Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

Jun 20, 2011

Rebuilding Japan

AAR JAPAN staff search for a welfare facility
AAR JAPAN staff search for a welfare facility

In areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March, thousands of people continue to live in evacuation centers.  With so much rebuilding to do, the government still hasn’t reached places like the small seaside village of Yubigahama, where debris sits uncleared and roads remain impassable.  The Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), supported by your donation to the GlobalGiving Japan Relief Fund, recently set up six container houses in an area where 80% of the surrounding town was devastated by the tsunami.

As volunteers and residents helped to set up the container houses, Ms. Suzuki, one of the new residents told AAR: “Right now, four families are living in this evacuation center. I never thought I would care about the lack of privacy, because we have known each other for so long.”

Ms. Suzuki moved into her new container house after two months of living in the evacuation center with four family members.  “Living together for two months has been mentally exhausting. We don’t have any space to discuss family matters privately. I’m really thankful just to have a space for our families to sleep on our own.”

AAR plans to set up another 24 container houses in the area, and has had requests to set up additional container homes in Minami-Sanriku and Ishinomaki.

Architecture for Humanity is also working to rebuild communities destroyed by the tsunami and earthquake with support from your donation to the GlobalGiving Japan Relief Fund.  In Motoyoshi, Miyagi, Architecture for Humanity is completing a covered wooden deck made of timber salvaged from the tsunami to serve as the center of a future marketplace.  Several local businesses that lost their storefront have already signed up for spots at this market.

Click on the video link below to see the construction site and hear from the team carrying out the project.

Thank you again for your support to people like Ms. Suzuki, who now has a home for her family.  Stay tuned for our next update, where we will announce some important new rebuilding activities that are being supported through your donations. And you can always read additional updates directly from our partners in Japan on GlobalGiving's "Updates from Japan" page.

Timber salvaged from the tsunami
Timber salvaged from the tsunami
May 5, 2011

Looking Forward

Photo from SHINE Humanity
Photo from SHINE Humanity

Nearly two months after Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, here at GlobalGiving we are shifting the focus of our funding from emergency aid to more medium-and long-term support for people affected by the disaster. Our continuing priority has been to support Japanese organizations and citizens who are managing their own recovery processes, and over $3 million of your donations have gone towards these efforts.

For example, support through Japan Platform helped to supply over 100 Japanese volunteers including local teachers, parents, firefighters who worked together to clean up and re-open Kesennuma Kindergarten.

Although some families and teachers are still staying in the Kesennuma schools as shelters overnight, classes have resumed during the day. "I could not wait for this day to come," said one of the children during a re-opening ceremony, "I was not able to meet my friends for a long time." The disaster relief funds helped provide packages of school supplies for the students and classrooms, allowing children to go back to school and to develop a normal routine again.

Our Japan Platform partners are also supporting other much-needed services for survivors, including legal advice for citizens of the Iwate prefecture. Legal counselors are helping victims answer tough questions like, "What do I do about the mortgage I have on a home that was destroyed by the tsunami?"

Thanks to your continuing generosity, this week we disbursed an additional $310,000 to support Japanese organizations in their medium- and long-term rebuilding efforts. These funds are going to:

We'll send another update in a few weeks to share the stories of how these funds were put to work. For the most up-to-date info on the Japan recovery fund, please follow us on Twitter (@GlobalGiving) or "like" our Facebook Page. In addition, you can read updates from our partners on GlobalGiving's "Updates from Japan" page.

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Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

Apr 14, 2011

GlobalGiving's Continued Commitment to Japan

Mercy Corps

Its hard to believe that it's been over a month since the earthquake and tsunami that took 11,000 lives in Japan. Thousands remain missing, and more than 170,000 people are living in evacuation centers where they are still relying on the Japanese government and aid organizations for basic necessities and medical support. Fuel shortages and cold temperatures have exacerbated the situation, and there continues to be a genuine threat of nuclear contamination to the air, food, and water. 

