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.
Nov 26, 2011

Activity Report (7 month summary)

Delivery of a heater and a humidifier
Delivery of a heater and a humidifier

Easing the Mind and Warming the Body as Winter Approaches

AAR JAPAN has been carrying out relief efforts for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake since the immediate aftermath of the disaster. In addition to delivering emergency supplies to those who have limited access to aid, such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, and survivors living at home, AAR JAPAN is also repairing welfare facilities, providing vehicles, and preparing soup kitchens.

As winter has already begun to settle into the Tohoku region, urgent measures are needed in order to prepare for the severity of the coming season. AAR JAPAN is continuing its support for the Building Healthy Communities Project, offering rehabilitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events to ease the minds and warm the bodies of disaster survivors, many of whom all too easily end up spending their entire day isolated behind closed doors or stuck inside a shelter.

Seven months have passed since the earthquake, and yet some survivors still continue to live in evacuation shelters. Many have finally decided that, regardless of their present situation, they have no choice but to move on and face the
future. AAR JAPAN hopes to continue to offer the kind of support that will touch the heart of each individual survivor

Below is a report on the activities that AAR JAPAN’s supporters have enabled us to carry out in the last seven months:

AAR JAPAN’s Projects in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

1. Delivering Relief to Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (approximately 35,000 families)

2. Support for Food Service at Schools in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

3. Building Healthy Communities Project (Detailed report has been posted under a separate project of AAR JAPAN in GlobalGiving)

4. Delivery of Relief Supplies

5. Soup Kitchens

6. Reconstruction of Facilities for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities

7. Vehicle Provision

8. Container Housing Project

9. Hand-made Tote Bags Project

10. Psychological Care for Children in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

11. Charity Concerts

(*”Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project and Shuttle Bus Service have been concluded and
therefore omitted from the report)

1. Delivering Relief to Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (approximately 35,000 families)

With a grant from Japan Platform (JPF)* and in cooperation with ADRA Japan, we have been supporting the day-to-day lives of all the families living in temporary housing and leased housing in Fukushima Prefecture. As the Japanese Red Cross has decided to distribute six-piece sets of home electrical appliances in earthquake- and tsunami-affected areas, AAR JAPAN has focused on providing items such as kitchenware, bathroom goods, vacuum cleaners, kotatsu (heated tables) and regular tables, kitchen cabinets, and so on, based on requests from municipal governments.

We are targeting 13 municipalities in the Hamadori and Nakadori regions of Fukushima:
Soma City, Minami-Soma City, Shinchi Town, Iitate Village, Tomioka Town, Kawauchi Village, Koriyama City, Sukagawa City, Kagamiishi City, Shirakawa City, Nishigo Village, Yabuki Town, and Izumisaki Village. In order to
contribute to the economic recovery of the local communities, we are collaborating with the local Commerce and Industry Associations in 10 municipalities to source as many aid goods locally as possible. As of September 30th, we have completed the delivery of relief supplies to 14,454 households in the target area.

2. Support for Food Service at Schools in Soma City, Fukushima

AAR JAPAN provided vegetable juice and rice for 2,800 schoolchildren in Kashima, Minami-soma City. The Kashima area is just outside the restricted zone around Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, and since the accident, many children who used to attend school closer to the plant have now been relocated here. With local produce already stretched thin, it was difficult to provide school lunch for the increased number of children. Between July 1st and 22nd, vegetable juice was provided to every schoolchild twice a week, and a total of 2 tons of rice was supplied for school meals. Kashima was also experiencing a shortage of vehicles for delivering food to schools, so AAR JAPAN secured rented vehicles for food delivery from August 23rd.

4. Relief Supplies Delivered to Affected Areas from March 14th to September 30th

The demand for relief supplies varies according to the progress of local reconstruction efforts. AAR JAPAN aims to promptly send the supplies that are best suited to the needs of the moment, such as office equipment that will allow social welfare offices to resume operation (personal computers, printers, etc.), heaters and humidifiers for winter, bicycles for commuting to school, or healthcare products such as care beds, sputum aspirators, wheelchairs or walkers.

