Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan)

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan(AAR Japan) is a Non-Governmental Organization ( NGO ) aiming to provide emergency assistance, assistance to people with disabilities, and mine action, among other operations. It was established in 1979 as an organization with no political, ideological, or religious affiliation. AAR currently has offices in 10 countries.
Nov 26, 2012

Landmine Victims in Uganda

Eunice with her business materials
Eunice with her business materials

In Uganda AAR Japan is supporting landmine victims. Many of them have lost part of their body, such as their leg, in landmine accidents. Such persons with disabilities (PWDs) are facing problems earning money to live and AAR Japan tries to lessen these problems by supporting them while they receive limb prosthesis fitting, and by promoting income generating activities (IGA).

 In this report, we would like to introduce Eunice, who has lost her leg due to landmine but survived. First AAR Japan provided her with a start-up package to begin a restaurant business. The package consisted of initial capital, food, and utensils. Today, her restaurant is a favorite eating joint for surrounding schools and casual labourers in the community. From her savings, her 19 year old daughter started a second line of business – a retail merchandise shop, next to the restaurant.  She has also sent her younger sister to a vocational training institute to study a tailoring course and has bought for her a sewing machine. Eunice has lost her leg, but not her spirit to succeed. Though she has never been to school herself, Eunice speaks with passion about educating her siblings and giving them a decent life.

 AAR Japan believes that people, with or without disabilities, have capacity to bring themselves up. Those who received our IGA support so far demonstrated so much passion, dedication, and effort to lead their business to success and earn more income to help their family members and relatives. AAR Japan will do it’s best to keep helping people in Uganda, and we really appreciate all your help and donations through GlobalGiving.

Thank you for reading.

Eunice "Diligence is the key to success"
Eunice "Diligence is the key to success"
A package given to another family for business
A package given to another family for business
Nov 19, 2012

Our Ongoing Effort to Help HIV/AIDS Orphans and Our Progress

One of our beneficiaries and a staff of AAR Japan
One of our beneficiaries and a staff of AAR Japan

AAR Japan have been supporting education of HIV/AIDS orphans since 2004. Our project started out small but with the increase in both the need for education and the number of HIV/AIDS orphans, we have continuously expanded the scope of our activities. At the moment, we are supporting the schooling of 48 children by providing their tuitions.

To keep this project sustainable we are promoting income generation activities (IGA) of poultry farming and milling of maize among the host families. Although we have not been able to cover the tuition of all 48 children with the profits obtained through IGA, we aim to gradually increase the profit every year so that the beneficiaries can become self-sufficient in the near future.

 We would like to introduce some of the HIV/AIDS orphans whom we support.

 "I want to become a lawyer in the future and help those who are in need.”

Having lost their parents, HIV/AIDS orphans were in various circumstances. Some of them lost both of their parents and were living with their grandparents, uncles or aunts, while others were living together with one of their parents who is infected with HIV. Nevertheless, one common factor was that every child is studying very hard in order to fulfill his or her future dream. They said that they normally study at home for about 1.5 to 2 hours after school every day. The most popular aspiration among the children is to become a lawyer, followed by an accountant, a journalist, and an elementary school teacher. One of these children, a 13-year-old boy named Kosam Phili Lungu who has 4 brothers, is a 6th grade student at an elementary school in Ng’ombe. As his father is sick, he goes to school after taking care of his family’s daily needs such as carrying water and washing dishes. He told us, "I would like to become a lawyer in the future so that I can work for social justice and help people who are in trouble."

 AAR Japan’s Resolution

 In order to realize many HIV/AIDS orphans’ dreams, AAR Japan will continue our activities so that these orphans will be able to attend school to achieve their goals. We believe that by helping the youth of Zambia, we can build a better future not only for those children who receive our support but also for the entire community.

 Thank you for all your support which enables us to keep continuing this project.

The HIV/AIDS orphans we support visit us often
The HIV/AIDS orphans we support visit us often
A child who told about his study showing his texts
A child who told about his study showing his texts
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Ng'ombe office assist IGA done by host families
Nov 2, 2012

Vegetable Gardening Project for Evacuees

Residents gathered around a table to take a break
Residents gathered around a table to take a break

Growing Vegetables as an Opportunity for Community Interaction

Before the disaster, many of those living in temporary housing complexes along the shoreline of Miyagi Prefecture used to grow vegetables on their farms or in their home gardens. However, their lands and gardens were washed away in the tsunami, making it difficult for them to secure land and restart their farmwork. They used to be physically active through their daily farmwork, but many of them are now suffering from lack of exercise since the disaster. With the added stress of having to cope with their prolonged lives in the temporary housing complexes, some are starting to show signs of hikikomori (social withdrawal).