To date, GlobalGiving and GlobalGiving UK have disbursed more than $3 million to 14 organizations: Architecture for Humanity, Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), Civic Force, International Medical Corps, Japan Platform, Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN), Lifeline Energy, Mercy Corps, Peace Winds, Save the Children, Shelter Box, Shine Humanity, and Telecom for Basic Human Needs (BHN)

While GlobalGiving's partners continue to provide basic necessities such as food, fuel, and medical care, organizations have also begun to address the ongoing and future needs of those affected by the disaster:

  • Civic Force has partnered with local carpenters to build bathhouses, making it possible for individuals who have gone weeks without bathing to wash;
  • JEN staff and volunteers are removing sludge from public buildings and homes;
  • Peace Winds and Mercy Corps have teamed up to train caregivers to help children through the trauma of disaster;
  • AMDA has organized movies and sports events and provided exercise equipment to alleviate boredom and restlessness in evacuation centers; and
  • The International Medical Corps has partnered with local organizations to provide telephone counseling and training in psychological first aid.

Many of our partners have begun to develop long-term plans for recovery. Architecture for Humanity is committed to the physical rebuilding of communities, while Telecom for Basic Human Needs has developed a plan for reestablishing radio infrastructure in collaboration with Japan Platform. Others plan to provide long-term psycho-social and livelihood support to help impacted communities get back on their feet. 

Most of these organizations have posted their own projects on GlobalGiving’s site. If you are inclined to provide additional support, we encourage you to do so by supporting the project that resonates with you most. You can view these Japan relief projects on GlobalGiving.org and GlobalGiving.co.uk

Over the next six to eight weeks, GlobalGiving expects to continue to receive significant funds from corporate matching campaigns, cause-marketing promotions, and individual donors. On our blog you can read more about how GlobalGiving's corporate partners are contributing. In addition, GlobalGiving UK's partnership with JustGiving continues to provide an easy way for individuals and corporations to fundraise for disaster relief projects. Ocado, the home delivery company, used JustGiving's platform to raise £200,000 from staff and customers for Mercy Corps' project on GlobalGiving. 

These additional funds will make it possible for GlobalGiving to continue to support intermediate and long-term recovery efforts. We will continue to update you via email, although probably a little less frequently going forward. For more up-to-date info on our work, please follow us on Twitter (@GlobalGiving) or "like" our Facebook Page. In addition, you can read updates from our partners on GlobalGiving's "Updates from Japan" page. 

Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team 

Apr 5, 2011

We Didn't Do It Alone: How You've Helped Make a Difference for Japan

On Friday, March 11th, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella awoke in San Diego to an email from Ayumi Horie, her best friend of 30 years. Ayumi, a potter, wanted Kathryn’s support to organize an online art auction to raise money for survivors of the earthquake and tsunami that had just hit Japan. The two had always shared a love of Japan and art and decided to channel this passion to help those affected by the disaster. With the help of another long-time friend, Ai Kanazawa Cheung, as well as volunteers, family, and other friends, Handmade for Japan was born. Within two weeks, Handmade for Japan had mobilized the support of dozens of artists and galleries to host an eBay auction of 120 pieces of art. The auction raised more than $75,000 for GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, garnered media attention for the Japan relief effort, and attracted over 5,000 followers to the cause.

Ayumi Horie, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella and Ai Kanazawa Cheung plan via Skype.
Ayumi Horie, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella and Ai Kanazawa Cheung plan via Skype.

Like Ayumi and Kathryn, hundreds of other donors leapt into action after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, rallying support for the relief effort via GlobalGiving. From bake sales to t-shirt sales and celebrity events, the response has been amazing. For example, Anime fans and gamers have raised more than $80,000 hosting live video game streams, including Level|Up x iPlayWinner’s online "Fight for Relief."

