Building Healthy Communities for Recovery

 
$61,523
$37,477
Raised
Remaining
Jan 12, 2012

Ongoing Relief and Recovery Activities in Japan

Massage session (Watari Town, Miyagi Prefecture)
Massage session (Watari Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

Overview of our Ongoing Activities

 

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

 

Rehabilitation Services 

AAR JAPAN has been sending occupational therapists and physiotherapists to evacuation centers, senior care facilities, facilities for persons with disabilities, temporary housing, and individual homes in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, offering rehabilitation visits and massages to 612 people from July 9th to November 26th.

 

Psychological Care

To mitigate stress both from the earthquake and from long-term evacuee life, AAR JAPAN has been sending counselors to evacuation centers, temporary housing units, and individual homes to provide psychological care. We provided counseling for 265 people between August 6th and December 3rd.

 

Community Interaction and Exchange Events

AAR JAPAN has been actively promoting community interaction and exchange events to help encourage the development of social ties in evacuation centers and temporary housing. In this effort, we have been organizing soup kitchens, delivering relief supplies, and providing rehabilitation services such as massages and aroma therapy. To date, we have organized or participated in events in the following locations:

 

Festival at Wako Kindergarten in Shichi-ga-hama Town, Miyagi Prefecture (July 23rd)

- Bon Festival in Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture (August 15th)

- Higashi-hama Elementary School on the Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture (August 18th)

- Touni Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (August 20th).

- Otomo Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (August 20th)

-Offering aromatherapy at Higashi-hama Elementary School in Miyagi Prefecture (August 23rd)

- Workshop for persons with disabilities in Yamada Town, Chimohei County, Iwate Prefecture (August 26th)

- Temporary housing complex in Kasshi Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (August 27th)

- Temporary housing complex in Shichi-ga-hama Town, Miyagi Prefecture (August 28th)

- Temporary housing complex in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (September 11th)

- Gym of Nakano Junior High School in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (September 17th)

- Day room in a temporary housing complex in Kashinai, Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture (September 24th)

- Temporary housing complex in Kuribayashi Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (September 25th)

- Gym of Nakano Junior High School in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (September 25th)

- In front of a shop in Sakuragi Town, Otsuchi Town, Kamihei County, Iwate Prefecture (September 28th)

- Temporary housing complex in Kesen Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (October 2nd)

- Festival at Kurosaki Shrine in Hirota Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (October 9th)

- “Everyone’s Festival Bureiko” in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture (October 10th)

- Dosen Subsidized Apartments in Kasshi Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (October 16th)

- Higashi-hama Elementary School in Iwate Prefecture (October 11th)

- Otsuchi Dai-kyu Temporary Housing Complex in Otsuchi Town, Kamihei County, Iwate Prefecture (October 23rd)

- Taki-no-Sato in Takekoma, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (October 25th)
- Nakano Sakae Community Center, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (November 27th)

 

 

Bringing People in the Disaster-Affected Areas a Warm and Happy New Year

 

Temperatures in the disaster-affected areas continue to drop. In addition to distributing winter necessities to people living in temporary housing complexes and other displaced people, AAR JAPAN is now also preparing equipment for snow removal. In the face of news of elderly survivors dying alone in temporary housing, we are continuing to support the Building Healthy Communities Project, offering community interaction and exchange events for disaster survivors, many of whom all too easily end up spending their entire day isolated behind closed doors.

 

If you are interested to learn more about AAR JAPAN's relief and recovery activities after the Great East Japan Earthquake, visit our blog site: http://aarjapan.blogspot.com/search/label/Japan 

Exercise Class (Watari Town, Miyagi Prefecture)
Exercise Class (Watari Town, Miyagi Prefecture)
Blood pressure check (Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi P.)
Blood pressure check (Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi P.)
Playful exercise (Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Pref.)
Playful exercise (Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Pref.)
Streching (Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture)
Streching (Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture)
Rehabilitation (Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Pref.)
Rehabilitation (Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Pref.)
Nov 9, 2011

