Lifeline Energy’s radio-lights are helping ease “one of the biggest gaps” in Japan’s post-disaster recovery – reliable access to information and services. This and other feedback concerning an immigrant listening community, were listed in Oxfam Japan’s latest progress report. The progress report – written four months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan – indicates that Lifeline Energy’s radios are providing critical information on “assistance and protection”. The report - produced by our in-country partner, Oxfam Japan - states that our radios are providing information on people’s “rights, where they can get assistance, services and protection.” The radios are not only helping the local Japanese population, but are also aiding immigrants from the Philippines and Latin America. Lifeline Energy teamed up with GlobalGiving and Oxfam Japan soon after the tsunami hit Japan to provide more than 20,000 all-in-one wind-up and solar powered radio-lights, known as the Polaris. Since then, Japan has faced a near nuclear meltdown and, on a positive note, won the Women’s World Cup football. However, full recovery is still years away. According to the Oxfam Japan report, almost 100,000 people are still displaced – of whom more than 24,000 are living in evacuation centres. Also, roughly 40,000 households still lack access to electricity. The Polaris is not only providing information access but also has a built-in LED light. The Filipino and Latin American communities have benefited greatly from our radio-lights. Twenty community radio stations in Tagalog and Spanish have been created specifically for this large populace. According to recent statistics, there are more than 300,000 Latin Americans – mainly from Brazil and Peru - while there are close to 200,000 Filipinos in Japan. Following the Chinese and Korean communities, Latin American and Filipinos are the third and fourth largest immigrant communities in Japan respectively. The Oxfam Japan report highlights the importance of addressing the needs of immigrant communities in Japan, saying that they are receiving little attention from other agencies working in the country.
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