High school and college students throughout the US banded together with fraternities, sororities, service clubs, and fellow classmates to organize events and host virtual fundraisers. University of Maryland Professor Larry Shinagawa organized a fundraiser in the DC area that raised nearly $25,000. And caring donors like you organized benefit concerts, comedy shows, garage sales, road trips, relay races, and even a Martian Marathon (whatever that is), raising thousands of dollars to help the people of Japan.

Joining these "everyday heroes" have been some names you might recognize. Singer Jack Johnson, actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ken Watanabe, and heavy-metal band Megadeth have all raised funds for GlobalGiving's efforts. And we are excited to count among our "tweeters" Katy Perry, Simon Pegg, Moby, Christy Turlington, Jaime Camil, and Star Trek's original Mr. Sulu, George Takai.

Businesses as diverse as Dell, Liquidnet, American Pressed Bakery, ClippieCollections, and Summerfield Childcare have donated and encouraged employees and customers to give. (See more on our blog.)

Gap Inc, a long-time partner of GlobalGiving, has been a standout among this generous crowd, having mobilized to support GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund from all directions, proving Gap Inc’s genuine commitment to doing what’s right:

  • Gap Inc employees are able to contribute to Japan relief efforts and have those donations matched through the website BeWhatsPossible.com. Employees of all levels, up to the founding family, have taken advantage of this opportunity.
  • The Gap Foundation has provided a grant to International Medical Corps and Save the Children via GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
  • The Gap Inc commerce websites, including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta, linked to GlobalGiving's Japan relief efforts for more than a week during March, leading to more than $70,000 from Gap Inc consumers.
  • There are currently Japan t-shirts selling in select Gap stores and online, from which proceeds will go to GlobalGiving's Japan relief efforts.
  • The Gap Inc Give and Get team made a donation for every employee who signed up for its March 17-20, 2011, sale.

From employees to corporate matches to inspiring its customers, the Gap Inc community has already donated or committed more than $500,000 of funding to our partners on the ground.

As a result of the generosity of those mentioned above and more than 34,000 individual donors, GlobalGiving disbursed an additional $500,000 to Japanese relief organizations on Thursday, March 31st. $100,000 was given to each of the following organizations: Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), Civic Force, Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN), and Japan Platform. In the coming weeks, we will continue to keep you updated about the work that these and other organizations are doing in Japan and to share stories of impact from the field.

Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

Mar 30, 2011

Meet the Satos. You're Helping Them.

Meet the Satos. You're helping them.

Mr. and Mrs. Sato are currently staying with 200+ other people on a high school gym floor in Mirami Sanriku Cho, a city in northern Japan. Their home was destroyed by the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami, leaving the couple trapped for nearly two days with about 500 other elderly individuals. Several weeks after disaster struck Japan, individuals like Mr. and Mrs. Sato are still relying heavily on aid organizations. Read Mr. and Mrs. Sato's full story.

Because of your generosity, GlobalGiving has disbursed more than $1.5 million to organizations on the ground providing basic necessities, medical care, childcare, and ongoing support to hundreds of thousands of people. We have received frequent reports, stories, and photos from our partners, which we have shared below.

Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) - AMDA's team of 88 — including volunteer doctors, nurses, and therapists — is working in evacuation shelters in Kamaishi City and Ohtsuchicho in Iwate Prefecture and Minamisanriku-cho in Miyagi Prefecture. In one shelter doctors reported seeing 50-80 patients daily. AMDA is using electric vehicles to deliver mobile clinic services to shelters and people's homes in remote areas. They are using other means to enter sites in mountainous areas where road access is difficult. Read updates on AMDA's website.

Peace Winds - In addition to ongoing relief work in Kesennuma, Peace Winds has expanded relief operations to Rikuzentakata and Ofunato in Iwate Prefecture and Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture.  Peace Winds continues to manage, ship, and distribute emergency relief supplies at evacuation centers in these cities.  In response to the severe cold in the northeast prefectures, Peace Winds, in collaboration with Civic Force, recently delivered 510 kerosene stoves and thousands of liters of kerosene to help heat evacuation shelters. Read updates on Peace Wind's website.

