As Peace Boat volunteers went around distributing copies of the “Kasetsu Kizuna Shimbun” newspaper, the residents of these facilities often shared their troubles with us. It was their voices which inspired the volunteers to start creating maps of the local area, bus schedules and information about other local services for the communities living in temporary housing facilities.
The first fishing experience programme was held in Sudachi/Fukiura, Ojika Peninsula. The first day was action packed, ranging from an excursion to the Ishinomaki Fish Market, trying gill net fishing, removing oyster shells, a study tour around the community, and exchange with the local fishermen, while the second day was Wakame seaweed harvesting offshore! Participants also participated in workshops entitled “considering the future of the fishing village.” Although the progra,,e was only one night and two days, participants absolutely fell in love with Sudachi/Fukuira. This programme is a new initiative in uncharted territory of “volunteering,” which we hope will provide an opportunity for many people to consider the future of fishing villages in the Tohoku area.
Peace Boat is this year carrying out its 50th voyage around the world, having also conducted many voyages throughout Asia and the Pacific. During Peace Boat’s 73rd Global Voyage, which departed Japan shortly after the disaster last year, a photo exhibition was held at each port of call to communicate the damage in Ishinomaki and surrounding area, and the activities of volunteer. This report shares some of the disaster relief related activities carried out together with partners in ports around the world – here in Barcelona, Spain.
A report on the opening of the national high school baseball tournament, in which the Ishinomaki Technical High School was selected for the first time to participate. A public viewing was set up at the Aitopia Shopping Mall/former Coop Miyagi, where local residents and volunteers joined together to cheer on the team.
Peace Boat conducts Disaster Relief Volunteer Training both in Japan (in Tokyo and the earthquake and tsunami affected areas of Ishinomaki, Miyagi) and onboard its ship throughout global voyages. This onboard programme not only equips participants with the knowledge and skills to volunteer in a disaster situation, but also gives them first hand experience of disaster mitigation and relief programmes around the world. This video shows the programme onboard and in Cuba during Peace Boat’s 75th Global Voyage, 2012. A film by Chloe White
Ishinomaki Technical Highschool (Ishiko) appeared in “the 84th National High School Baseball Championship”, a spring championship at Koshien where heated competition is still taking place.
This was the first time for Ishiko to appear in the National Baseball Championship. Although both their school buildings and facilities were heavily affected by the disaster, leading to poor conditions for training, they managed to win second place in the prefectural championship. Not only playing baseball, the team also was helping the rehabilitation and reconstruction of their community including mud clearance. In late January, a great surprise was delivered to them – an invitation to the national championship in a special “21st-century selection” slot.
A total of 150 people joined volunteer activities to shovel snow in 30 locations throughout Ojiya City, Niigata Prefecture. This report outlines their achievements and interviews a volunteer and a coordinating staff about their experiences and the system now in place for coordination of disaster relief volunteers through Peace Boat.
Thank you once again to all those who took part and supported this project.
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.
A live performance was held by renowned singer Kato Tokiko in Ishinomaki.
“There may be times when you find it hard and bothersome to talk to others. But that’s when you should try to have as much fun as you can, keep warm and overcome the harsh winter by making friends within temporary housing and uniting your powers . Get inspired by people from outside and have them listen to your story.”
Due to an unusual cold wave, a record snowfall has been reported at various locations in Japan. In Ojiya city of Niigata Prefecture, snow shoveling operations have not been able to keep up with snow accumulation. The lives of the elderly and children in the area are in danger and such conditions are casting a burden over their daily lives.
Based on such conditions, the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) has started recruiting volunteers to help shovel snow!