More than two years have passed since a 7.2 earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan, and you have helped raise over $10 million through GlobalGiving to support more than 25 organizations working directly in Miyagi, Iwate, and more recently, Fukishima.
In March 2013 I returned to Japan with GlobalGiving’s president and co-founder, Mari Kuraishi, to visit the rebuilding efforts that your funds have supported. Two years after 3.11, much has changed. Where a year ago lights were dimmed even in Tokyo and everyone talked obsessively about how to be ready for the next big one in the national public media, now a sense of normalcy has returned to places like Tokyo not directly affected by the disaster. Even in Tohoku, the piles of debris that had covered the landscape just a year before were gone, and in their place were empty fields.
But a lot of things, especially in the depleted and torn up coastal communities are not back to normal, and there is no question that whatever emerges for the Tohoku area, it will have to be a new normal. For one, the question of economic viability—already sharp for the Tohoku communities that even before the tsunami had been aging more quickly than the rest of the country—has become truly acute. This is still no resolution on the very basic question of where people will live—will they be allowed to rebuild on the pieces of land they own so close to the flooding areas?—and people’s main assets are locked up in limbo, stifling bottom-up economic recovery. What this means on a day-to-day basis is that many families are still living in cramped temporary shelters. There is as yet no timeline for people to move into more permanent homes. In Fukushima, the problem is compounded by the fact that people have to decide whether they want to move back to their homes near the nuclear power plant explosion or abandon everything they own.
In this context, we have ended up supporting a two pronged approach in our final grantmaking for the recovery efforts in Tohoku. One, we have found a couple of promising projects working on finding viable alternative economic activities in Miyagi, and would very much like to see them succeed. Two, we have continued to provide ease for the elderly, the young, and the disabled who cannot leave or build out new ventures, in the hope that the communities will be revitalized over time to take care of them all. A list of our most recent grants are at the bottom of this letter. We hope you’ll watch over their evolution and champion their progress.
We’re looking forward to updating you on the progress of these newest grants in the coming months.
Thank you again, Britt
P.S. The Japanese Red Cross Society recently put out a list of the top countries that donated to the relief effort here. According to this study, if GlobalGiving were a separate country, we would be the fourth largest donor. Thanks for your generosity!
This is a personal message from Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving.
To the generous donors of GlobalGiving's Japan Relief Fund,
This coming March 11th will mark the two-year anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. A year ago, Britt and I visited our partners' project sites. While we were happy to see that the projects were making remarkable progress, we were also overwhelmed by the sight of the damage that the earthquake and tsunami brought to Tohoku.
Japan still has a long way to recover, and our partners on the ground are working hard to help rebuild the communities affected by the disaster. With your donations, children in Fukushima can go to summer camps and play outside without worrying about radiation. We supported our partner who ran special career sessions for junior high school students in Tohoku, so that they will continue to be motivated about their future. We sent young entrepreneurs like Naoko to Tohoku so that they can start businesses to revitalize local economic growth. I believe that the youth that you have helped through our fund will become the next generation of leaders.
I personally would like to thank you for supporting the recovery effort. I am touched how you continuously contributed to the fund throughout these past two years. Today, I'd like to ask you to consider giving again. To honor the two-year anniversary, GlobalGiving is running a special matching campaign for projects that are working in Tohoku. We are matching your donations 100% from March 1st to the 15th, and on March 11th, we are matching the donations 200%.
I appreciate you standing with us for supporting the Japanese people. On this day, I hope that you will join me reflecting on the loss the people have gone through and the ongoing recovery efforts.
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!
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