Relief Supplies Delivered from March 14th to September 30th

75,863 people in 1,106 locations

Distribution Area

Miyagi Prefecture: Sendai City, Ishinomaki City, Kesen-numa City, Natori City, Tome City, Higashi-matsushima City, Onagawa Town, Tagajo City, Iwanuma City, Minami-sanriku Town, Yamamoto Town, Shiogama City

Iwate Prefecture: Otsuchi Town, Ofunato City, Rikuzentakata City, Kamaishi City, Yamada Town

Fukushima Prefecture: Soma City, Minami-soma City

Yamagata Prefecture: Kamiyama City 

Distribution Facilities

Evacuation shelters, facilities for persons with disabilities, facilities for the elderly, social welfare councils, foster homes, shopping centers, social welfare corporations, volunteer centers, ambulatory facilities for the elderly, disaster countermeasures offices, temporary housing, evacuees’ homes, daycare centers, kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, others.

Supplies Delivered

Diesel oil (13,600 liters), Kerosene (4,400 liters), Gasoline (2,060 liters), Water (14 tons), Rice (2.5 tons), Milk (480 packs), Sweet-bean cakes (41,000 units), Vegetables, Fruit, Eggs, Other food, Blankets, Bedclothes, Underclothes, Clothes and scarves, Towels and hand cloths, Furoshiki wrapping cloths, Face masks, Hand warmers, Sleeping bags (3,400 units), Cold medicine and othermedical supplies, Toothbrushes, Paper diapers, Adult diapers, Women’s sanitary products, Batteries, Baby products, High-pressure washers (32 units), Chainsaws (30 units), Shovels, Boots, Books and picture books, Crayons, Cell phone chargers, Computer sets (37 units), Printers (2 units), Photocopying machines (5 units), Bicycles (294 units), Sputum aspirators (2 units), Care beds (20 units), Folding beds (2 units), Futon sets (30 units), Wheelchairs (19 units), Care chairs (2 units), Walkers (35 units), Power generators (3 units), Laundry machines (24 units), Drying machines (22 units), Refrigerators (24 units), Microwave ovens (7 units), Electric fans (51 units), Vacuum cleaners (40 units), Air cleaners (11 units), Rice cookers (8 units), Futon dryers (34 units), Reflective heaters (5 units), Kerosene heaters (2 units), Automatic blood pressure meters (34 units), Television sets (22 units), Dish dryers (2 units), Electric fans, Electric heaters, Dehumidifiers, Weight scales, Clothes, irons, Ironing tables, Rotary printing machines, Pull carts, Dollies, Audio players (10 units), Portable radios, Walking sticks, Cooking knives, Cutting boards, Small shelving units, Bookshelves, Clothing cases, Disinfectant spray, Hand soap, Reading glasses, Stuffed toys, Other toys, Thermos bottles, Digital cameras, DVD players, Video cameras, Mattresses, Sheets, Cotton blankets, Pesticides, Bug repellant, Mosquito nets, Toilet paper, Laundry detergent, Kitchen detergent, Toilet soap, Laundry baskets, Hangers, Cleaning buckets, Paper dishes, Notebooks, Copy paper, Tinfoil and cling wrap, Grass-cutting scythes, Grass cutters, Cucumber seedlings, Tomato seedlings, Flower seedlings, Screen windows, Laundry poles, Summer clothes, Rubber boots, Sandals, Slippers, Ice packs, Neck coolers, Inflatable play pools, Nutritional supplements, Umbrellas, Taisho harp sets, Electric piano sets, Keyboards, Taiko drums, Tea ceremony sets, Other small musical instruments, Sewing machines, Scarves, Sweaters, Jackets and other winter clothes, Farming boots, Garden supplies, Table tennis sets, others.

5. Soup Kitchens

In coordination with Ingram Co., Ltd., which is responsible for the Peace Project, AAR JAPAN has been organizing soup kitchens in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures. The project began on March 31st, and as of September 25th, AAR JAPAN has held soup kitchens in the following locations:

Soup Kitchen Locations (22,051 meals served in 63 places)

Miyagi Prefecture: Watanoha, Aikawa, Kitakami, and Ayukawa areas (Oshika Peninsula) in Ishinomaki City; Wakabayashi District in Sendai City; Tagajo City; Shizugawa and Utatsu in Minami-Sanriku Town; Niitsuki, Shishiori, and Omose areas in Kesen-numa City

Iwate Prefecture: Kamaishi City, Rikuzen-takata City, Taro Town in Miyako City, Yamada Town

