PWA Funds New Shed Construction Phase
Peace Winds America will soon kick off Phase IV of the ongoing fishing shed construction program for families in the Minamisanriku area. In partnership with the leadership in the Togura neighborhood of Minamisanriku, PWA will soon oversee construction of ten new fishing sheds. The laying of foundations will begin in early September. There remains highest demand among fishing families who lost their homes in the tsunami. Many families applied for Phase IV sheds confirming that our past shed activities have provided needed assistance and an impact on the primary industry in the region.
A Report from the Field
PWA Mari Poorman visited Tohoku recently to take stock of ongoing projects and partner activities. She reports that many of the small ports in the region (including Minamisanriku) cannot compete with larger ports for government recovery money. These ports are staffed with locals eager to resume fishing, but without outside support still lack many of the necessities to recover fully. Mari met with PWA’s local partner, Grace Mission Tohoku, implementing the sheds program, which remains busily engaged with many projects for tsunami victims still in need.
PWA Sends its Gratitude
We thank our donors for their support and for making this program possible. One very unique fishing sheds partner this July was the Seattle Mariners and the many Mariner baseball fans, who together saluted Japanese baseball. The Salute to Japanese Baseball on July 12th provided a percentage of the ticket sales to Tohoku recovery. PWA thanks Seattle supporters and the Mariners for helping launch the new fishing shed phase.
On September 1 – Disaster Prevention Day in Japan, we anticipate many will also provide support. Please continue to join others supporting PWA as we together maintain our disaster recovery efforts in Japan. Thanks.
Announcing Our New, All-in-One Project Page
PWA would like to thank all of our supporters of the fishing sheds program. We are happy to announce that this page will now be our Global Giving site for all our Tohoku recovery projects. Including the fishing sheds progam we will post updates here about our other revitalization activities, initiatives with survivors still in temporary housing, and more. In March 2011 we made a commitment to long-term relief and recovery in Tohoku. Now over three years later it is thanks to your support that we continue to honor that commitment.
Lighting up the Night in Minamisanriku Ports
We received a report from our partner in Peace Winds Japan that the Minamisanriku ports lighting project has been completed, and it looks fantatic! Six area ports received solar-powered LED lights to improve safety and security for the fishermen there: Minato, Tanoura, Ishihama, Natari, Baba, and Isatomae. Takaki Oikawa, a local fisherman, said, "The solar light helps me work better in the night and around dawn. And it is installed at the best point in the bayside where we keep our ships. In case of bad weather in the night time, we will be able to draw our ships up to the ground safely and quickly." Thanks to your help the operating hours of the local fishermen have been extended.
Fishing Sheds Phase Concludes in Togura
Our partners in Japan have finished construction of the latest round of sheds in Togura, a Minamisanriku neighborhood. A total of 21 sheds were constructed in the villages of Mitobe, Zaigo, and Tsunomia. Battling the winter cold and heavy snowfall the sheds were built, allowing each recipient family to return to work. Our implementing partner Rimpei Kozawa said, "Life goes on and there is evidence of the people’s strong will for recovery. The piers are bustling with wakame processing, and the fishermen are taking delivery of new boats." The new sheds have given the fishing families the ability to rejoin the industry. PWA is currently researching a new phase of shed construction in the area, building the success of this last program.
Thank you to our many donors! Your continued support keeps this program going!
With Need Still High, A Focus on Providing Additional Sheds
With every completed district, Peace Winds America has surveyed the results of the fishing sheds program. How have these sheds affected the lives of the recipients? What difference are we making restoring livelihoods of displaced residents? What do the district leaders say about the program?
We are pleased to report that demand for the sheds remains high - a clear sign of the value of this program. PWA has begun planning our next expansion of the fishing sheds program. Three districts are being considered: Fujihama, Nagashizu, and Terahama. These are all located in the Togura area of Minamisanriku. Our partners on the ground report that all have residents who meet our criteria for selection: they are active fishermen in the cooperatives who lost their home in the tsunami.
With your help we will be able to take advantage of the coming spring. As the snow melts and the ground in Tohoku thaws, the time is ripe for new construction. Once we have completed our assessment and selected recipients we can begin constructing these critical buildings. With over 267,000 Tohoku residents still in temporary housing, these economic revitalization projects do make a difference!
A Matching Opportunity From Global Giving
Beginning March 10th, GlobalGiving is supporting Tohoku recovery programs with a 100% match. Projects helping Tohoku are eligible, so this is an ideal opportunity to give us the momentum to keep the successful sheds project going. Your contribution will go twice as far today and may be the key to PWA providing one more family with a needed shed. Thank you for your generous support - we look forward to updating you soon with the results of our program expansion.
With Third 3/11 Anniversary Approaching, Sheds Program Continues
Winter is typically a quiet time in the coastal regions of Tohoku. The fishing industry consolidates and prepares for next year while harvesting winter fish catches, wakame seaweed and oysters. In these cold northerly regions, the hard-frozen ground poses a challenge for fishing, farming and construction alike.
March 11 will mark the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. The region has made impressive strides in recovery, yet in November 2013 the Reconstruction Agency of Japan still listed 267,000 people as evacuees, most living in temporary housing. Clearly the need for housing and economic revitalization support continues and will remain needed beyond the three year mark of the disaster.
Our partners at Grace Mission Tohoku are progressing with fishing family sheds slated for Mitobe and Zaigo districts. In spite of the harsh winter weather they are working with us to select recipients and sites for the sheds. In our next report we hope to present yet another group of completed sheds and grateful fishing famlies. Alongside our other fishing industry revitalization programs, Peace Winds America is standing solidly by Tohoku fishing families, determined to remain active so long as the need for recovery persists.
As always, Peace Winds America thanks you for your support. Together, we can continue to tell the fishing community of Tohoku, "You are not forgotten."
Dear Peace Winds America Supporters:
PWA is happy to report that the fishing sheds program in Tsunomiya district is moving along, with more on the horizon!
In July we reported that the Tsunomiya district had been selected as the next site for our ongoing fishing sheds program. Our local staff informed us that like the other districts we have served, many of the fishing families in Tsunomiya lost their houses and work spaces in the tsunami and were eager to return to work. Earlier this month our local partner, Grace Mission Tohoku, performed the Tsunomiya site inspections.
With your support, the 21 selected fishing families of the Tsunomiya district will soon have a place to store their equipment, mend their nets, and get out of the cold Tohoku winds. These sheds follow completed sheds in Minato, Tanoura, Yoriki, and Isatomae districts earlier this year.
There is still more to be done:
PWA has identified still more recipients in need. In the Mitobe and Zaigo districts we have found fishermen who have requested sheds to help them get back on their feet. With the support of GlobalGiving and our generous donors, PWA has been able to commit to another round of sheds. The recipients of these sheds will be selected later this year; the sheds will be built early next year.
Visits to Tohoku
In late September former PWA intern Azusa Katsumizu and PWA supporter Diane Olsen of Microsoft paid a visit to the Togura fishing shed site. They heard updates from the Minamisanriku fishing community and helped our partner, Grace Mission Tohoku, construct sheds for the day. Thanks to both Azusa and Diane for their hard work! They reported how gratifying it was for both to see firsthand the impact that Peace Winds is making in Tohoku.
We still need your help
The third anniversary of the 3/11 tsunami is already on the horizon, yet livelihood needs remain strong. Help PWA continue its mission of recovery and reconstruction in Miyagi Prefecture!
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