Starting with a magnitude-6.5 quake on April 14, a series of major earthquakes have hit the central Kumamoto area of Japan, causing deaths, injuries and widespread damage to the area’s residences and infrastructure. As aftershocks continue, tens of thousands of people have moved into evacuation centers which are doing their best to support the evacuees’ needs.
Japan IsraAID Support program has been actively involved in providing disaster relief activities to the victims of the earthquake. To begin with IsraAID distributed to over 2000 people bananas, water and rice balls etc to people at the Kumamoto East ward city office while surveying the psychosocial needs of people in the districts of Mifune town, Mashiki town, and Minamiaso village etc. Currently, JISP has been conducting the following activities in collaboration with Kumamoto City International Center, and evacuation centers, and primary schools etc.
Child friendly spaces
JISP has been providing child friendly spaces workshops for children at evacuation centers and primary schools. Many of the children are still traumatized from the earthquake and live in fear as the after quakes continue. Currently there is also a lack of space for children to play and release their stress so these workshops enable the children to realize their energy in a positive way. On June 10th, JISP provided Yoga sessions for about 20 children with special needs at Higashi with a professional yoga instructor. These sessions helped the children to move their bodies and release tension that had been accumulating since the earthquake.
PFA and disaster preparedness for Foreigners Living in Kumamoto
In May, JISP provided counseling sessions and psychological first aid (PFA) sessions for foreigners living in Kumamoto. There are about 4000 plus non -Japanese residents that live in Kumamoto, and many of them were at loss as to how to respond to the earthquake. for some of them it was the first time that they had even experienced an earthquake! In addition, many of them fell out of the aid relief networks due to language and religious barriers. In collaboration with Kumamoto City International Center, JISP provided knowledge and skills on how to respond to disasters and how to help others in need through PFA and group facilitation work. In July 16, JISP plans to hodl a disaster prevention training sessions for foreigners on how to understand the mechanisms of earthquakes and how to respond to earthquakes in the future.
We are very grateful for your continuous support. We look foraward to updating you further about our activities in Kumamoto in the following reports.
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