Japan Platform - Japan Platform, a network of Japanese NGOs, businesses, and local governments, is coordinating the work of 24 partner organizations, channeling funding and resources to them based on expertise and location. Japan Platform is providing grants and logistical assistance to its partners, which have responded to the emergency by offering medical services, daycare, internet access, and more. See where Japan Platform's partners are working.

Save the Children - Save the Children is operating nine "Child Friendly Spaces" in evacuation centers in Northeast Japan. This gives children, who are otherwise suffering from nightmares, anxiety, and boredom, the chance to laugh, play, and interact with other children. Read more about Save the Children's "Child Friendly Spaces."

Telecom for Basic Human Needs (BHN) - BHN has created seven internet access points throughout Iwate Prefecture, making it possible for those affected to access information and to connect with family. BHN has constructed a temporary internet infrastructure using a wireless mesh network. Now, BHN is working to repair radio equipment and organize community radio broadcasts detailing important information about safety and support services. BHN is also distributing wind-up radios to facilitate access to information.

International Medical Corps - Working closely with the Japanese government to fill gaps in the disaster relief effort, International Medical Corps is providing mental health services to disaster survivors and supporting vulnerable displaced groups such as the elderly, single women, and children. International Medical Corps has delivered packaged baby foods and medications including nasal sprays, antihistamines, and eye drops. They have also helped to improve communication between evacuation and coordination centers by distributing laptops, satellite phones, and walkie-talkies. Read International Medical Corps' update on GlobalGiving.

Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN) - Over the past several weeks, JEN has expanded its work into some of the least accessible areas that are still receiving little support, such as the towns of Minamisanriku, Higashimatsushima, Onagawa and Ishimaki. JEN has continued to assess needs in these areas and to distribute much needed supplies, including clothing, sanitary items, and fresh food. In the long-term, JEN plans to help individuals return home or resettle and ultimately rebuild a sustainable local economy and livelihood. Read updates on JEN's blog.

Civic Force - Civic Force has played a valuable role in facilitating the distribution of donated supplies throughout Northeast Japan. Earlier this week, Civic Force unloaded two four-ton trucks of rice donated through Yahoo! in Kesennuma. Last week, Civic Force distributed 19,000 pairs of shoes and socks donated by Nike as well as six four-ton trucks of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. Civic Force has also begun to plan for the construction of temporary shelters for families currently living in evacuation shelters. Read updates from Civic Force's website.

Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) - AAR continues to assess and respond to the needs of elderly and disabled individuals. AAR is distributing much-needed supplies — flashlights, food, water, and kerosene — to welfare facilities for people with disabilities, evacuation shelters, and makeshift refuges in Miyagi Prefecture and Iwate Prefecture. Read detailed updates on AAR's blog.

Lifeline Energy - Lifeline Energy is working with Oxfam Japan to distribute 15,000 Polaris all-in-one radio, light and cell-phone chargers by early April. Polaris radios, which access Japan's unique radio frequency, will enable disaster survivors to receive updates about support services, radiation levels, weather forecasts, and more. The LED light will help families navigate in darkness, and the cell phone charger will make it possible for people to connect. Lifeline Energy will be distributing Polaris radios to the elderly in Tohuku Kanto region. Read a recent update Lifeline Energy's website.

Architecture for Humanity - Architecture for Humanity, in collaboration with members of its Kyoto Chapter, is conducting door-to-door needs assessments in Sendai. This assessment is being used to inform Architecture for Humanity's long-term plan for rebuilding and recovery. Architecture for Humanity is working with design professionals to design safe and sustainable community buildings, health clinics, schools, and hospitals. Read updates on Architecture for Humanity's website.

To see all Japan relief updates, visit www.globalgiving.org/japan-updates.

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Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

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Washington, D.C., United States

Project Leader

Britt Lake

Washington, DC United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund