Volunteer mobilization and coordination in the affected by the Tohoku Pacific Area Earthquake
◆ Target Area
Miyagi Prefecture, Ishinomaki City
◆ Activities in April 2011
[Local staff employed]
During April, JEN has hired 6 local staff from the victims of the earthquake in Ishinomaki. At the beginning, we have dispatched our staff from Tokyo headquarters in turn. However, due to the fact that mid-term to long-term assistance shall be needed, as we do in other operational countries, we have started to employ local staff in the area.
They have been working as project coordinator, logistic officer, finance/administration officer. We still have 3 to 4 staff from headquarters engaged in the operation in the field, and 3 to 4 staff working at headquarters solely in charge of Tohoku project as well.
[Mud busters started]
There are large needs to clean the mud inside and outside of the houses. There are many volunteers who wish to lend a hand to the needs in the field. JEN has started to coordinate volunteer activities in the field. Although the lack of infrastructures slow down the implementation of the assistance, there have been more than 1000 volunteers who join the program. They are expected to come to Ishinomaki by themselves and bring all their needs on their own, starting from sleeping bag to daily food and water. Still there are many volunteers from in and out of Japan and we highly appreciate their hard work.
Eventually, JEN has found one abundant house which could be used as volunteer accommodation, then we call “Watanoha Base Camp” till today. The capacity is around 20 to 30 people. There is toilet, running water (not shower but in the kitchen) and portable gas stove for the volunteer needs. JEN staff is coordinating with other NPOs and local governmental bodies not to duplicate the needs. JEN staff are assessing the needs of each houses in the area allocated for JEN and try to meet all the needs on the ground. It’s been a real grass roots initiatives till today which allow us to build a good relationship with local house hold which results to set up Community Soup Kitchen for phyco –social care.
Voice of Mud-busters
“Nationality, age, profession, sex… It has been truly an exciting experience to live together with such a diverse team. In fact, the team got on very quickly despite the diversity.
Our work consisted of different needs. Mud removal, hay removal, roof tile removal, cleaning houses, transporting various things… None of them were easy task. And yet when I visited the affected people’s homes, all of them were so positive and strong, each holding his/her emotions for successful reconstruction. “
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