With Need Still High, A Focus on Providing Additional Sheds
With every completed district, Peace Winds America has surveyed the results of the fishing sheds program. How have these sheds affected the lives of the recipients? What difference are we making restoring livelihoods of displaced residents? What do the district leaders say about the program?
We are pleased to report that demand for the sheds remains high - a clear sign of the value of this program. PWA has begun planning our next expansion of the fishing sheds program. Three districts are being considered: Fujihama, Nagashizu, and Terahama. These are all located in the Togura area of Minamisanriku. Our partners on the ground report that all have residents who meet our criteria for selection: they are active fishermen in the cooperatives who lost their home in the tsunami.
With your help we will be able to take advantage of the coming spring. As the snow melts and the ground in Tohoku thaws, the time is ripe for new construction. Once we have completed our assessment and selected recipients we can begin constructing these critical buildings. With over 267,000 Tohoku residents still in temporary housing, these economic revitalization projects do make a difference!
A Matching Opportunity From Global Giving
Beginning March 10th, GlobalGiving is supporting Tohoku recovery programs with a 100% match. Projects helping Tohoku are eligible, so this is an ideal opportunity to give us the momentum to keep the successful sheds project going. Your contribution will go twice as far today and may be the key to PWA providing one more family with a needed shed. Thank you for your generous support - we look forward to updating you soon with the results of our program expansion.
With Third 3/11 Anniversary Approaching, Sheds Program Continues
Winter is typically a quiet time in the coastal regions of Tohoku. The fishing industry consolidates and prepares for next year while harvesting winter fish catches, wakame seaweed and oysters. In these cold northerly regions, the hard-frozen ground poses a challenge for fishing, farming and construction alike.
March 11 will mark the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. The region has made impressive strides in recovery, yet in November 2013 the Reconstruction Agency of Japan still listed 267,000 people as evacuees, most living in temporary housing. Clearly the need for housing and economic revitalization support continues and will remain needed beyond the three year mark of the disaster.
Our partners at Grace Mission Tohoku are progressing with fishing family sheds slated for Mitobe and Zaigo districts. In spite of the harsh winter weather they are working with us to select recipients and sites for the sheds. In our next report we hope to present yet another group of completed sheds and grateful fishing famlies. Alongside our other fishing industry revitalization programs, Peace Winds America is standing solidly by Tohoku fishing families, determined to remain active so long as the need for recovery persists.
As always, Peace Winds America thanks you for your support. Together, we can continue to tell the fishing community of Tohoku, "You are not forgotten."
Dear Peace Winds America Supporters:
PWA is happy to report that the fishing sheds program in Tsunomiya district is moving along, with more on the horizon!
In July we reported that the Tsunomiya district had been selected as the next site for our ongoing fishing sheds program. Our local staff informed us that like the other districts we have served, many of the fishing families in Tsunomiya lost their houses and work spaces in the tsunami and were eager to return to work. Earlier this month our local partner, Grace Mission Tohoku, performed the Tsunomiya site inspections.
With your support, the 21 selected fishing families of the Tsunomiya district will soon have a place to store their equipment, mend their nets, and get out of the cold Tohoku winds. These sheds follow completed sheds in Minato, Tanoura, Yoriki, and Isatomae districts earlier this year.
There is still more to be done:
PWA has identified still more recipients in need. In the Mitobe and Zaigo districts we have found fishermen who have requested sheds to help them get back on their feet. With the support of GlobalGiving and our generous donors, PWA has been able to commit to another round of sheds. The recipients of these sheds will be selected later this year; the sheds will be built early next year.
Visits to Tohoku
In late September former PWA intern Azusa Katsumizu and PWA supporter Diane Olsen of Microsoft paid a visit to the Togura fishing shed site. They heard updates from the Minamisanriku fishing community and helped our partner, Grace Mission Tohoku, construct sheds for the day. Thanks to both Azusa and Diane for their hard work! They reported how gratifying it was for both to see firsthand the impact that Peace Winds is making in Tohoku.