Fukushima Prefecture: Hara Town in Minami-Soma City

6. Institutional Reconstruction

In coordination with local construction companies, AAR JAPAN has been repairing senior care centers and facilities for persons with disabilities in 60 locations to accelerate resumption of services. From April 21st to September 30th, AAR JAPAN repaired the following facilities

1. Minori-kai Rubert Social Welfare Corporation (Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture)

2. Shinwa-kai Clovers Pier Wasse Social Welfare Corporation (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)

3. Himawari Senshin-kai Yume-no-mori Workshop Social Welfare Corporation (Kesen-numa City, Miyagi Prefecture)

4. Yamoto-aiiku-kai Gin-no-hoshi Social Welfare Corporation (Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture)

5. Kurihara-shuho-kai Social Welfare Corporation (Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture)

6. Fureai-no-mori Social Welfare Corporation (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)

7. Yoko Fukushi-kai Echo Ryouiku-en Social Welfare Corporation (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)

8. Coconet Autism Peering Center (NPO, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)

9. Seiwa-kai Miyama-sou Special Nursing Home (Social Welfare Corporation, Yamamoto Town, Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture)

10. Aisen-kai Kamuri Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)

11. Hoshin-kai Omatsu Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)

12. Kamikuri-sou Kamaishi Kyosei-kai Group Home (NPO, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)

13. Yoshihama-sou Aisei-kai Facility for Persons with Disabilities (Social Welfare Corporation, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)

14. Kojuen Special Nursing Home for the Elderly (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

15. Korin-kai Lumbini-en Social Welfare Corporation (Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture)

16. Sansan-kai Asunaro Home Social Welfare Corporation (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

17. Yamada Kyosei-kai Yamada Kyosei Workshop Social Welfare Corporation (Yamada Town, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)

18. Taiyou-kai Jiai Fukushi Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation (Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)

19. Aiiku-kai Social Welfare Corporation, Machikado Counseling Link Matsubara Home (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

20. Megumi Care Home (Kesen-numa City, Miyagi Prefecture)

21. Harakara Social Welfare Corporation (Shibata Town, Shibata County, Miyagi Prefecture)

22. Shiraishi Yoko Gakuen Cosmos House Social Welfare Corporation (Shiraishi City, Miyagi Prefecture)

23. Sakurambo Club (NPO, Tome City, Miyagi Prefecture)

24. Shiraishi Yoko Gakuen Shiraishi Kojuen Social Welfare Corporation (Shiraishi City, Miyagi Prefecture)

25. Harakara Fukushi-kai Zao Suzushiro Social Welfare Corporation (Zao Town, Katta County, Miyagi Prefecture)

26. Harakara Fukushi-kai Hatamaki Kyodo Seisakujo Social Welfare Corporation (Igu County, Miyagi Prefecture)

27. “Dreamers’ Home, Riverside Song, Song of the Surf, Seaside Song” Social Welfare Corporation (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

28. Aiko Fukushi Kyokai Izumi Facility for Persons with Disabilities (Social Welfare Corporation, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)

29. Net ABC (NPO, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)

30. Taiyo-kai Hoyu-kan Social Welfare Corporation (Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)

Reconstruction Sites

Miyagi Prefecture:

37 locations (14 in Sendai City, 2 in Shiraishi City, 4 in Kesen-numa City, 1 in Tome City, 1 in Higashi-Matsushima City, 4 in Natori City, 1 in Kurihara City, 2 in Ishinomaki City, 1 in Shiogama City, 2 in Yamamoto Town, 2 in Minami-sanriku Town, 1 in Zao Town, 1 in Marumori Town, 1 in Shibata Town)

Iwate Prefecture:

23 locations (4 in Ofunato City, 5 in Rikuzen-takata City, 6 in Kamaishi City, 1 in Hanamaki City, 2 in Otsuchi Town, 2 in Yamada Town, 1 in Miyako City, 2 in Tanohata Village)

AAR JAPAN will continue the reconstruction of facilities for persons with disabilities and senior care facilities in the disaster-affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures in coordination with each prefecture’s welfare division, social welfare council, and other related organizations.

This project has been funded by Japan Platform (JPF), Accenture Plc, Mitsubishi Corp., Felissimo Corp., the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc. (JCCI), and through the generous donations of our individual supporters.

