Peace Winds America

Our core belief is that disaster response begins with preparedness, and that both disaster preparedness and response should integrate the efforts of governments, militaries, NGOs and the private sector. By strengthening disaster preparedness and response in the Asia Pacific, PWA seeks to reduce the high human, political and economic costs of natural disasters in the Pacific Rim.
Jul 31, 2013

Please help PWA to build 13 sheds in a new district

Sunrise in Minamisanriku
Sunrise in Minamisanriku

Dear Peace Winds America supporters:

PWA is very excited to let you know that since we kicked off the shed building program a year ago, PWA has completed 80 fishing sheds to fishing families in Minamisanriku.  

With your support, PWA has been able to continue providing sheds to fishing families.  THANK YOU.    We have spent a lot of time in Minamisanriku and talked to many shed recipients.  We listened to their stories about how their lives were changed by disaster in March 2011.  We learned how much the fishing sheds meant to them and their livelihood.  Spending time in a PWA fishing shed had becomes a large part of their lives, whether mending fishing nets, prepping tools for the next fishing season, or just taking a break from hard work at a sea.  We couldn’t be more proud when we drive through the area and see the sheds, full of fishing equipment.  I am proud to have worked with you all to help many fishermen together.  We played a small but important role in rebuilding the livelihood of the many fishermen and their families, helping them move forward.  

Another district identified:

While members of our local partner were building sheds in Hadenya district, they were visited by a resident from the neighboring district, asking to see how they could apply for such a shed. Turned out a district called Tsunomiya, located just east of where PWA is building sheds, most of the houses were swept away by the tsunami, leaving the small fishing community there with almost nothing.  It was apparent that this community really needed our help.

Timing is everything:

Sheds cannot be built when the ground is frozen so will need to complete construction by November.  It is also important to complete the construction soon because sheds will be needed for many fishermen preparing for the upcoming harvesting season, especially seaweed and abalone which are very important income generation opportunities for the fishermen in the area.  

Working together with a Tsunomiya district community, PWA will soon proceed with beneficiary selection and start building sheds to this district.  We hope to finish all the construction before the land freezes.  

Let’s help Tsunomiya community!

Peace Winds America would like to ask everyone to spread the word to help the Tsunomiya district. We are planning on building 13 sheds but currently we need funds for ten sheds.

Fishing Industry Rebuilding:

On my recent trip to Minamisanriku, I met with Mr. Sasaki, the executive director at Shizugawa Fishing Cooperatives in Minamisanriku.  Mr. Sasaki told me that the area fishery has recovered about 70-80% from pre-disaster time.  I knew why the recovery has been going well -- because most fishermen in Minamisanriku city love the sea, love what they do, and many want to stay and continue working at sea, even though so many fishermen lost almost everything and had to start from scratch.

So let’s help fishermen in Minamisanriku a little more!

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Mari Poorman, Project Officer

Mr. Sasaki and me at a summer festival
Mr. Sasaki and me at a summer festival
PWA Shed Project Areas
PWA Shed Project Areas
Brand new fishing boat
Brand new fishing boat

Links:

Jun 20, 2013

Another story from PWA - Restoring Tohoku fishing industry little by little

What a great smile!  Thank you for your support!
What a great smile! Thank you for your support!

“I can’t thank you enough.  Whenever I see my truck, I say, ‘Thank You, Peace Winds America,’ in my head.  I didn’t think I’d be able to receive support for the truck.” said Katsuo Saito.  His eyes are filled with tears.  He is a recipient of PWA’s Small Business Support program, which aims to encourage faster recovery of small business owners’ livelihoods by providing small subsidies to purchase equipment that was lost to the 2011 tsunami. 

Saito-san repairs motors for winches installed on deep-sea fishing vessels.

