A busy summer has come and gone for our various partner projects working in the field in Japan. Thank you for your continuous support of the relief efforts being done in Japan for the earthquake and tsunami victims! Through your support, various projects are able to help benefit the livelihoods of those affected by the disaster.
Parents were concerned about allowing their children to play outside because of the health risks of radioactivity that the earthquake may have caused, but Academy Camp has been a great outlet for children to engage in outdoor activities. During the summer, Academy Camp held camps for children living in Fukushima for them to enjoy the outdoors in areas with lower radiation levels. The children participants as well as the volunteers for the camps really enjoyed the wonderful experience that the camp provided because it was an experience that was full of kindness, warmth and bright smiles. Academy Camp also founded the first dragon boat team in Fukushima. The paddle boat practices are a great opportunity for the children to get mental and physical exercise as well as a time for the parents to be a part of their children’s new activity.
Architecture for Humanity continues to help local shops and businesses to recover and re-open to build a financial future for the communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami. In partnership with the MakiBiz RFP Program, Architecture for Humanity commenced their “Tamiko Abe” project that is to help a local aqua-farmer build a building for her to conduct her business. They recently held a Japanese ground-breaking ritual called Jichinsai for the new site, a ceremony that is held before beginning the construction of a building to pray for a safe construction.
There are many still living in temporary housing in Japan, but the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) has been holding events to improve the stress and mental health of those living in these homes. They have conducted aromatherapy classes, where many of the elderly were able to relax through botanical aromas, and also held fun soap making class where the participants got to interact with the others living in the homes. Because many living in the temporary housing are afraid that such events will go away and that those affected by the disaster will be forgotten, AAR Japan will do what they can to continue to hold these events to remind these people that they will not be left behind.
Thanks again for your continued support for those impacted by the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Your generous donations contribute to the amazing work that is being done by many of our partner organizations!
Thank you to everyone who continues to support the on-going recovery efforts in Tohoku. Your donations helped to continue to bring attention to these recovery efforts through a matching campaign at the three-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami. Matching campaigns of this magnitude do not come around often, but it was well worth it for this cause. Overall, $102,336 funds were raised from 783 unique donors! Out of the 32 projects that took part in this matching day, the top three performing projects all raised over $9,000 each without matching. Here are some updates from these organizations:
The Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund’s project Help Students, Families and Schools Recover raised $24,634 from 314 unique donors, making the final fundraising total, with matching, $49,203! This project is working to provide a public library and help the Asahigaoka Gakuen Children’s Home in Kesennuma. In the Fund’s latest report, donors were informed that over 100 books were donated by Ambassador Kennedy to the Taylor Anderson Reading Corner last November. Additionally, for the past three winters, the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund has provided children at the orphanage in Kesennuma with Christmas presents and other gifts through a Christmas Wish program. All gifts were tailored to each specific child, and there was even a party where the children performed on stage for each other. While the project has not been fully funded yet, the organization wishes to thank all of its incredibly gracious donors. They would not have been able to raise nearly $50,000 in one day without you!
Fukushima Kids Executive Committee has been able to send children to Hokkaido through the project Bring Smiles to 500 Children of Fukushima. Through the Matching Day, Fukushima Kids was able to raise $12,920 from 25 unique donors, rounding out to a total of $24,840 including matching! Since the tragedy, Fukushima Kids has helped over 3,200 children escape to Hokkaido to relax and play outside, instead of being trapped in the disaster-stricken Fukushima. The organization has seen great improvement in the children who have participated in the program, and many wish “when I become an adult, I want to repay the favor to the people who helped me”. Keiko, a mother two, feels so touched that so many around the world have helped Fukushima survivors like herself. She says because of the program, she is no longer “caught in the bitterness of a victim mentality”.
Academy Camp’s project School of Fun for Children in Fukushima also performed very well in the Matching Day. In just one day, Academy Camp raised $9,120 from 51 unique donors, and $18,200 in total! Similar to Fukushima Kids’ work, Academy Camp strives to help the children of Fukushima who are forced to stay indoors because of the disaster aftermath. This project brings roughly 40 children of all ages to areas with lower radiation to allow them to play, learn, and team-build all outside. In their latest report, Academy Camp told the story of a student volunteer from the last camp on Lake Inawashiro, Fukushima. The student described how they all learned how to use an AED and do chest compressions for someone who is choking. They also went out in E-boats on the lake and experienced the beautiful outdoors. The student ended the report by saying “I hope that more people will know about this camp and share the enjoyment with a large number of people together.” Thanks to donors like you, these kids continue to have meaningful experiences they might not otherwise have had a chance to have.
Because of these three organizations, many affected children and families have been able to recover from the travesty of the Japan earthquake and tsunami three years ago. Even though it has been three years, there is still much more work to be done to improve the lives of these individuals. All of this progress, however, would not be possible without all of you - keep up the great work!
"I'm thankful for the chance for kids in Fukushima to become independent."
Today, to commemorate the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, we invite you to see the faces and read stories from people, like Keiko, above, who have been affected by your donations: 3yearslater3-11.tumblr.com.
To date, you and other GlobalGiving donors have helped fund more than 35 organizations doing relief and recovery work. You helped Project YUI set up a nursery home in Ishinomaki, so that mothers will have time to look for jobs. You supported OISCA International with their re-forestation project in Natori City. You sent ETIC funds to send entrepreneurs to help revitalize small businesses in Tohoku. You should feel proud that you’ve helped contribute to the incredible accomplishments that these organizations have made toward re-building homes, lives, and communities in Japan.
