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.
Nov 10, 2013

Flash Appeal - Philippines Typhoon Haiyan

Children in Typhoon Haiyan (Source: Reuters)
Children in Typhoon Haiyan (Source: Reuters)

Super Typhoon Haiyan strikes the Philippines

Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally named “Yolanda”) is “among the most powerful storms witnessed anywhere in modern times.”  It is over 1,200 miles wide and showing gusts up to 235 miles per hour! The Philippines meteorological agency reports storm surges of up to 17 feet striking the provinces of Leyte, Daanbantayan, and Bantayan Island, devastating the Samar province, and hitting the provinces of Cebu , Iloilo, Capiz, and Aklan.  The Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council issued warnings and evacuation notices, and evacuations are occurring in 37 of the Philippine’s 82 provinces, with more than one million people already in evacuation centers. It is estimated that 18 million people have already been affected. Lives have been lost, buildings, homes, roads, and farms have been destroyed. Philippine and UN disaster managers say that the needs now are shelter, food, health, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), camp management, and logistics.

Peace Winds America Is Responding!

Thanks to our work in the Philippines responding to previous typhoons Saola, Bopha, and Utor, we are prepared for this latest disaster.  PWA’s local partner – the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC)– is based in Manila with offices throughout the country and is already responding.  As in Typhoon Bopha, CDRC is bringing critical supplies to the hardest-hit communities and providing relief packages with rice, beans, dried fish, cooking oil, soap, blankets, and mattresses.  PWA and CDRC maintain regular contact in emergencies, providing updates and situation reports.  Your gift will support those most impacted by typhoon Haiyan and will be directed to the areas of greatest need.

An Ongoing Commitment to the Philippines

PWA is committed to effective disaster relief, recovery, and preparedness in the Philippines.  In addition to our ongoing typhoon response efforts we remain actively involved in preparedness.  This December PWA will be hosting a tri-lateral (Philippine-U.S.-Japan) workshop in Tokyo to help strengthen disaster relief among the Philippines, Japan, and the U.S.  PWA activities will continue to build partnerships and plan effective response strategies.

Your Donation Is Significant in the Philippines

Please help support vulnerable, disaster-affected populations in the Philippines.  Your donation will be put to work immediately providing food, water, shelter, and basic supplies for the men, women, and children who need it most.

Coastal Houses Wash Away (Source: AP)
Coastal Houses Wash Away (Source: AP)
Oct 30, 2013

Shed Construction on Track, With More to Come

Shed recipient Masahiro
Shed recipient Masahiro

Dear Peace Winds America Supporters:

PWA is happy to report that the fishing sheds program in Tsunomiya district is moving along, with more on the horizon!

In July we reported that the Tsunomiya district had been selected as the next site for our ongoing fishing sheds program. Our local staff informed us that like the other districts we have served, many of the fishing families in Tsunomiya lost their houses and work spaces in the tsunami and were eager to return to work. Earlier this month our local partner, Grace Mission Tohoku, performed the Tsunomiya site inspections.

With your support, the 21 selected fishing families of the Tsunomiya district will soon have a place to store their equipment, mend their nets, and get out of the cold Tohoku winds. These sheds follow completed sheds in Minato, Tanoura, Yoriki, and Isatomae districts earlier this year.

There is still more to be done:

PWA has identified still more recipients in need. In the Mitobe and Zaigo districts we have found fishermen who have requested sheds to help them get back on their feet. With the support of GlobalGiving and our generous donors, PWA has been able to commit to another round of sheds. The recipients of these sheds will be selected later this year; the sheds will be built early next year.

Visits to Tohoku              

In late September former PWA intern Azusa Katsumizu and PWA supporter Diane Olsen of Microsoft paid a visit to the Togura fishing shed site. They heard updates from the Minamisanriku fishing community and helped our partner, Grace Mission Tohoku, construct sheds for the day. Thanks to both Azusa and Diane for their hard work!  They reported how gratifying it was for both to see firsthand the impact that Peace Winds is making in Tohoku.

We still need your help

The third anniversary of the 3/11 tsunami is already on the horizon, yet livelihood needs remain strong. Help PWA continue its mission of recovery and reconstruction in Miyagi Prefecture!

Tsunomiya site inspection
Tsunomiya site inspection
Volunteer Diane Olsen helps with construction
Volunteer Diane Olsen helps with construction
Sep 5, 2013

Update from Minamisanriku, Miyagi

Mr. Endo, Oyster Farmer in Minamisanriku
Mr. Endo, Oyster Farmer in Minamisanriku

Slow progress--long recovery

We’d like to thank you for your support to our effort to revitalize the fishing industry in tsunami affected area in Japan.  In the past two years, we have implemented various projects and helped over 1,000 people in Kesennuma and Minamisanriku (Miyagi Prefecture).  Projects included fishing co-operatives support (buildings, staff, computers and office equipment), maritime high school rehabilitation, grants to small businesses, fishing equipment subsidies to families, a wind breaker fence for the oyster processing, etc    All have really helped restart critical livelihoods within the area.   Thank You!

In early August, I met with the members of oyster processing group in Minamisanriku.  Earlier this spring, together with our sister organization Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), PWA had provided a windshield fence to improve the oyster processing facilities.   This fence protected the 23 women and oyster farmers from the freezing gusty winds while they processed the oysters.

When we met, they were also busy preparing oyster seeds for next year’s season.  They reported that last harvesting was very successful and hoped to have another good season this year.  The tsunami had cleaned the sea bottom and improved the water conditions, which helped produce high quality oysters - perhaps one of the few positive outcomes from the 3/11 disaster.   “If you are good at it, you can shell more than ten oysters in a minute,” said Fujiko Sugawara, one of the women who worked at the facility.  “If big oysters, I can fill up a 10kg bucket in no time.”  She looked proud.  “We are just happy to be able to do this work again.”  The other women nodded.  “Oyster processing is a family business.  We never did this in a team environment, but we have to work as a team for a while to get through this very tough time.  I can’t wait to go back to a more family-oriented work style, because this is been our method for many, many years.”  

They are hoping to able to work as they used to do perhaps by August 2014.  Until then, they will try to make the most out of this work situation.

The recovery of Tohoku has begun, yet slowly.  PWA will continue to monitor the recovery progress and provide timely support.   We hope that you will be able to help us. 

- Appeal to help our Fishing Shed program –

We are building fishing sheds for fishing families in Minamisanriku.  We have just identified two new districts where the families are in critical need of storage and work space.  It’s important for PWA to complete the construction before winter so more fishing families will have better working environment. We do need your help!  Please read our Fishing Shed program reports and help us reach more fishermen. Please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sheds-for-japan-tsunami-fishing-families/ and help us support more fishing families.  

Thank you.

Mari Poorman

Looking forward to the next Oyster season!
Looking forward to the next Oyster season!
PWA Mari and Oyster processing group
PWA Mari and Oyster processing group
Fun interview moment with Endo-san
Fun interview moment with Endo-san
Long way to a recovery
Long way to a recovery

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