7. Vehicle Provision

AAR JAPAN has been providing vehicles as vital means of transportation for people who make use of welfare facilities. AAR JAPAN has provided vehicles for the following 10 welfare facilities:

1. One (1) van – Senshin-kai Nozomi Fukushi Sagyojo Social Welfare Cooperation (Minami-sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

2. One (1) mini-vehicle – Huck’s House (NPO, Tanohata Village, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)

3. One (1) van for Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai Kujira-no-shippo Service Facility for Persons with Disabilities (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

4. One (1) mini-vehicle – Kick-off Career and Life Support Center for Persons with Disabilities (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)

5. One (1) van – Work House Atelier Sun (Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture)

6. One (1) elderly-care taxi – Yamazaki Taxi (Yamada Town, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)

7. One (1) compact car – Hikami-no-sono (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

8. One (1) mini-van for pickup – Harmony Utatsu Kibogaoka Group Home (NPO, Minami-sanriku City, Motoyoshi County, Miyagi Prefecture)

9. Three (3) vehicles for pickup – Sasae-ai Yamamoto (NPO, Yamamoto Town, Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture)

10. One (1) mini-vehicle – Warabi Gakuen Facility for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (Otsuchi Town, Kamihei County, Iwate Prefecture)

This project has been carried out in cooperation with Accenture Plc., Tokyo Art Club, and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc. (JCCI).

8. Container Housing Project

At the recommendation of international journalist Izuru SUGAWARA, AAR JAPAN has been providing easy-to-build prefabricated container housing units in the disaster zone. To date, we have installed 41 units in the town of Onagawa in Oshika County, Miyagi Prefecture. These container housing units are being used by evacuees as private residences and small shops. This project has been conducted in cooperation with Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co., Ltd.

9. Hand-made Tote Bags Project

AAR JAPAN collected hand-made tote bags in response to requests from people in evacuation centers and senior care facilities for bags in which to carry their personal belongings. By May 20th, AAR JAPAN had received 5,000 bags from inside and outside of Japan. Volunteers helped to attach AAR JAPAN’s “Sunny-chan” mascot straps to the bags and deliver them to evacuees, with a special focus on the elderly. Survivors who received the bags were pleased not only with the bags themselves, but also with the various encouraging messages written inside. The project was such a success that AAR JAPAN began collecting bags again in October, with the intention of sending more to the disaster-affected areas after October 31st.

10. Psychological Care for Children (Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture)

AAR JAPAN has been supporting the SOMA Follower Team, a nonprofit organization formed by Soma City to provide psychological care for children. The six-person team includes clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers, and healthcare workers who have been providing psychological care for students and their parents at affected kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools in Soma City. During the summer vacation, they visited schools on fixed dates and gave counseling at meeting places in temporary housing sites. Although few children have shown marked signs of stress, some complain of headaches, stomachaches, nausea, and other concerns, and AAR JAPAN is committed to offering continued care for the children of Soma City.

11. Charity Concerts

In cooperation with Support 21 Social Welfare Foundation, AAR JAPAN’s sister organization, we held a fund-raising concert at the Opera City Concert Hall in Tokyo on May 20th. Through concert revenues we provided 227 musical instruments to the following institutions, at an equivalent value of 35 million yen:

1. Takata Senior High School (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

2. Takata Elementary School (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

3. Kamaishi Higashi Junior High School (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)

4. Watanoba Junior High School (Ishinomaki Ciity,Miyagi Prefecture)

5. Minato Junior High School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

6. Kobunkan Senior High School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

7. Noda Junior High School (Noda Village, Iwate Prefecture)

8. Ishinomaki Brass Band Association (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

On August 5th we held another concert entitled “Concert of Heart: Hope” at Seinen Bunka Center in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, which many disaster survivors were able to enjoy for free.

