Progress Report: 19 November 2012
The Community Cyberspace (CC) initiative was successfully launched in Iwate prefecture November 12th through 14th 2012 with work undertaken in four resettlement areas in the vicinity of the hard-hit coastal city of Miyako. Scenes of devastation seen around the world last year remain stark and unavoidable.
The empty foundations of homes are now weed-choked, and the twisted steel girders of gutted buildings remain as shocking signatures of the toll of destruction and ruin which still marks the area. With the help of the Japanese Red Cross and the Iwate Psychological Association, IMCRA-DOJ technology specialists were able to reach elderly survivors in more remote areas with electronic options for addressing their loss and loneliness. At each location, a meeting was held with mostly elderly survivors who learned that both real-time and recorded private and personal internet connections can be made available before Christmas Connections are now being established with family, with friends and with medical/psychological professionals who are members of the IMCRA-DOJ team.
During this first trial run CC learned that almost none of the people we reached had email or Skype addresses, or for that matter were even certain what email and Skype was. In these cases we are providing temporary addresses for the receipt of mail and skype through IMCRA-DOJ. We are also striving to obtain telephone numbers and Skype addresses for persons who might want to speak privately with remote family members. Where this is not possible, CC is striving to obtain all relevant connection information and record messages from users for later transmission to family.
Where CC users may wish to privately, or even anonymously speak with professionals about their children's educational issues, physiological medical issues or psychological medical issues, IMCRA-DOJ will have professional staff standing by for consultation purposes. Major progress was made in this area with the collection of several dozen completed questionnaires requesting how people would best like to use this system. Where CC users may wish to have a taste of some of the folklore and traditions lost in the aftermath of 3-11 IMCRA has been partnering with Kigyo Mecenat Kiyogikai to provide cultural remediation either onsite or via streaming video.
We anticipate having the first permanant connections established before Christmas or shortly thereafter, depending on ground staff availability.
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