Dear GlobalGiving donors,
Dear GlobalGivers,We are very excited to announce that starting today, November 1, we're matching your donations dollar-for-dollar toward qualified projects that focus on long-term recovery in Japan.
We work with 20 organizations that are helping Japanese people recover from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. For example, ETIC helped Naoko rebuild a shopping area that had been destroyed. The new shopping area is now revitalizing the local economy. In Minamisanriku-cho, Architecture for Humanity is about to finish up rebuilding a workplace for fishermen in the tsunami-stricken area. You can read more updates directly from the field here. Your donations have made it possible for our partners to restore the communities. Thank you!
Summer has come and gone in Tohoku, and our partners made a lot of progress in the field. Their activities included providing fishermen oars, running a summer camp for children in Fukushima, and rebuilding community houses. We'd like to thank you once again for your generosity in donating to the Tsunami Relief Fund that is supporting our partners to do incredible work in Tohoku. Here are some of the activities our partners accomplished over the summer: Peace Winds America Peace Winds is restoring livelihoods and accelerating economic recovery by supporting fishing cooperatives and their members. In 2012, Peace Winds and cooperatives in Minami-Sanriku are working to support the seasonal needs of fishermen. Most recently, Peace Winds and the cooperative leaders developed a plan to enable abalone and sea urchin fishermen to return to work. Peace Winds and the cooperatives are targeting fishing equipment support to 500 Minami-Sanriku abalone and sea urchin fishermen. To support Peace Winds’ activities, GlobalGiving awarded them an additional $150,000 to provide fishing sheds to families in Minami-Sanriku.
Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) AAR Japan has been working in Tohoku area to support the disabled, rebuild communities, and provide medical services. Recently, GlobalGiving funded AAR with a grant of $500,000 to support these activities in the nuclear-affected area of Fukushima as well. In Fukushima, AAR Japan runs activities such as organizing community events at temporary housing complexes for young and old to get together and overcome isolation, preparing contamination-free playgrounds for children, and reconstructing social welfare facilities for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly. To learn more about their project in Fukushima, please click here.
Safecast Safecast is a global project working to empower people with data, primarily by mapping radiation levels and building a sensor network, enabling people to both contribute and freely use the data collected. After the 3/11 earthquake and resulting nuclear situation at Fukushima Daiichi it became clear that people wanted more data than what was available. Safecast has been building a radiation sensor network comprised of static and mobile sensors actively being deployed around Japan. They installed 3 million data points so far, and planning on installing more. Safecast received an additional grant of $100,000 to help them scale the production of radiation monitoring devices.
ETIC ETIC is training and matching 200 young aspiring entrepreneurs (fellows) with 100 social business leaders that are heading reconstruction efforts to rebuild Tohoku through economic empowerment in three years (from Jun 2011 to Mar 2014). ETIC recently summarized fellows’ activities into a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q643Ls1Ti40&feature=youtu.be. GlobalGiving is continuing to support these young entrepreneurs for the next two years with an additional $500,000 from the fund. If you would like to read additional updates, please visit our Japan Relief and Recovery updates page. Thank you so much for your support and your continued interest!
We would like to thank you for your continued support; grants are still going strong! Because of donors like you we are excited to announce the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund’s recent allocation of $425,000 to 3 projects working to reconstruct and strengthen communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
Here are some project highlights:
Fukushima Kids Executive Committee
Due to the dangers caused by the damaging of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant children in the area are unable to play outside. The Fukushima Kids Executive Committee is working towards restoring playtime by hosting summer camps in Hokkaido for children in the Fukushima area. Getting kids outside during their vacation time and restoring play lightens the children’s spirits in a time of uncertainty. Having opened in 2011, Fukushima Kids’ Summer Camp is excited to open again for the summer of 2012 and is hoping to reach 1,000 kids. Thanks to your generous support Fukushima Kids Executive Committee is receiving $200,000 in funding!