We still need your help
The third anniversary of the 3/11 tsunami is already on the horizon, yet livelihood needs remain strong. Help PWA continue its mission of recovery and reconstruction in Miyagi Prefecture!
Dear Peace Winds America supporters:
PWA is very excited to let you know that since we kicked off the shed building program a year ago, PWA has completed 80 fishing sheds to fishing families in Minamisanriku.
With your support, PWA has been able to continue providing sheds to fishing families. THANK YOU. We have spent a lot of time in Minamisanriku and talked to many shed recipients. We listened to their stories about how their lives were changed by disaster in March 2011. We learned how much the fishing sheds meant to them and their livelihood. Spending time in a PWA fishing shed had becomes a large part of their lives, whether mending fishing nets, prepping tools for the next fishing season, or just taking a break from hard work at a sea. We couldn’t be more proud when we drive through the area and see the sheds, full of fishing equipment. I am proud to have worked with you all to help many fishermen together. We played a small but important role in rebuilding the livelihood of the many fishermen and their families, helping them move forward.
Another district identified:
While members of our local partner were building sheds in Hadenya district, they were visited by a resident from the neighboring district, asking to see how they could apply for such a shed. Turned out a district called Tsunomiya, located just east of where PWA is building sheds, most of the houses were swept away by the tsunami, leaving the small fishing community there with almost nothing. It was apparent that this community really needed our help.
Timing is everything:
Sheds cannot be built when the ground is frozen so will need to complete construction by November. It is also important to complete the construction soon because sheds will be needed for many fishermen preparing for the upcoming harvesting season, especially seaweed and abalone which are very important income generation opportunities for the fishermen in the area.
Working together with a Tsunomiya district community, PWA will soon proceed with beneficiary selection and start building sheds to this district. We hope to finish all the construction before the land freezes.
Let’s help Tsunomiya community!
Peace Winds America would like to ask everyone to spread the word to help the Tsunomiya district. We are planning on building 13 sheds but currently we need funds for ten sheds.
Fishing Industry Rebuilding:
On my recent trip to Minamisanriku, I met with Mr. Sasaki, the executive director at Shizugawa Fishing Cooperatives in Minamisanriku. Mr. Sasaki told me that the area fishery has recovered about 70-80% from pre-disaster time. I knew why the recovery has been going well -- because most fishermen in Minamisanriku city love the sea, love what they do, and many want to stay and continue working at sea, even though so many fishermen lost almost everything and had to start from scratch.
So let’s help fishermen in Minamisanriku a little more!
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Mari Poorman, Project Officer
We did it! On April 25, we reached the project goal of $30,000!!! This is such exciting news to us and PWA cannot thank you enough for supporting the livelihoods of fishing families in Minamisanriku.
Your support has been an important part of the 82 sheds we are building there, where about 70% of homes were swept away by the tsunami. Sheds continue to be built thanks to the great work of Grace Mission Tohoku, our local partner.
Since we started this project over a year ago, we have received 163 donations through GlobalGiving. These include contirbutions from individual donors, group fundraisers, corporations and foundations. All of the staff here at PWA wish we could meet you in person and thank you ourselves.
We also could not have done all this work without our local partner, Grace Mission Tohoku. Their commitment to help fishermen and rebuild the fishing communities of the region is evident. They are a huge part of why our program has been on time and successful.
What is next for our project? Leaders from other districts in Minamisanriku have requested that we expand to new areas and continue building new sheds. However, it has been over one year since we started this project, and it is important to fully understand the ever-changing situation in the area. We would like to raise our goal amount by $5,000 in order to conduct needs assessments in these new districts.
PWA hopes that you will support our decision for this assessment. We hope to give you an in-depth report when it is completed.
Thank you for your continuous interest in supporting our project, and thank you for your support of Peace Winds America.
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