Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors

by Hands On Tokyo
Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors
Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors
Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors
Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors
Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors
Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors
Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors
Baseball Project for Natural Disaster Survivors

Project Report | Feb 17, 2021
After Ten Years and We Still Remember March 11th

By Jay Ponazecki | Project Leader

We hope you and your loved ones are as safe and as well as can be during these challenging times.  We are forever grateful for all your generous donations and for all your encouragement.

Just this past Saturday, around 11:00pm, a 7.1 earthquake struck the Tohoku region, an aftershock from the devastating 9.0 earthquake that struck the region nearly 10 years ago.  Fortunately this time there was no tsunami and there were no fatalities, although approximately 50 people were injured.  Our friends and partners in Tohoku must have been scared by this strong aftershock.  It is a reminder of the fragility of life as we know it and has motivated us even more to continue our Baseball Projects for Natural Disaster Survivors.  
The junior high school baseball players who have participated in our past Baseball Projects for Natural Disaster Survivors and their coaches and parents keep sending us wonderful feedback. They all learned so much and gained lots of confidence and life skills that will help them throughout their lives on and off the baseball field.
Children living in areas devastated by natural disasters during their lifetimes yet again have been living with great uncertainty and the disruption of their schooling due to the coronavirus pandemic and related states of emergency. In addition to schools having been closed, sports clubs and related local, regional and national championships have been canceled.   
We remain committed to supporting the next generation in Kumamoto and Tohoku through our Baseball Projects for Natural Disaster Survivors.  The timing of our next Baseball Project, however, Is uncertain and depends on the state of affairs surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and vaccine availability, when schools and parents in Kumamoto and Tohoku will be comfortable allowing young junior high school baseball players to travel and participate in projects like this again, and the status of the Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Originally we were planning to hold the next Baseball Project this autumn.  This timing is no longer possible given the coronavirus pandemic and all the continued related uncertainty.  So instead, with your generous support, we will bring together and provide junior high school baseball players and their coaches from Kumamoto and Ishinomaki with a virtual baseball training workshop as an interim step and, at a later date, with in person baseball, leadership, teamwork, communications, disaster preparedness and sustainability training and have them participate in a volunteer activity.  They also will discuss and share how the coronavirus has impacted their communities and what they have learned from the pandemic. 
Kumamoto experienced several earthquakes in April 2016 including a 6.2 magnitude (on the Japanese scale) earthquake on April 15th and a 7.0 magnitude earthquake (on the Japanese scale) in April 16th.  More than 50,000 people were evacuated from their homes and more than three years later many are still living in temporary housing.  Many of the buildings, including schools and the iconic Kumamoto Castle, were severely damaged.  Kumamoto is still very much a city undergoing long-term reconstruction. 
Ishinomaki in Tohoku was one of the areas most severely impacted by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.  A 33 foot wall of water traveled more than three miles inland leveling 80% of the homes and destroying many other buildings.  Nearly ten years later Ishinomaki is still rebuilding and many are still living in temporary housing. 
In both cities, school buildings and sports training facilities were impacted.  For example, sports fields have been used as locations for temporary housing and schools have needed to be repaired or reconstructed.  
There is still lots to be done! We are meeting with Major League Baseball representatives to organize the baseball training workshops.  In addition, we are meeting with sponsors and potential sponsors to arrange for in-kind and other donations.  And we are in regular communication with the local junior high schools, junior high school baseball coaches, baseball players and their parents.  And we are closely monitoring developments in Tohoku and Kumamoto concerning the coronavirus pandemic. 
Thank you once again for your generous support and for making it possible for us to provide baseball, leadership, teamwork, communications, disaster preparedness and sustainability training to all these promising young kids who will be leaders and role models in their local communities.  We still need more donations for the interim workshop and the next Baseball Project.  We are very grateful for your support.  Please stay safe!
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Organization Information

Hands On Tokyo

Location: Tokyo - Japan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Hands_On_Tokyo
Project Leader:
Naho Hozumi
Tokyo , Japan

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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