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.
Jan 30, 2013

42 Fishing Sheds Completed! 40 more to start!

Where Sheds are provided
Where Sheds are provided

Thank you for your support!!

Peace Winds America and our local partner are very excited to tell you that we have completed building 42 sheds in five districts in Minamisanriku.  Your contribution played a critical part supporting over 100 fishing family members who have benefited from this project.

Fishing sheds binds family:

Before fishing sheds were swept away by 3/11 tsunami along with their houses, fishermen and their family members used their shed as a workplace for processing their catch (fish, seaweed), mending fishing nets, or preparing other tools and equipment. 

Because most fishermen and their families are still living in the temporary housing where there is no room to fish processing or storing fishing tools and equipment.  Many sheds were built on the land where their houses used to stand before tsunami took it away.  Now these sheds provide a center point for all of their fishing activities.

As the wakame seaweed season ramps up soon, the families will use the shed to process and package wakame, where sometimes three generations of family sit down and work together.  PWA acknowledges the importance of the shed to a fishing family.  To make sure the families had a place to work throughout fall, our local partner, Grace Mission Tohoku worked around the clock to build sheds before harsh winter hit the area. 

Livelihood support helps energize local economy: They want sheds more than houses

Wakame seaweed harvesting is soon approaching.  In Minamisanriku, wakame seaweed farming and processing is one of the most critical income generation opportunity.  Every family member pitches in together: harvesting, cleaning, processing, and packaging to be sold.  Everyone is preparing for the harvest season to start, however, those without fishing sheds are having to do work outside.

From the field, our local partner told us that “what is most critical for many of them is that they come up to speed on their livelihood and achieve a stable income before they can take out a loan and build themselves another home.  So that is why sheds are more important than houses right now.”

The need for sheds remains  high:  PWA will expand the shed program to four additional districts!!

Still many fishing families are without sheds.  A few fishermen areusing tents as makeshift sheds, but this measure is not secure to store their valuable equipment nor does it provide the essential  working environment.

PWA and our local partner have identified four additional districts in Utatsu region where the need for fishing sheds is high: Yoriki, Isatomae, Minato and Tanoura districts.  These four areas were  suffered the same magnitude of damage as our previously supported districts.

PWA hopes you will join our work in support of providing fishing sheds to four additional districts.   Please spread the word!

Donor selection with district leader
Donor selection with district leader
Fisherman taking care of equipment
Fisherman taking care of equipment
Thank You for the shed!!
Thank You for the shed!!
Jan 29, 2013

Abalone fishermen celebrate first harvesting in two years!

Fishermen harvesting Abalone traditional way
Fishermen harvesting Abalone traditional way

Miamisanriku fishermen celebrate the first abalone season in two years!

Abalone, a treasured delicacy selling at a high price, is critical to the economy of Minamisanriku. For generations, fishing families have harvested the abalone from the rocks at sea bottom using traditional methods—using waterglasses and long rods and special hooks.  The entire community uses the traditional method to ensure the natural and highest quality of their harvest. The fishing families call the abalone harvest the “winter bonus” as it generates income to many families especially during the slow fishing season during November--January.  

The last abalone harvest was winter of 2010.  In the winter of 2011, abalone harvesting was canceled by the community because majority of the fishing families lacked equipment and boats.  The community guarded the area from illegal poaching.

Keeping the traditional harvesting method by generations

Most fishing families lost their houses, boats, equipment during the 3/11 tsunami.  Though many fishermen were looking forward to the abalone season, they lacked the funds to replace the equipment.  As the 2012 season approached, Peace Winds America decided to provide subsidies to the fishermen so they could purchase the special rods, waterglasses, and rent boats.  With the subsidies, many fishermen custom-made their rods and hooks.

Abalone Harvest Begins Again in 2012

In late November, 2012, the fishing cooperative announced the first harvesting date. Harvesting can only happen when the fishing cooperatives determine the weather and sea conditions are perfect.  Then they make an announcement one day in advance, allowing the harvest.  This season there were only three harvesting days.

The Minamisanriku fishing families were very excited to go back to the sea.  You could sense the entire city was thrilled to see the harvest as the fishermen offloaded their prized abalone.

Peace Winds support enabled us to help Abalone fishermen to help purchase equipment!

“Once I was at a sea and caught the first abalone, I felt so great and happy to finally be able to harvest again.  It was a little different scenery this year with much fewer boats and they are mostly new boats and new equipment” said Mr. Takahashi, a fishermen from Shizugawa district.  “But the subsidy program from Peace Winds eased our family financial burden for the equipment purchase and I am grateful for the opportunity to harvest again. “

Box full of Abalone
Box full of Abalone
Fresh harvested Abalone!
Fresh harvested Abalone!
Sorting Abalone by sizes
Sorting Abalone by sizes
Happy Harvesting!
Happy Harvesting!
Happy to return to the sea!
Happy to return to the sea!
Dec 14, 2012

Special Appeal from CEO

Banana Plantation Devastated
Banana Plantation Devastated

Dear Friends,

I’d like to give you update on the current situation of the area devastated by Typhoon Bopha.

As of December 12th, the death toll stood at 740 with more than 1,000 people reported missing. Almost 500,000 families are affected by the disaster, many seeking shelter after their homes and livelihoods were destroyed.

Damages and casualties caused by Typhoon Bopha, or Pablo as locally named are far worse than caused by Typhoon Saola in August.  At that time Peace Winds America helped 350 families, but now the people of Mindanao have much greater need for food, water, shelter, and repair of infrastructure and their homes. 

The area struck is agricultural, with fields after fields flattened and banana plantations devastated. Most of the farmers have now lost their livelihoods. Thousands will not be able to provide means to support their families..  People desperately need assistance.

Peace Winds America (PWA) is aiding the Philippine people working with our local partner, CDRC (The Citizens’ Disaster Response Center) and its regional partner Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation (MISFI).  We are providing relief to some of the hardest hit areas in Mindanao.   Our current joint relief operations target 4,800 people, or 800 families located in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, and Misamis Oriental providing food and shelter.

PWA continues to monitor and assess the local situation and will provide support to meet the needs of those struck by Typhoon Bopha. Your understanding and support is strongly needed and greatly appreciated. 

Sincerely yours,

Charles R. Aanenson, CEO Peace Winds America

So many communities need help
So many communities need help
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