The “Now, Here Project” was launched in January 2013. This is an interview with one of the hosting fishing families about the project, Mr Abe Kazuhiro (49) from Fukkiura, Oshika Peninsuka, Ishinomaki, who is specialised in Oyster Farming!
“Now, Here Project”: People need People – Providing Sustainable Support for Ishinomaki’s Fishing Industry
Peace Boat has recently launched the “Now, Here Project”, inspired by the worldwide WWOOF movement. This aims to contribute to the regeneration of the local economy by finding ways to match the needs of the local people with the enthusiasm and energy of young people from outside of the region. The project acts as a liaison between the fishing families who need help with their businesses and people who wish to stay with them and support their farming in return for food and accommodation.
2013 has begun Peace Boat’s Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre’s respective projects are well underway. These projects all correspond to disaster relief, meaning that the project plan is being constantly reconsidered and revised as it is being implemented. It is important for our volunteers and also the organisation itself to remember to “think flexibly, and move according to the circumstances.” This report gives an overview of the main ongoing activities for 2013, including those which are now accepting volunteers, donations and other support.
Following Hurricane Sandy which hit the eastern coast of the United States in October 2012, Peace Boat has supporting the ongoing efforts for relief and recovery.
This support is continuing even through 2013, when the Peace Boat Disaster Volunteer Center (PBV) dispatched volunteers Riho Katsuta and Robin Lewis back to New York in January to continue the PBV Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts. Both volunteers originally went to New York with Peace Boat in November-December 2013, assisting local disaster relief organisation engaged in the Sandy Relief and Recovery Efforts, WorldCares Center (WCC). Riho and Robin have continued their dedicated work to assist the coordination of volunteers and operations of projects for ongoing support of affected populations in New York and New Jersey.
The second part of the Shinjuku Multicultural and Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Discussion City Walk took part in Takadanobaba, home to the Peace Boat office.
On November 24 2012, around 20 people including students, members of NGOs and NPOs based in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, representatives of the Social Welfare Council and Peace Boat international staff gathered for the Multicultural and Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Discussion City Walk. This programme was implemented as part of the disaster volunteer skills training, and so graduates of Peace Boat’s Disaster Relief Volunteer Leader Training also participated.
The Peace Boat Center Ishinomaki opened on June 2, 2012. In the six months since then, many people have visited every day from near and far, interested in events, using the internet and other facilities there, or visitors coming to Ishinomaki for the first time since the earthquake. In this time, there has been more than 5000 visitors and participants in various events. This report details the events held in this time.
Hurricane Sandy Relief Volunteer Project: Japanese Volunteers Supporting Disaster Victims in New York
The March 11 disasters in Japan resulted in an outpouring of concern, support and solidarity from the United States, which has been truly inspiring and encouraging, and made a tangible impact on the lives of people affected by the disaster in the Tohoku region. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Peace Boat travelled to New York together with Ishinomaki residents to assist in the volunteer and relief effort coordination efforts, to reciprocate the support that we received in Tohoku from the people of the US.
Event Report: Forum on creating a long-term support and recovery network for the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster areas
On October 17, with the cooperation of NGO/NPOs and corporate partners, Peace Boat hosted an event focused on creating a network to quickly and efficiently provide support after disasters in Japan.
The event was organised by Peace Boat’s Disaster Volunteer Centre, with the help of sponsors including the Civilian Disaster Prevention and Disaster Area Support Network; corporate partner IBM Japan; intermediate support organizations such as Just Giving Japan; and NGO/NPO On the Road.
Volunteering at disaster-affected areas requires volunteer coordinators and leaders to consider many different situations. However, it is not easy to imagine these challenges and difficulties without real-life experiences.
This“case study”training has been organized by Peace Boat in cooperation with several university professors and students. The course offers a study programme where participants can learn through recreated scenarios which are based upon the actual experiences of volunteer leaders at disaster sites.
The participants will gain an ability to “imagine” and “make judgements” through discussions and workshops, and also have a chance to meet and learn from the experiences of people directly affected by disasters.