Baseball Lessons and Aromatherapy Cheer Survivors

Students and parents play baseball
Students and parents play baseball
Baseball Lessons with Retired Professional Players
On August 18th, AAR JAPAN held a community interaction and exchange event in Ishinomaki City where a women’s group supporting the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles organized baseball lessons in the schoolyard at Higashihama
Elementary School.
Mr. Daisuke MASUDA and Mr. Katsumi YAMASHITA, retired players who are now junior coaches with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, offered baseball lessons for the students and teachers of Higashihama Elementary School and survivors of the March 11th disaster who are still living in the school and its surroundings.
People practiced playing catch and batting, and everyone was excited to be taught enjoyable lessons by pro-level players.
We also organized a soup kitchen and provided steak and fried noodles for 150 people, including both the lesson participants and people staying at the evacuation center in the Futsukiura area of Ishinomaki City. People working to remove disaster debris also came out during their lunch break, happily commenting that eating steak made them feel energized. 
Providing Relaxation Services for Parents
On August 23rd, AAR JAPAN organized an aromatherapy session for 24 parents at Higashihama Elementary School, making 8 professional aroma therapists available to offer them physical and mental relaxation. Equipment, including special beds, was provided by the therapists themselves or through donations from across the country. Relaxed lighting, ambient background music, the smell of oils, and a comfortable room temperature created a relaxing atmosphere that rejuvenated both the mind and body. 
Unable to release their pent-up stress and both physically and mentally exhausted, we discovered that some of the parents had developed a great deal of physical tension and very low body temperatures. Professional treatment allowed them to gradually relax.
Mr. KAKUDA, the school principal and also a disaster survivor, commented after the treatment, “I felt that I was truly able to relax for the first time since the earthquake. The time went by slowly, and it felt so good.” Others said that the session helped with backaches they had developed from living in evacuation centers, adding, “I never knew it felt this good”.
We sincerely appreciate the generous support of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, our aroma therapists, and the individual supporters who made these events possible.
AAR JAPAN plans to continue our Building Healthy Communities Project in cooperation with organizations and corporations so the people in the disaster zone can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles junior coaches
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles junior coaches
"Have some more!"
"Have some more!"
Parents receive massages
Parents receive massages
Oct 13, 2011

Maintaining the Health of Elderly Evacuees

Giving a massage to alleviate pain in the knees
Giving a massage to alleviate pain in the knees

Lack of Activities at Evacuation Centers has been a Serious Problem

Prolonged evacuee life has given the elderly little opportunity to exercise, which can have a harmful effect on their health. AAR JAPAN has begun sending a team of experts in occupational therapy and physiotherapy to visit evacuation centers on the Oshika Peninsula, part of Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, to provide rehabilitation and advice on how to make the living environment better suited to long-term physical fitness. On July 9th, a team of six, including nurses, occupational therapists and social workers, visited two evacuation centers and four homes on the Oshika Peninsula.

Exercises and Living Environments Suited to Each Person

A woman in her 80s has been staying at an evacuation center with her husband. She suffers from osteoarthritis, and as her knees hurt bitterly when she moves, she hasn’t been able to move around. Mr. Kiyoshi ISHII, an occupational therapist, gave her a careful massage to mitigate the pain in her knees. The woman slept on a bed at home, but uses a futon at the evacuation center, which causes further strain on her knees when getting up. We advised her to use a shower chair found in the evacuation center as an assistive device to allow her to stand up and sit down more easily.

Japanese-style squat toilets are also difficult for the elderly to use. At this evacuation center, only the men’s lavatory has a western-style toilet, so the woman has had no choice but to use the men’s lavatory. We recommended that the evacuation center bring in western-style sitting toilets that can be placed over the Japanese-style toilets.

At another evacuation center, a woman with intellectual disabilities in her 70s walks with the heels of her shoes folded over because they have become too small for her swollen feet. Although she can walk, with her bent back and weakened muscles she is at risk of falling at every step. We taught her a rehabilitation exercise using a walking frame found in the evacuation center, and recommended shoes and a walking frame suitable to her. We advised her to walk with them in the evacuation center regularly.

The elderly need daily exercise to prevent their bodies from weakening as a result of prolonged evacuee life. It is essential not only to offer temporary solutions such as massages and strength training, but also to teach routines they can undertake in their daily lives, and to offer suggestions for improving their regular living environments.

AAR JAPAN will continue our support for survivors as their environments change, whether in their homes, in evacuation centers, or in temporary housing.

Rehabilitation exercises
Rehabilitation exercises
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)

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Project Leader

Yuko Ito

Program Coordinator
Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo Japan

Where is this project located?

Map of Building Healthy Communities for Recovery