Soup Kitchen in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture
Soup Kitchen in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture
Distribution of tote bags
Distribution of tote bags
Nov 9, 2011

Baseball Lessons and Aromatherapy Cheer Survivors

Students and parents play baseball
Students and parents play baseball
Baseball Lessons with Retired Professional Players
On August 18th, AAR JAPAN held a community interaction and exchange event in Ishinomaki City where a women’s group supporting the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles organized baseball lessons in the schoolyard at Higashihama
Elementary School.
Mr. Daisuke MASUDA and Mr. Katsumi YAMASHITA, retired players who are now junior coaches with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, offered baseball lessons for the students and teachers of Higashihama Elementary School and survivors of the March 11th disaster who are still living in the school and its surroundings.
People practiced playing catch and batting, and everyone was excited to be taught enjoyable lessons by pro-level players.
We also organized a soup kitchen and provided steak and fried noodles for 150 people, including both the lesson participants and people staying at the evacuation center in the Futsukiura area of Ishinomaki City. People working to remove disaster debris also came out during their lunch break, happily commenting that eating steak made them feel energized. 
Providing Relaxation Services for Parents
On August 23rd, AAR JAPAN organized an aromatherapy session for 24 parents at Higashihama Elementary School, making 8 professional aroma therapists available to offer them physical and mental relaxation. Equipment, including special beds, was provided by the therapists themselves or through donations from across the country. Relaxed lighting, ambient background music, the smell of oils, and a comfortable room temperature created a relaxing atmosphere that rejuvenated both the mind and body. 
Unable to release their pent-up stress and both physically and mentally exhausted, we discovered that some of the parents had developed a great deal of physical tension and very low body temperatures. Professional treatment allowed them to gradually relax.
Mr. KAKUDA, the school principal and also a disaster survivor, commented after the treatment, “I felt that I was truly able to relax for the first time since the earthquake. The time went by slowly, and it felt so good.” Others said that the session helped with backaches they had developed from living in evacuation centers, adding, “I never knew it felt this good”.
We sincerely appreciate the generous support of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, our aroma therapists, and the individual supporters who made these events possible.
AAR JAPAN plans to continue our Building Healthy Communities Project in cooperation with organizations and corporations so the people in the disaster zone can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles junior coaches
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles junior coaches
"Have some more!"
"Have some more!"
Parents receive massages
Parents receive massages
Oct 13, 2011

Maintaining the Health of Elderly Evacuees

Giving a massage to alleviate pain in the knees
Giving a massage to alleviate pain in the knees

Lack of Activities at Evacuation Centers has been a Serious Problem

Prolonged evacuee life has given the elderly little opportunity to exercise, which can have a harmful effect on their health. AAR JAPAN has begun sending a team of experts in occupational therapy and physiotherapy to visit evacuation centers on the Oshika Peninsula, part of Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, to provide rehabilitation and advice on how to make the living environment better suited to long-term physical fitness. On July 9th, a team of six, including nurses, occupational therapists and social workers, visited two evacuation centers and four homes on the Oshika Peninsula.

Exercises and Living Environments Suited to Each Person

A woman in her 80s has been staying at an evacuation center with her husband. She suffers from osteoarthritis, and as her knees hurt bitterly when she moves, she hasn’t been able to move around. Mr. Kiyoshi ISHII, an occupational therapist, gave her a careful massage to mitigate the pain in her knees. The woman slept on a bed at home, but uses a futon at the evacuation center, which causes further strain on her knees when getting up. We advised her to use a shower chair found in the evacuation center as an assistive device to allow her to stand up and sit down more easily.

Japanese-style squat toilets are also difficult for the elderly to use. At this evacuation center, only the men’s lavatory has a western-style toilet, so the woman has had no choice but to use the men’s lavatory. We recommended that the evacuation center bring in western-style sitting toilets that can be placed over the Japanese-style toilets.

At another evacuation center, a woman with intellectual disabilities in her 70s walks with the heels of her shoes folded over because they have become too small for her swollen feet. Although she can walk, with her bent back and weakened muscles she is at risk of falling at every step. We taught her a rehabilitation exercise using a walking frame found in the evacuation center, and recommended shoes and a walking frame suitable to her. We advised her to walk with them in the evacuation center regularly.

The elderly need daily exercise to prevent their bodies from weakening as a result of prolonged evacuee life. It is essential not only to offer temporary solutions such as massages and strength training, but also to teach routines they can undertake in their daily lives, and to offer suggestions for improving their regular living environments.

AAR JAPAN will continue our support for survivors as their environments change, whether in their homes, in evacuation centers, or in temporary housing.

Rehabilitation exercises
Rehabilitation exercises

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $15
  • $25
  • $50
  • $500
  • $15
    each month
  • $25
    each month
  • $50
    each month
  • $500
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?