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Japan Kyushu earthquake response

by IsraAID
Japan Kyushu earthquake response
Japan Kyushu earthquake response
Japan Kyushu earthquake response
Japan Kyushu earthquake response
Japan Kyushu earthquake response
Japan Kyushu earthquake response
Japan Kyushu earthquake response
Japan Kyushu earthquake response

July marked one year since the Okayama Prefecture Floods, a disaster that claimed the lives of 255 across various parts of Japan. Heavy rain storms led to mudslides, landslides, and overwhelming flooding, which caused tremendous damage to infrastructure, primarily in Okayama.

IsraAID, in cooperation with its local partner Japan International Support Program (JISP), deployed a team of mental health professionals to the affected area in the immediate aftermath of the crisis. In the year since, IsraAID, in collaboration with JISP and Sun Support Okayama, have continued to implement psychosocial interventions for those in need with special focus on vulnerable communities—guiding beneficiaries through the challenges of moving forward.

With the one-year anniversary approaching, IsraAID and JISP asked affected families how they planned to commemorate the event. Community members expressed a deep uncertainty of how to mark the event, and an interest in spending time with other families who share similar experiences. Many parents added that they were unsure how to best help their children, seeking support in providing a developmentally appropriate framework for kids to process the events.

With this feedback in mind, IsraAID and JISP hosted a weekend activity for affected families, in partnership with a local Buddhist temple. Community members came together for open discussions, meditation sessions, and a delicious paella dinner, prepared by prominent Japanese chef Yasutake Kurihara. For the families still living in shelters, this served as an important opportunity to enjoy a change in scenery and open up conversation around the loss they experienced.

Many of the 60 participants thanked JISP and IsraAID for providing a meaningful way to mark the one-year anniversary of the flooding. “I wasn’t really sure how we should be spending this milestone, so I am grateful to be in a safe and comfortable space,” shared one attendee. Another added, “It was great to spend time with and talk to those who have supported us all along. It gave me the courage to continue moving forward!”

Thank you for supporting this program!

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IsraAID, in cooperation with its local Japanese partner, Japan International Support Program (JISP), is continuing to provide psychosocial support for the survivors of the 2018 Western Japan Floods in Okayama Prefecture.

The flooding caused mass destruction of communities, as a result of the heavy downpours and subsequent mudflows. Some 225 fatalities occurred across 15 affected perfectures, and another 13 individuals were reported mission. 8 million people were forced to evacuate their homes.

After identifying the need for addressing issues regarding stress management through a need assessment in affected communities, IsraAID, JISP and a local organization called Sun Support Okayama, conducted a joint workshop in Soja City, Okayama, on 30 March 2019.

Clinical Psychologist Taiyo Okada conducted a full-day workshop for the representatives of community support organizations, social workers, and mothers, to provide them with stress management tools.

Participants were trained on IsraAID’s “BASIC Ph” method, a support model developed to release stress and build additional coping mechanisms for individuals, increasing their resilience to future hazards, including disasters.

The model helps participants understand and harness their strength when facing a stressful experience, and helps improve their ability to communicate with others during a challenging moment.

Participants appreciated the workshop, and said that it would help improve their own stress management as well as that of their family, colleagues, and friends.

Thank you for your support!!

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After distributing food, water and other essential items to over 2,000 people following the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, Japan IsraAID Support Program (JISP) launched mental health support activities for some of the most vulnerable groups in the Kumamoto region, including children, young mothers and foreign residents.

Responding to the enthusiastic requests from the teachers of our partner schools of Kumamoto, JISP’s professional team provided psychosocial activities to children with special needs at the 3 public elementary schools which were severely affected by the earthquakes and subsequent instability. Dr. Taiyo Okada (School Counselor/Clinical Psychologist), the facilitator of the Brain Gym activity, is one of the children’s favorite teachers—they are always smiling and bursting with excitement for the workshops.

Brain Gym PACE activities are proven to be effective in helping people with attention disorders, learning disabilities, communication and behavior issues. A mother of one of the participants said to us, “my child has problems with his speech and walking, but since he started joining the Brain Gym workshop, he’s become so much more physically strong, confident in himself, and wants to do everything by himself! I am seeing amazing developments, as a result of this program.” Other cases of positive developments of children’s behavior and abilities such as increased confidence, improvement in physical movement, and increased focus are reported by the teachers and parents.

Throughout 2018, JISP provided support for 236 children with special needs and 38 teachers and parents through psychosocial activities in educational settings. The team on the ground led capacity building workshops with teachers, who have begun incorporating Brain Gym activities into their daily approach.

We thank our supporters again for making this continued support of Kumamoto possible!

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Japan IsraAID Support Program (JISP), IsraAID's branch in Japan, deployed on July 9th an emergency response team to the Okayama prefecture in western Japan, two days after the onset of torrential rainfall resulted in devastating flooding and landslides. Some 150 fatalities were reported with over two million people ordered to evacuate their homes.

This was allegedly the heaviest rainfall in decades, and one of the worst weather-related disasters in Japan since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The rain caused extensive damage across large areas of the country.

The Japan IsraAID Support Program reached the Okayama prefecture and began distributing urgent relief items in evacuation shelters and assessing the immediate medical and post-trauma psychosocial needs. IsraAID's professionals provided Psychological First Aid and mental health support to those evacuated.

JISP continues to support vulnerable groups in the Kumamoto region, affected by the 2016 earthquakes. JISP’s mental health staff recently visited three public elementary schools to provide psychosocial activities to 53 children with special needs.

Taiy, JISP’s affiliated clinical psychologist, and Mayumi, JISP Country Director, performed Brain Gym PACE activities that are effective in helping people with attention disorders, learning disabilities, communication and behavioral issues. JISP specialist provided two learning sessions, one for parents and another for teachers to enhance their understanding of the challenges the children are facing and the effectiveness of the Brain Gym activity.

As a result of the training session, parents and teachers will be able to utilize the Brain Gym activity with their students and children. Parents reported that their children had increased confidence, improvement in physical movement, and were more focused due to the Brain Gym activity..

Thank you for your ongoing support!

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Japan IsraAID Support Program (JISP) continues to provide relief activities for the communities affected in the Kumamoto region following the 2016 earthquake, which killed at least 50 people, and forced 44,000 people from their homes.

After distributing food, water and other essential items to over 2,000 people, JISP launched mental health support activities for some of the most vulnerable groups in the Kumamoto region, including children, young mothers, and foreign residents.

In June, JISP's team visited three elementary schools in Kumamoto and provided psychosocial activities to children with special needs. Taiyo Okada, JISP’s affiliated specialist, and Mayumi Yoshida, Country Director, implemented 5 sessions for these children. In the photos, children were asked to pick out a favorite photo card amongst many (“Points of You” cards), and draw what may be around the photo using their imagination. This activity bolsters mental health and is accessible to children with learning and other disabilities.

We were amazed to see how limitless their creativity can be! Over the week, we held activities at Kawashiri, Rikigou West, and Higashimari Elementary School, and joined together with parents and members of a local art group who took a great interest in JISP’s activities.

We thank our supporters again for making it possible to continue our support for Kumamoto!

Thank you for your support! More updates to follow …

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Organization Information

IsraAID

Location: Tel Aviv, Merkaz - Israel
Website:
Project Leader:
Shachar Zahavi
Be'er Sheva, Be'er Sheva Israel

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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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