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.
Sep 14, 2011

Activity Report (July 15th - August 15th, 2011)

School lunch (July 2011, Fukushima Prefecture)
School lunch (July 2011, Fukushima Prefecture)

8.24.2011

Supporting Food Services at Schools in Minami-Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

After Earthquake, Difficulty in Procuring Food for School Lunch in Minami-Soma City

In Minami-Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, it remains uncertain when elementary and junior high schools within 30 km of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant will be able to resume operations. Students who used to go to elementary and junior high schools in Minami-Soma’s Haramachi and Odaka Wards have been busing to 3 elementary schools and 1 junior high school in Kashima Ward, which is situated outside of the 30-km radius. 

After the earthquake, Minami-Soma City had no choice but to ask the school lunch center in Kashima Ward to provide lunches on an extremely limited budget, with each lunch allotted as little as 200 yen in July. Although a portion of the emergency relief supplies provided to Minami-Soma City was used for school lunch until the end of June, the rice supply was exhausted, and the city was not able to purchase any more due to the budget restraints. The accident at the nuclear power plant has made it difficult to procure local vegetables, and there is no budget to purchase vegetables from other prefectures. With shortages in both rice and vegetables, it has become difficult to provide nutritionally balanced lunches for the increased number of students in the schools.


Delivery of Rice and Vegetable Juice

Hearing of the lunch situation from the Minami-Soma Board of Education, from July 1st to 22nd AAR JAPAN delivered 2 tons of rice and 16,802 cans of vegetable juice (enough for 2 servings per week) to schools in Kashima Ward. Vegetable juice is easy to drink, and provides an essential nutritional supplement for students. 

Due to the increased number of students, some schools in Kashima Ward have experienced a shortage of classrooms, with screens being set up in the gym to create temporary classrooms to cover the shortfall. With so much changed in school, the students can take comfort in rice and vegetable juice at lunchtime.

The initial round of lunch service to Minami-Soma City was completed on July 22nd, with the city henceforth expecting to collect lunch fees from students’ parents. However, we still plan to rent a truck for lunch service from August 25th to September 24th at the start of the second semester.

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The above are excerpts from our English blog which highlight some of AARJ's work in Tohoku in the past few months. To find a complete list of articles, visit our English blog at http://aarjapan.blogspot.com.

Lunch menu in May (2011, Fukushima Prefecture)
Lunch menu in May (2011, Fukushima Prefecture)
Lunch menu in July (2011, Fukushima Prefecture)
Lunch menu in July (2011, Fukushima Prefecture)
School lunch 2 (July 2011, Fukushima Prefecture)
School lunch 2 (July 2011, Fukushima Prefecture)
Sep 14, 2011

Activity Report (Summer 2011)

Rehabilitation Services (July 9th, 2011, Miyagi)
Rehabilitation Services (July 9th, 2011, Miyagi)

Building Healthy Communities

AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and health-related services, mobile clinics, sanitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events for about 3,000 people, focusing on persons with disabilities, the elderly, survivors living at home, and people staying in temporary housing in the affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. Through these comprehensive efforts, AAR JAPAN continues to support people in the disaster-affected area as they work to maintain both their physical and mental health.

 - Rehabilitation Services

 AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation services by sending occupational therapists and physiotherapists to evacuation centers, senior care facilities, facilities for persons with disabilities, and temporary housing and individual homes in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, offering rehabilitation visits and massages to 83 people from July 9th to July 28th.

 - Mobile Clinics and Health-related Services

 AAR JAPAN has visited Makinohama, Takenohama, Kitsunezaki-hama, Sudachi, Fukkiura, Kozumihama, and Kobuchihama on the Oshika Peninsula, where approximately 640 survivors are taking shelter in their homes. Led by Dr. Toshiaki YASUDA, a local medical practitioner, AAR’s medical team has established a mobile clinic and implemented health-related services such as checking up on sufferers of chronic illnesses, preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and implementing psychological support. We examined a total of 815 people between April 9th and July 31st.