After the events of March 2011 persons living in danger areas were forced to move to temporary housing communities (kasetsu-jutaku). IsraAid continues to work with people of all ages living in temporary housing areas and is launching an exciting new youth leadership project, Rebuilding Lives-Investing in the Future, in Tohoku, Japan. The project aims to empower participants and build leadership, social innovation and social responsibility through a series of trainings, seminars and workshops, which focus on areas such as, leadership training, social program structuring and mentoring. We are excited to announce that IsraAid is receiving $100,000 in funding!
Telecom for Basic Human Needs
During times of disaster radio often becomes an integral communication tool. Radio stations provide vital information to communities and lessen feelings of isolation. Though reconstruction of Japan’s devastated areas is under way the support and information radio provides is still valued in many communities. Having seen the effectiveness of radio stations and the important role they play in the recovery and rebuilding process of communities, Telecom for Basic Human Needs is working to turn disaster stations into permanent community-based radio stations. Thanks to your support Telecom for Basic Human Needs is receiving $125,000 in funding!
If you would like to read additional updates, please visit our Japan Relief and Recovery updates page. Thank you so much for your support and your continued interest!
During the first week of April, GlobalGiving’s president and co-founder Mari Kuraishi and director of programs, Britt Lake, visited the people and organizations that were supported by your donations to GlobalGiving’s Japan Relief and Recovery Fund. Below is Mari’s account of the time they spent in the Tohoku region.
As I sat in the train back to Tokyo thinking about the week I had just spent visiting GlobalGiving partners in the Tohoku region, three things stuck with me:
We visited over almost a dozen organizations in towns and cities across Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. Along the way, we delivered origami cranes and messages of hope from GlobalGiving donors like you. (Click to see how how the messages were created and then delivered.) We left every visit amazed at how people were beginning to pull their lives back together, but also daunted at the monumental tasks still left ahead.
We visited one temporary housing complex dedicated to families with special needs where a woman kindly invited us into her home. It was immaculate, but tiny. The 300+ sq ft per-household size really hadn't hit me until we followed her in and found ourselves immediately in the main room. It was a combination kitchen, living room, and bedroom, where her immobilized son was on the heated carpeted floor that she explained was essential to his avoiding joint pains that would cause him to cry out. She explained that the size was fine with just the two of them – it got a little crowded when her husband came home once every 3 months. He works as a fisherman in the far south of Kyushu. Despite the size and the location, she said was happy to be in the housing complex. Because every household in the compound had a family member with special needs, they had actually known each other before the disaster through various service centers in the area, so they had a support network within the compound – something most other people didn’t have in their temporary housing. She hoped the families could all stay together once more permanent housing was built.
In a temporary shopping center much further north, we went to a lunch pot in a food mall and, because Britt is vegetarian, got treated to a beautiful set course of , or Buddhist cuisine. It was the last thing I expected in a food mall, but there it was. The chef had owned a highly rated restaurant in the city of Otsuchi before the disaster that was destroyed in the tsunami. He had scraped together enough money to pay for some basic cooking equipment and set himself up in a temporary shopping center and he was beginning to make a living by cooking basic lunch foods for all the workers who had nowhere else to go. He had been thrilled to show off his skills by cooking this special lunch for us.
At site after site, we came across young men and women who had deferred graduate school abroad, given up promising corporate careers at major multinational companies, or had given up jobs abroad in South Sudan, Paraguay, or Uganda to help rebuild their country. Some had grown up in Tohoku, but others came north with no other desire than to serve. Japan is by-and-large a society with very rigid expectations and sense of hierarchy. If you are successful, you attend one of a handful of good schools, then subsequently join the federal civil service, become a doctor or lawyer, or join a major multinational company. And when you do follow that path, there is a pretty long path of seniority to tread. The people who were supporting and leading non-profits or social enterprises, on the other hand, were all getting to make substantive decisions about what made sense, what provided the highest value, and long term benefit to the communities where they lived. Even more, they all seemed happy and fulfilled, if not somewhat exhausted. It was by far the most vibrant group of young Japanese people I have come across ever.
That gave me hope. Or, as a bumper sticker in Ishinomaki, said, "”It's tough to translate, as it's local dialect, but its spirit is closest to: "Don't mess with us, tsunami!"
If you’d like to Mari and Britt’s accounts of each specific project they visited, you can read their postcards from the field on our Japan Updates page.
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