Rubato, immediately after the earthquake
The following are excerpts from our English blog which highlight some of AARJ's work in Tohoku in the past few months. To find a complete list of articles, visit our English blog at http://aarjapan.blogspot.com.
AAR JAPAN has been supporting the repair of buildings and grounds at over 50 facilities for people with disabilities and the elderly that have been affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Our efforts to help these facilities resume operations as quickly as possible have been greatly appreciated, as the application process for government support is lengthy, and this type of support is not always covered by government recovery programs.
Support for Reopening Facilities for People with Disabilities
Rubato, an ambulatory rehabilitation center for people with disabilities near Sendai Airport in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, was the only facility in Natori City providing services for people who have combined intellectual and physical disabilities. When the earthquake hit, all of the clients and staff were able to evacuate safely, but cars and debris were swept into the building, and the facility’s office supplies and vehicles were ruined. After the disaster, the center was unable to resume operations, as there were restrictions on construction in the area.
Fortunately, Rubato was able to relocate free of charge to a former livestock clinic, and AAR JAPAN has supported renovation of the interior of the building. We repaired the floor, placed a carpet, and renovated the Japanese-style toilet for use by people with disabilities. Renovation work was completed on June 31st. We had seen the center’s clients looking anxious as a result of the effects of the earthquake, but setting up a new location for Rubato’s operations brought smiles back to their faces.
Museum for Artwork by People with Disabilities
In Ishinomaki City, Iwate Prefecture, AAR JAPAN supported the repair of facilities at Runbini Museum, which exhibits artwork by people with intellectual disabilities and offers studio space on its upper floor.
The museum had been unable to display some of its artwork due to earthquake damage such as cracked walls and ceilings. After restoration was completed on July 13th, people were able to use the facility as before. They commented, “It’s brighter and feels better now.” The museum is full of unique and wonderful artwork that will be sure to delight any visitor. Please be sure to stop by the museum when you are around!
This project has been made possible through generous individual donations and through grants from Japan Platform and Accenture Japan, Ltd.
Rubato restarted operations at a new location
Inside the new building at Rubato
Artist at work after Runbini Museum’s renovation
The author, Haruka Hinosugi