Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan)

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan(AAR Japan) is a Non-Governmental Organization ( NGO ) aiming to provide emergency assistance, assistance to people with disabilities, and mine action, among other operations. It was established in 1979 as an organization with no political, ideological, or religious affiliation. AAR currently has offices in 10 countries.
Jun 3, 2016

Kumamoto Earthquakes Response Report

Since April 15, the day after the earthquakes rocked Kumamoto prefecture, AAR Japan’s emergency response team collaborated with The Peace Project (an NPO represented by AAR Japan’s board member Ben Kato) to operate soup kitchens. As of May 8, the organizations conducted 34 soup kitchens and distributed 17,730 meals with plenty of vegetables such as pot-au-feu and tonjiru (pork and vegetable soup) for a healthy dietary life of survivors.

A 30’s-year-old lady at evacuation center of Ino primary school told that “I feel happy by eating warm meals even though my house is in terrible situation after the earthquake.

On April 27, the team delivered futons to Ayumi which is a support center for elderly people. After the quakes, Ayumi was overflown with the elderly users were forced to sleep on the floor. Out of fear for unpredictable aftershocks, they took shelter at the center.   

By May 8, AAR Japan delivered aid to five evacuation centers in Kumamoto-city, Aso-city, Mashiki-town and Nishihara village and to eleven facilities for people with disabilities or for elderly people.

As needs change over time, AAR will continue to deliver timely and appropriate aid to affected areas. AAR will also continue to assess ways to deliver aid to persons that are least likely to receive aid, such as the elderly and PWDs.

May 19, 2016

Thank you for your support

"Spring" - temporary housing unit in Miharu Town
"Spring" - temporary housing unit in Miharu Town

More than five years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake that decimated the Tohoku region on the unprecedented scale. After five years of operation through “Support Evacuees of Fukushima,” AAR Japan decided to deactivate the project in acknowledgement of significant decrease in the number of residents in temporary housing complexes in Fukushima. Moving forward, we would like to focus on “Building Healthy Communities for Recovery,” an ongoing project through GlobalGiving, to respond to the needs of more than 12,000 displaced populations who are still living in temporary housing units or small subsidized apartments across Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures..

We have continued our consistent assistance in Fukushima since the initial entry into the affected areas immediately after the disaster, distributing relief supplies, food, or daily necessities. AAR has also supported displaced populations in temporary housing units by providing psychological care, physical care and social care. We organized community events, concerts, cooking schools and traditional festivals to motivate people to get out of their rooms. By participating in these activities, people were able to gradually feel a sense of normalcy under the given circumstance of displacement. For children, we installed play equipment in the housing complexes and provided mineral water supplies to nursery schools. We also distributed radiation dosimeters.

This was all made possible by your generous donations through GlobalGiving. We would like to express our most sincere and deepest appreciation for your support. We will continue carrying out the other project, “Building Healthy Communities for Recovery”, that focuses on promoting the mental and physical health of evacuees, predominantly elderly residents and PWDs, who have been living in temporary housing complexes.

For more details, please click the link below. We truly appreciate if you consider directing your support to the project.

‘Building Healthy Communities for Recovery’

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/building-healthy-communities-1/

Again we would like to express our sincere gratitude for your warm and hearty support. The recovery of disaster stricken area will take further effort and time and we are determined to continue our assistance which most suits the need of those who have been affected.

May 12, 2016

Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture

AAR Japan visited the temporary housing complex in Ofunato City (Iwate Prefecture), a city along the Sanriku Coast. A major tsunami engulfed Ofunato City and more than 3,000 families lost their homes. Although efforts are being made to rebuild residential land, there have been delays in the construction of public restoration apartments. As of April 2016, there are still 35 temporary housing complexes in this city that host 863 displaced households. This month, AAR Japan visited a temporary housing complex built on the ground of a public ballpark that hosts 72 displaced households.

Massages can relieve muscle tension and create a sense of connectedness through therapeutic touch. Even the residents who initially looked nervous were able to relax after a massage session and lingered, sipping on freshly brewed coffee and exchanging friendly conversations with AAR Japan staff and other residents who were also waiting for a massage. There was a resident eagerly awaiting for our arrival. She had prepared homemade marinated mountain vegetables (sansai). “Mountain vegetable picking is so much fun during this season. I always pick more than I can eat, so I preserve them by marinating them. I hope you enjoy eating them,” said the resident.

Each unit in the temporary housing complexes  is so small that when residents lie flat on the floor and extend their arms, they “can touch the walls of the unit”. The walls are so paper thin that residents can hear every little sound. During winter months, residents are troubled by mold that grows on walls resulting from condensation. Living in these temporary housing units for more than five years is undesirable. However, the residents do not show their frustration but visit massage sessions and have friendly conversations about the coming of spring and mountain vegetable picking. Although our capacities are so limited that we cannot drastically improve their lives, our success can be measured by the smiles on their faces.

It has been over five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. There are still over 170,000 displaced persons in Japan (primarily in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures) who are forced to live in temporary housing complexes. Construction of public housing, planning of collective relocation of survivors who remain at risk of potential disasters and development of residential land are underway in various affected areas, but these projects are far from completion. AAR Japan remains committed to supporting those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

 

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