Peace Winds America

Our core belief is that disaster response begins with preparedness, and that both disaster preparedness and response should integrate the efforts of governments, militaries, NGOs and the private sector. By strengthening disaster preparedness and response in the Asia Pacific, PWA seeks to reduce the high human, political and economic costs of natural disasters in the Pacific Rim.
Feb 21, 2017

Community Events Provide Hope to Kumamoto Earthquake Victims

Christmas tree decorating
Christmas tree decorating

“There are still a lot of problems, but because people support us and help us to have a good time I have energy to keep working hard to recover.”  --Tsumori township resident at Peace Winds event

In December residents of Kumamoto’s temporary housing (now recognized by local governments as townships) gathered together to decorate Christmas trees, make holiday wreaths, and share tea and fresh-baked cookies. Peace Winds held events in three townships, reaching over 650 people. 

Peace Winds has been supporting township residents since October. Peace Winds is particularly concerned about the elderly.  Our experience in the Tohoku Great Earthquake and Tsunami taught us the disruption of social life and community networks caused by displacement is particularly hard on those over 65 years old.  We want to prevent this from happening in Kumamoto.

During interviews Peace Winds conducted in October, many residents said they were eager to forget their troubles and focus on the positive. “I want it to feel like the Christmas season and for children to create fun memories,” said one resident.  Another said, “The temporary housing is so dark; I want to brighten things up and make it cheery.”

Because of the overwhelming support of our donors on Giving Tuesday, Peace Winds was able to fulfill these wishes.  Event attendees decorated Christmas trees, ate holiday treats, and made wreaths under the tutelage of an artist Peace Winds hired. These activities prompted new connections. “I talked with someone I had never met before when I helped her learn how to make the wreath,” said one participant. These events were the best-attended events Peace Winds has hosted. Peace Winds also distributed cookies and tea to all the households in temporary housing.

To combat the social alienation and isolation that occur in temporary housing, Peace Winds is supporting the creation of residents’ associations in each township where Peace Winds is providing training and resources for 128 association leaders to help them support their residents.

In Kumamoto, the toll of stress, isolation, and related illnesses has been toxic, especially among the elderly who accounted for 90 percent of post- earthquake deaths. The temporary housing residents, particularly the elderly, have expressed their strong desire and need for community-building activities to combat isolation and stress.  Peace Winds is listening and planning seasonal events such the Doll’s Festival (Hina-Matsuri) in March, memorial events in April, summer festivals and even casual get-togethers.  Peace Winds is regularly sponsoring beautification activities, teas and dinner/lunch parties, games and exercises, sing alongs, and more.  We hear from all ages the community-building events raise spirits and help residents move forward during this difficult period. 

Thank you for partnering with Peace Winds to bring hope and joy into the families, young and old, in temporary housing.

Homemade wreaths
Homemade wreaths
Homemade cookies on the tree
Homemade cookies on the tree
Box of homemade Christmas cookies
Box of homemade Christmas cookies
Women linger to talk long after event ends
Women linger to talk long after event ends
Jan 25, 2017

Celebrating the Drinking Water Supply Project

Children at the water supply
Children at the water supply

Peace Winds celebrates the inauguration of the Uttisghari Drinking Water Supply Project (DWSP) with partner Rural Reconstruction Nepal. After months of hard work, RRN Executive Director Mr. Gyan Bdr Adhiakri inaugurated the DWSP with the community and representatives of the Government of Nepal.

The project benefits 3,800 people including children and women in the mountainous rural community, who were in immense need of quality water.  After the 2015 quakes destroyed water supplies, people were forced to drink from unclean rivers and streams.

The newly built DWSP holds 3000 liters and can refill at a rate of 0.5 liters per second. Six tap stands like the one below give easy access to water to all the community members.  Peace Winds implemented a safe sanitation and good hygiene practices program with the completion of the project and from the photos, the children have taken to it.

With a clean water supply, life in rural Ramechaap is much easier. Water collection is a difficult chore for women and girls. These new water systems not only increase the general health of the community with safe water sources, but also give women and girls more time for school and family. Peace Winds is proud to report the community is very happy with the new taps and is using them for drinking, bathing, washing, and many daily necessities.

Clean Clothes
Clean Clothes
Inauguration Ceremony
Inauguration Ceremony
Dec 22, 2016

Your Help in Haiti: A Look at the Torbeck Commune

It’s been almost two months since the super hurricane ripped through houses and farmlands leaving very little for people in western Haiti. Soon after Hurricane Matthew, Peace Winds distributed tarpaulins and blankets in the Torbeck commune in Les Cayes. Recently, Peace Winds staff went back to the area to see how our relief goods had been received and used.

“My family took refuge at our neighbors with a stronger house when the hurricane went through our area. I had never experienced anything like that before. We found out the next day that our house was mostly gone,” said Alceus Makela. “All my family was safe, but we had no safe home anymore. Then Peace Winds provided a tarpaulin and a blanket. We used the tarpaulin to make a living room in our temporary shelter, where we can eat and children can play. But we have no idea when we can build our home back.”

Haiti

Families like the Makelas are very common. They are living day-to-day, hoping they can save enough money to start rebuilding their homes. When Peace Winds staff visited Torbeck, we saw tarpaulins were used in a variety of ways. Some used them to create kitchen areas. In Haiti, it is very common to have the kitchen separate from the house due to charcoal usage for fuel.

Haiti

Some residents combined multiple tarpaulins and had a professional build a brand new temporary house. This way, the house is solid and it feels and looks like a real home.

Haiti

Peace Winds also witnessed some of the tarpaulins used to cover the bags of charcoal which are to be sold at the market.

Hait

The recovery continues in hurricane hit areas of Haiti as Peace Winds provides additional support to communities in need. We appreciate your support!

Haiti

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