Furthermore, because the work of recovery and community re-building in Tohoku continues, we are announcing one final matching campaign for Japan recovery organizations. GlobalGiving will match your donations to Japan projects at 100% from March 10th, 11am EDT (March 11th, 0am JST) until $100,000 matching funds last. Please consider supporting organizations that are doing amazing ongoing work in Japan.
If you would like to share a recovery story that you're thankful for, please join us in posting your #3yearslater story on Facebook, twitter, or instagram this week. Here's how: Step 1: Write on a piece of paper, "I'm thankful for...." (and fill-in the blank!) Step 2: Take an un-selfie of yourself holding the paper Step 3: Post to Facebook, twitter, or Instagram using the #3yearslater hashtag
Once again, we’d like to thank your very generous support over the last three years. Although this will be our last matching campaign for Japanese organizations, dollars raised through this fund will continue to be allocated to our partners in Tohoku, and the vital work will continue.
Mari Seto and the GlobalGiving Team
As we welcome the new year, we have exciting updates from two of our partners that received grants from GlobalGiving’s Tsunami and Earthquake Relief!
Association for Aid and Relief Japan (awarded $500,000)
Since 3.11, AAR Japan has continuously been providing support for people with disabilities in Fukushima. AAR Japan set up many facilities where they provide working opportunities for persons with disabilities. Some of the funds contributed to repairing and reconstructing these facilities, so that workers can work comfortably.
Another major focus for AAR Japan has been to create an environment to maintain mental and physical health of the people living in temporary housing complexes and subsidized housing. They have organized social events for towns and communities, and overnight field trips for children. As days that the evacuees spend in the temporary housing complexes become longer, it is important to reduce the stress among the communities. Creating an opportunity where people can bond will help the community grow bigger and stronger.
With the funds you helped provide, AAR Japan also installed playground equipment and delivered bottled water to nurseries and kindergartens in Fukushima. For more updates, learn from here!
ETIC. (awarded $500,000)
Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC.) is an organization that sends young aspiring leaders to Tohoku, where they can help the local leaders to grow their business or organizations. As of June 2013, they selected and sent 157 fellows to work in Tohoku.
Fellows are recruited through an online website, and ETIC. received 454 applications to date. After the Fellows are selected, they go through an intensive training process, and later they are sent to projects where the Fellows are matched based on their past experiences and skills.
Fellows are placed in various locations throughout Tohoku. For example, Akane is placed in Kesennuma, where she manages the logistics for a regional energy development project. Shiro is located in Onagawa, where he helps to revitalize local businesses like hotels through his past experiences of sales and marketing. Yuya is managing the tourism projects in the city of Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture. Fellows’ work have been widely popular among the local communities, and the demands for their work are increasing in Tohoku.
ETIC.’s work is widely popular in Tohoku, and they plan on continuing this program for the coming years. Responding to the needs from the local community, they are expanding their plan from “200 Fellows in 3 years” to “300 fellows in 5 years.” They are also planning on focusing on “innovative” projects that can be expandable to other areas, to revitalize Tohoku local businesses and communities. To read more about their updates in the future, learn from here!
We’d like to thank you again for your overwhelming support for the past two years and 10 months. Although there is less news coverage about the aftermath of earthquake and tsunami, there are still people who struggle every day to recover what they had before 3.11. GlobalGiving is committed to supporting long-term recovery of the Tohoku area, and we are thankful that you are too.
In the last report, we shared with you a new exciting group of grantees from the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Let us share what the new partners have been up to today!
Friends of El Sistema Japan (FESJ)
We awarded Friends of El Sistema Japan (FESJ), an organization that provides musical education and opportunities for students in Fukushima, $100,000. With those funds, FESJ invited instructors from Venezuela and inspired students like Marina. Marina joined a summer orchestra class, and by the end, she led a 90-person orchestra as a violinist.
Here is Marina's comment after the concert; "I've never had this kind of learning opportunity. Teachers from Venezuela were so helpful to making me understand how to solve the problems which I had encountered. I really feel I am better at playing violin than ever before. Well, I am surely different from what I used to be and I am now proud of myself…” For more updates from FESJ, click here to learn more!
On the Road
We awarded On the Road $100,000 to build a “Long Beach House” in Ishinomaki. On the Road started to build a space for the community members to bond, and many commercial space including a guesthouse, where tourists and volunteers from outside the prefecture can stay cheaply. We hope this facility will energize the local community! For more updates from On the Road, learn from here.
Finally, we awarded OISCA International $150,000 for a reforestation project in Natori City located in Miyagi Prefecture. When tsunami hit, 100 hectares of forest was lost - but with the help from the local community and the government, OISCA International is restoring the damaged area in the next ten years. They have recently received a new 4WD from their corporate partner that allows the team to make trips to the field more frequently. We hope this will boost their activities to plant the black pine seedlings. For more updates from OISCA International, learn from here.
We at GlobalGiving really appreciate your long-term interest in the recovery efforts in Japan. We have awarded grants to 19 organizations to date, and we are supporting many more through fundraising activities on GlobalGiving. Your contribution to this fund is making all this possible. Thank you very, very much!
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