The tsunami destroyed his workshop, but luckily, only the first floor of the house was damaged.  It is one of the few surviving houses in his neighborhood in Kesennuma.  Saito-san’s family lived upstairs while mudding out and repairing the workshop and the first floor of the house.  His son, Shuichi, works with him. It’s a real small family business.

Until the subsidy from PWA enabled him to purchase a used truck with a crane to lift heavy winch motors, Mr. Saito had to arrange a rental truck whenever he received a repair order.  “It was just time consuming and costly to do so, and sometimes we had to turn down orders because we couldn’t arrange a rental truck in time. Now I have been working much more efficiently and being more productive.”

Deep-sea fishing is a major industry in Kesennuma. Many vessels chase wild Tuna as far as South America for as long as 18 months at a time.  They carry around 20 fishermen and crew onboard.

Saito-san plays an important role in this critical maritime industry.  “There are only three engineers who can repair these motors in Kesennuma.  We have been extremely busy but, we were not able to repair as many vessels because we lost our truck.  The average motor weighs about 600kg, so it was impossible to carry on our own.”

Saito-san still has a long way to go to rebuild his business.  His house and workshop are located in an area scheduled to be raised by 3 meters.  He will need to move.  “I need to find land where I can rebuild my workshop, but land prices have gone up and it is hard to find available and reasonably priced land in the area.” 

In order for Saito-san to be able to think about his future, he needed a truck.  A truck with a crane so he could support the many deep-sea vessels in the area and a truck which helps his livelihood.  PWA knows how to maximize your donations to provide a long lasting impact in the area’s industry. 

Tohoku is slowly recovering and we are very happy to support a small business owner like Saito-san who has been working for over 40 years helping deep-sea fishermen in the Tohoku region.  In our view, Saito-san is a very important person to help recover livelihood of so many deep sea fishermen and PWA couldn't be happier to be able to help him.

Thank you very much for your generous support!

 Mari Poorman

Father and Son.  It
Father and Son. It's a family business!
This crane can lift a motor weighs over 2t!
This crane can lift a motor weighs over 2t!

Links:

May 24, 2013

Our past response in the Philippines - Typhoon Saola, Sept. 2012

A recipient of our relief package
A recipient of our relief package

Dear Peace Winds America supporters,

We wanted to share our past reponse response reports on this site, so that you will have better idea about how we respond in the Philippines.  Our response is simple: work directly with the trusted local partner on the field.  This allows PWA to maximize your donation, and enables us to help more people.

Your contribution to the Philippines Disaster Response Fund will enable us to respond quickly to new disasters, and address unmet needs as we evaluate the progress of recovery. 

Thank you,

Mari Poorman

******

September, 2012

Thank you very much for your generous support for our effort to help flood affected communities due to series of typoons passed through the Philippines.

With your donation, PWA worked very closely with our local partner, the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC), and together we were able todistribute emergency relief packages to 350 families in the communities of Barangay, San Roque, San Pedro and Laguna in early September, 2012. 

The heavy rain mainly by Typhoon Saola had caused massive flooding in the area, with thousands of people evacuating.   Almost one month after the typhoon struck the area, many families were still remaining in evacuation centers, waiting for the floodwaters to recede.  For most of the beneficiaries, this emergency package was the first relief support received. 

One lady at the evacuation center said, “At first, the water came to the first floor of my house, so we all moved everything to the second floor.  But the water kept rising so quickly and we had to leave the house because it was unsafe.” She continued, “We could not bring much from our house and we did not have much food.. but we all share what we had.  With the help from PWA, I will be able to cook something good tonight for my family.  Thank you.”

The funding from this project enabled PWA to help over 2000 children, adults and elderly persons in flood affected areas.

PWA appreciates partnering with CDRC who directly assisted the people most in need.  Timely aid delivered through a capable local partner remains the best way of reducing the devastating impacts of natural disasters.

We appreciate your support!

Flood affected community
Flood affected community
Relief package distribution site
Relief package distribution site
Thank you for helping us!
Thank you for helping us!

Links:

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