 In such situation, activities that involve plowing vacant plots of land and growing vegetables are becoming popular in disaster-affected areas among the survivors in the effort to regain their original lives and to solve the problem of lack of exercise. AAR Japan is currently supporting survivors by preparing pieces of land that can be used as vegetable gardens as well as providing farming tools. By working cooperatively on their new gardens, people have naturally begun to converse with each other more and show smiles.

Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture: “We are Happy to be able to Eat What We Made on Our Own”

Extending even into its mountainous area, the tsunami had a catastrophic effect on Onagawa Town located on the Sanriku coast. There are still many people living in temporary housing complexes.

Mr. Yoshihiro TAKAHASHI, the chairman of Onagawa Town Shimizu District Council, spearheaded the creation of a vegetable garden using a vacant piece of land in front of the temporary housing complex. There is a river next to the land so there is plenty of water that can be used for the garden. However, this area was hit by the tsunami so rubbles and rocks had to be removed first in order to use the land as a garden. In addition, the soil was sterile and lacked the minerals needed for healthy growth of vegetables.

In response, AAR Japan provided a small farm tractor, farming tools such as sickles, hoes, and shovels, a storage room to keep all the tools, 2 tons of new soil, and organic fertilizer, among other materials. As for the removal of rubbles, students from the Tohoku Welfare University and members of the Onagawa Recovery Support Center offered their help. There were many big rocks and the clearing process was not a smooth task, but a 450 square-meter vegetable garden was successfully completed after removing the rocks little by little and placing the new soil into the prepared plot of land.

This garden was named as “Fureai Noen” by the users. As the land became settled and the vegetables began to grow, smiles on the faces of people chatting as they pulled weeds or watered the vegetables, and mothers preparing snacks for afternoon tea time, have become more noticeable.

Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture: Working Together to Set Up Greenhouses

At Uchihibiki temporary housing complex, Ms. Tomiko FUKUDA, a local resident, garnered support from the community council chairperson and a local support center and initiated the creation of a vegetable garden on a piece of land located next to the complex, which was to be shared among the residents. AAR Japan decided to provide farming tools such as hoes and shovels, a storage room, and greenhouses to what they named “Hibiki Farm”. With the greenhouses, the residents can grow vegetables even when it is cold.

On May 13th, the greenhouses were set up with mainly the help from the men living in Uchihibiki temporary housing complex. Despite the ground being muddy following heavy rain, they managed to complete setting up the frames with the help of AAR Japan staff members, which took an entire day. 2 weeks later, on May 28th, volunteers from the Nishihonganji Tohoku division came to help the residents covering the frames with vinyl.

The completed greenhouses will start to be used around October. All the other pieces of land have been allocated to the residents, with roughly 25 residents starting to grow vegetables. Residents who previously rarely interacted with each other have begun to talk to one another through their activities at Hibiki Farm.

Regaining Their Spirit through Gardening

In addition to the above two cases, AAR Japan is providing agricultural support to disaster survivors in other areas such as “Tsuchi wo Aisuru Kai” in Higashi-Matsushima City, and “Umakko Noen” and “Mizunuki Noen” in Ishinomaki City through the provision of farming tools and planters, installation of wells, and preparation of land.

The activity of making vegetables is well received even among the elderly and men who have had the tendency of isolating themselves in their homes, as they have found it easy to participate in something where they can utilize their skills. AAR Japan will continue to support such disaster survivors so that they can engage in a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally.

Community building through farming. Fureai Group
Community building through farming. Fureai Group
Removing debris and rocks to clean up the garden
Removing debris and rocks to clean up the garden
Students from Princeton University volunteering
Students from Princeton University volunteering
Result of all the efforts. Vegetables grow nicely
Result of all the efforts. Vegetables grow nicely
Building Green House at Hibiki Farm
Building Green House at Hibiki Farm
Hibiki Group Photo. Cooperation is key to success
Hibiki Group Photo. Cooperation is key to success
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