More than a year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, AAR JAPAN continues recovery aid by repairing institutions for the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWDs), supporting market expansion for products made by PWDs, promoting employment opportunities for PWDs, and many other activities. AAR JAPAN in particular focuses on the elderly and those with disabilities, because they tend to be the most vulnerable after a disaster and require long-term support.
The earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 destroyed over 200,000 houses and businesses, leaving hundreds of thousands without homes. Today, about 40% of the residents of temporary housing complexes are over 60 and most of them have lost the means to continue their previous activities or labor. On the other hand, many group homes and job training centers for persons with disabilities (PWDs) also got destroyed and still need to be reconstructed. The affected PWDs have lost their workplaces, too.
AAR JAPAN responds to the needs of evacuees living in temporary housing complexes, just as much as to the needs of welfare facilities for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and for the elderly. In this project, we support for example, the repair and reconstruction of care homes and other facilities, and we provide equipment to vocational training centers for PWDs. By assisting disaster-hit workshops for PWDs to explore new sales channels for their products, we help them restore their independence.
In the second year after the disaster, AAR JAPAN aims especially to support the recovery of elderly persons and families in temporary housing, as well as assist the re-integration of persons with disabilities in society and local economy. We are committed to work with local authorities and NPOs to rebuild the foundations of social welfare for PWDs and make sure they have a place to work. We expect thousands of elderly persons, PWDs, their families and communities to benefit from our project.