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.
Dec 26, 2013

Bringing People Together- Sixth Folk Music Concert Tour in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture

Mr. Nekohachi (right) and Mr. Suzuki
Mr. Nekohachi (right) and Mr. Suzuki

The sixth folk music tour was held at 10 temporary housing complexes in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture from November 11th to 13th. The performance of ‘Minyo-jin’, a folk music team which consists of folk musicians and popular entertainer Mr. Nekohachi EDOYA, amused and cheered up as much as 277 participants. The temporary housing complexes where we visited accommodate evacuees from Okuma Town, Tomioka Town and Naraha Town, which suffer immense and long-lasting damage caused by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

At the venue before the concert, the audience sat still without much expectation on their face. However, once Mr. Nekohachi stroke up the cheerful introduction with his soothing smile, the atmosphere gradually softened and the audience began to relax and enjoy. The audience heartily laughed at Mr. Nekohachi’s performance of mimicking animals and avidly listened to the powerful folk music. As the program proceeded, the audience stood up and started to dance together with the performers and after the concert, many of the audience rushed to the performers to tell how amazed they were at their performance. 

Here are some comments from the participants. 

A 76 year-old lady who evacuated from Naraha Town told us, ‘I have been unable to go out since I have suffered shingles, but I was really looking forward to this concert. After the 3.11 disaster, I moved from temporary housing complex to complex seven times and I felt so sad to have nowhere to settle at this old age. I am now growing dahlia in planters but I miss the large garden where I grew various vegetables and flowers’. In the last part of the concert, she happily joined the dancing circle of the audience and performers. ‘I really enjoyed dancing to ‘Soma Bon-uta’. It made me forget bad things’, she beamed. 

A lady in her seventies excitedly told us that at the concert she was able to meet one of her friends who used to live in Okuma Town together. The friend came from a temporary housing complex in Aizu City to join the concert and it was their first time to see each other since the 3.11 disaster. ‘I feel so happy to see my friend after 2 years and 8 months, thanks to the concert. Thank you for coming all the way to Fukushima Prefecture,’ the lady said with a deep bow. 

The audience laughed heartily
The audience laughed heartily
One of the participants started to dance
One of the participants started to dance
The audience talked excitedly to the performer
The audience talked excitedly to the performer
Group photo of the audience and performers
Group photo of the audience and performers
Dec 2, 2013

Thank You Very Much for Supporting Our Project 'Help Disabled and Elderly Disaster Survivors'!

A volunteer physiotherapist teaching exercise
A volunteer physiotherapist teaching exercise

Immediately after the 3.11 disaster, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) entered the disaster-stricken area and launched its emergency assistance. In order to respond to the ever-changing need of the affected people, our relief activities ranged from distribution of emergency relief supplies such as food and daily necessities to the long-term recovery support including psychological care to the survivors. Throughout these efforts, we have felt the strong need to focus on those who are prone to be left out, which evolved into this project ‘Help disabled and elderly disaster survivors’.

The project has carried out diverse activities in the past two and a half years throughout Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, we started our activities with locating Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly who failed to move to the evacuation center and had been out of the reach of any assistance. In the recovery phase, we restored the working and living environment for PWDs and elderly through reconstructing the devastated facilities, which enabled the facility users to live at ease and promoted their participation in the society. We also organized mobile clinic and active listening sessions to relieve the evacuee’s concern over mental and physical health. These are only a part of the activities conducted in the project, and we believe that these activities not only provided direct assistance but also delivered the message that ‘you are not forgotten, we care about you’. All these efforts were only possible with your generous and cordial understanding and support.

We continue carrying out the other two projects on GlobalGiving, ‘Support evacuees of Fukushima’ and ‘Building Healthy Communities for Recovery’. In the former, we provide support to evacuees in Fukushima Prefecture, whose life as evacuees is expected to be prolonged due to the influence of radiation problem caused by the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The latter, ‘Building Healthy Communities for Recovery’, focuses on promoting the mental and physical health of evacuees who have been living in the cramped temporary housing complexes for such a long period. For more details, please click the links below and we truly appreciate if you consider directing your support to any of these projects.

‘Support evacuees of Fukushima’

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-evacuees-of-fukushima/

‘Building Healthy Communities for Recovery’

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/building-healthy-communities-1/

 

For further information on our entire Tohoku operation, please see our annual activity report.

http://www.aarjapan.gr.jp/english/activity/japan/doc/201304_aarjapan_eqreport_eng.pdf

Again we would like to express our sincere gratitude for your warm and hearty support. The recovery of disaster stricken area will take further effort and time and we are determined to continue the assistance which most suits the need of those who have been affected.

Devastated social welfare facility
Devastated social welfare facility
Delivered daily necessities to PWDs
Delivered daily necessities to PWDs
Reconstructed the workshop facility for PWDs
Reconstructed the workshop facility for PWDs
A user of the reconstructed workshop facility
A user of the reconstructed workshop facility
A popular entertainer cheering up the evacuees
A popular entertainer cheering up the evacuees
Dec 2, 2013

To Make Her Dream Come True- Story of Jennifer

Jennifer strongly hopes to learn at high school
Jennifer strongly hopes to learn at high school

Thank you for your kind support to the project ‘Zambia: Support For Schooling of HIV/AIDS Orphans’. In the following report, we would like to share the story of Jennifer, one of the most zealous students we are supporting.

Jennifer, 17, is a 9th grade girl who goes to Roma Girls Secondary School located in Ng’ombe Compound in Lusaka. Her mother died of AIDS just after she gave birth to Jennifer. Her father, Richard, works as a chicken buyer at a market, but his income is not enough to send his daughter to school. AAR Japan has long been supporting the schooling of Jennifer since she was a 1st grader in 2005. She behaves well and works hard at school and at home, having served as a school prefect a couple of times and having been on the top list as for the academic performance. When she was a 7th grader, she got a high score of 807 out of 1000, far beyond the average of 500 at the national examination, which made her qualified to enter Roma Girls Secondary School that is known for its quality education among the community. Even after she entered that school, she did not slow her pace. After all classes are finished, she remains in a classroom and study by herself until 4p.m. every day since it is difficult for her to study at home, once returning home from school, she has to prepare supper for her family and look after her young half-brother and half-sister. Jennifer says she wants to be a doctor in the future because she lost her mother to AIDS and witnessed many sick people in her community such as her mother’s elder sister suffering from high blood pressure.

 Jennifer is frugal with words but her determination toward her dream is genuinely solid. She strongly hopes to enter good high school, receive quality education and be permitted to a medical school. In Zambia, all 9th graders take a national examination at the end of the year, of which results decide whether one can continuehigher educationor not. Jennifer is trying her best toward the exam in order to make her dream come true.

Jennifer is proud of attending her school
Jennifer is proud of attending her school
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