 - Sanitation Services

  AAR JAPAN has implemented sanitation services for approximately 1,000 people in evacuation centers in Ishinomaki City and Minami-Sanriku Town in Miyagi Prefecture. As futons, blankets, and mattresses became dirty as a result of long-term use in evacuation centers, we dried them in the sun, and collected old and dirty futons while offering new summer-season bedding. We also engaged in general cleaning in evacuation centers, where the summer rise in temperature and humidity has led to the deterioration of sanitary conditions, including a huge increase in flies and mosquitoes. We also distributed futon driers, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers, cleaning equipment, insect repellent and insecticides (fly tape, mite killer, etc.) with instruction on their use.

 To reduce the risk of food poisoning, we delivered refrigerators to evacuation centers that lacked them. We implemented these activities in 23 evacuation centers from June 14th to July 28th.

 - Psychological Care

 In order to mitigate stress from the earthquake and long-term evacuee life, AAR JAPAN has been sending counselors to evacuation centers, temporary housing units, and individual homes to provide psychological care.

 - Community Interaction and Exchange Events

 On July 23rd, AAR JAPAN participated in a festival at Wako Kindergarten in Shichiga-hama Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

*****************************************************************************************

The above are excerpts from our English blog which highlight some of AARJ's work in Tohoku in the past few months. To find a complete list of articles, visit our English blog at http://aarjapan.blogspot.com.

Rehabilitation Services (July 16th, 2011, Miyagi)
Rehabilitation Services (July 16th, 2011, Miyagi)
Mobile Clinic (May 6th, 2011, Miyagi Pref.)
Mobile Clinic (May 6th, 2011, Miyagi Pref.)
Sanitation Services (July 5th, 2011, Miyagi Pref.)
Sanitation Services (July 5th, 2011, Miyagi Pref.)
Community Interaction (July 23rd, 2011, Miyagi)
Community Interaction (July 23rd, 2011, Miyagi)
Community Interaction 2 (July 23rd, 2011, Miyagi)
Community Interaction 2 (July 23rd, 2011, Miyagi)
Aug 16, 2011

Activity Report (June 15th - July 15th, 2011)

Rubato, immediately after the earthquake
Rubato, immediately after the earthquake

The following are excerpts from our English blog which highlight some of AARJ's work in Tohoku in the past few months. To find a complete list of articles, visit our English blog at http://aarjapan.blogspot.com.

Supporting the Reopening of Facilities for People with Disabilities

8.05.2011

AAR JAPAN has been supporting the repair of buildings and grounds at over 50 facilities for people with disabilities and the elderly that have been affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Our efforts to help these facilities resume operations as quickly as possible have been greatly appreciated, as the application process for government support is lengthy, and this type of support is not always covered by government recovery programs.

 

Support for Reopening Facilities for People with Disabilities

Rubato, an ambulatory rehabilitation center for people with disabilities near Sendai Airport in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, was the only facility in Natori City providing services for people who have combined intellectual and physical disabilities. When the earthquake hit, all of the clients and staff were able to evacuate safely, but cars and debris were swept into the building, and the facility’s office supplies and vehicles were ruined. After the disaster, the center was unable to resume operations, as there were restrictions on construction in the area.

Fortunately, Rubato was able to relocate free of charge to a former livestock clinic, and AAR JAPAN has supported renovation of the interior of the building. We repaired the floor, placed a carpet, and renovated the Japanese-style toilet for use by people with disabilities. Renovation work was completed on June 31st. We had seen the center’s clients looking anxious as a result of the effects of the earthquake, but setting up a new location for Rubato’s operations brought smiles back to their faces.

     
Museum for Artwork by People with Disabilities

 In Ishinomaki City, Iwate Prefecture, AAR JAPAN supported the repair of facilities at Runbini Museum, which exhibits artwork by people with intellectual disabilities and offers studio space on its upper floor.

 The museum had been unable to display some of its artwork due to earthquake damage such as cracked walls and ceilings. After restoration was completed on July 13th, people were able to use the facility as before. They commented, “It’s brighter and feels better now.” The museum is full of unique and wonderful artwork that will be sure to delight any visitor. Please be sure to stop by the museum when you are around!

 This project has been made possible through generous individual donations and through grants from Japan Platform and Accenture Japan, Ltd.

Rubato restarted operations at a new location
Rubato restarted operations at a new location
Inside the new building at Rubato
Inside the new building at Rubato
Artist at work after Runbini Museum’s renovation
Artist at work after Runbini Museum’s renovation
The author, Haruka Hinosugi
The author, Haruka Hinosugi
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