouragement for the locals. As many helping hands as possible is needed in Ishinomaki, and it is important to include non-Japanese in these efforts – both people resident in Japan and from elsewhere. Domestic news coverage of the destruction is on the wane. The presence of the international community still continues to be needed in Japan so that the devastation may not be forgotten, and efforts to rebuild can be continued together.
The situation in the affected areas remains extremely serious. In Ishinomaki alone, there is a need of provision of 20,000 meals each day, and even at the current rate it will take two years to fully clear the homes of mud brought by the tsunami. Peace Boat will therefore be holding information sessions to call for disaster relief volunteers not only in Tokyo but nationwide throughout Japan. See this post for details.
A makeshift café has opened up on the Minato Primary School campus by the Peace Boat team of volunteers to create a space for relaxation and respite for evacuees and nearby residents. Appropriately named “Minato Café” after the school.