March 11, 2021 marks ten years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Peace Boat Disaster Relief (PBV) and Peace Boat offer our prayers to those who lost their lives in the disaster. We would also like to express our sympathy to the bereaved families and to all those who are still in challenging situations. Ten years ago, immediately after the earthquake, Peace Boat entered Ishinomaki and Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture and worked with many volunteers from Japan and abroad for the coming months and years. Although we went to the affected areas to help, we were greatly encouraged and heartened by the local people who accepted us. Videographer […]
U.S. Tornado Relief Update
PBV is dispatching an assessment team to Oklahoma in order to determine the most effective way in which we can provide assistance to the people in the affected areas.
The reason Peace Boat’s Disaster Volunteer Centre was able to receive international volunteers from 56 countries and regions around the world is because of the presence of bilingual volunteers to support communication. We have also been working with the local municipality and other gruops in Tokyo to provide information in languages other than English to support people in the case of a disaster, including making the Spanish translation of the Assistance Manual for Foreigners in Times of Disaster, which includes information in around 60 categories such as where to go to get food during a disaster or where to submit necessary applications.
“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.
Two years have passed since March 11, 2013. The city of Ishinomaki began a campaign to commemorate March 9 as a day of gratitude (as the pronounciation for 3 (San) and 9 (Kyu) in Japanese sounds like “thank you”).
The “3-9 Letter Campaign” initiated by the local community is an opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who came to help after the earthquake, and all the people who have visited Ishinomaki for travel or to attend events. A letter from a person you met in Ishinomaki may come to you too.
The first letter from Ishinomaki Mayor Kameyama Hiroshi is featured in this post.
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.
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.