Relief Assistance for Tohoku Earthquake Affected

by Japan Emergency NGO (JEN)
Vetted
The first experience to hold babies on the back
The first experience to hold babies on the back

Enjoying each other's company, mothers are wielding kitchen knives in a cooking room; one of the mothers is carrying a baby in a wide cotton sling and the baby is watching them cooking over his/her mother’s shoulder.

This workshop, hosted by Fukushima Midwife Association, provides mothers an opportunity to learn how to prepare food for infants.

This workshop was aimed at helping mothers by easing their concerns for weaning food and provided mothers with an opportunity to learn how to cook a family meal while strapping their babies to their back. On top of that, they were also able to get answers to the questions they had in everyday life, such as:

what kind of age-appropriate diet mothers should give to their babies;
whether mothers may feed breast milk or formula to their babies as much as their babies want;
whether they worry needlessly about food allergies; and
how to be sure they are feeding their babies a balanced diet.

Choosing Fukushima Midwife Association as an alliance partner, JEN has been assisting the “Midwife-driven Comprehensive Expectant and Nursing Mothers Support Project” since June, 2016. While dealing with calls from mothers after the earthquake, the association realized that so many mothers were worrying about how to raise their babies. Accordingly that led the association to believe that addressing their concerns would help them feel good about themselves and become confident about themselves. Consequently the association has implemented the project in which it teaches mothers how to make weaning diets and cook while rocking their babies on their backs so that they don’t have to leave their crying babies as they are.

Another important thing in addressing mothers’ concerns is to help them to enhance their relationship with local communities.

 Some of the mothers’ replies were:
”My worries and anxieties disappeared thanks to the midwife’s advice;”
”I was able to consult with other mothers.”

The workshop conducted by nutritionists
The workshop conducted by nutritionists
The mothers and their babies eat meals together
The mothers and their babies eat meals together
The last Grassroots Women
The last Grassroots Women's Academy in Iwate

JEN has been partnering with local NPO’s as a new form of community support activity since October, 2015. In July, 2016, JEN partnered with “Women’s Eye”, a certified non-profit organisation based in the city of Tome in Miyagi Prefecture. In this report, we will see the types of activities that the new partner undertakes.

“Women’s Eye” was launched in July, 2013 after taking over the duties from its predecessor, “RQ Women Support Centre (Tome city, Miyagi Prefecture)” which was organized in July, 2011 by disaster-relief volunteers who came to work in and around the Sanriku shoreline.

During its support activities soon after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, they witnessed that women in affected areas take a backseat to men as the breadwinner, or children as students, either in their homes or communities. It became a calling for them to focus on helping such women to utilize their abilities and to play a more outgoing role in their homes and communities by giving them an opportunity to live life differently. In order to find out how to the help best these women, they carried out research from the point of view from women, mindful of the fact that people in the Tohoku region of Japan generally don’t talk too much about themselves.

As part of its efforts, the organisation hosted the Grassroots Women’s Academy in the city of Tamura, located in Fukushima Prefecture over three days from 5 August 2016.  The Grassroots Women’s Academy is a workshop that provides learning and networking opportunities for young women from the Tohoku region.

The workshop was inspired by an international forum for young female leaders from the Tohoku region and experienced female leaders from both Asia and Latin America, which was held in the town of Minamisanriku and was co-hosted by Women’s Eye and Huairou Commission, a NY-based international NGO in 2015. Since then, Women’s Eye has been meeting to learn from others, share their own experiences with others, and grow themselves.

At the workshop, under the theme of, “how to get people in communities involved in our activities” women from Tohoku’s three prefectures weighed in with their own opinions about the challenges that they are facing and learnt from each other over the three days that the workshop was held.

Leveraging their partnership with JEN, Women’s Eye aims to help women to utilize their capabilities and to play an active role by giving women rich opportunities for mutual learning and cooperation in addressing the specific challenges faced by women.

The pictures: ©Women's Eye

The members of Women
The members of Women's Eye consulting each other
Tohoku has been recovering slowly but surely
Tohoku has been recovering slowly but surely

Currently, JEN is working on partnership-based projects, in which we provide funding and technical support to its partners. The partners are local NPOs or organizations involving in support activities for marginalized people in disaster-affected areas.

In June 2016, JEN became with a partner of Fukushima Midwife Association and began supporting for “Comprehensive Pregnancy and Baby Support Project.” Midwives are experts in helping expectant mothers, nursing mothers, as well as their babies, both physically and mentally. Only people passed the national exam can work as midwives unless they already have nursing qualifications.

According to “the Survey on Expectant Mothers and Nursing Mothers” conducted by Fukushima Prefecture in 2014, 12 percent of those mothers in Fukushima suffered from postpartum depression, which was 3 percent higher than the national average. Frequent phone calls and consultation requests for help from the Midwife Association indicate that many mothers are concerned about both of their mental and health conditions or the mothers are isolated from the society causing absence of child care assistance.

After the earthquake, many families with young children left Fukushima to escape from the critical living conditions. Since those who chose to stay and to feel anxiety about the children’s health, Fukushima Prefecture implemented a policy which grants mothers and babies short stays at maternity centres. Besides being commissioned to perform this plan, the Fukushima Midwife Association is also conducting its own project of providing:

- Pre-prenatal classes;

- Places for nursing mothers to communicate with each other;

- Well balance meals for mothers and babies due to encouraging proper infant diets.

Five years have passed since the earthquake, yet this kind of mother and baby support projects are still little known to see across the nation. The projects will regularly carry on mothers and babies support among other local authorities in Fukushima Prefecture. Therefore, we will be supporting the Association on funding, presenting the project of the Association to the local authorities, and preparing necessary documents for policy promotion targeting other local governments, until December 2018.

A photo shows Tohoku has been recovering
A photo shows Tohoku has been recovering

Currently, JEN is working on partnership-based projects, in which we provide funding and technical support to its partners. The partners are local NPOs or organizations involving in support activities for marginalized people in disaster-affected areas.

In June 2016, JEN became with a partner of Fukushima Midwife Association and began supporting for “Comprehensive Pregnancy and Baby Support Project.” Midwives are experts in helping expectant mothers, nursing mothers, as well as their babies, both physically and mentally. Only people passed the national exam can work as midwives unless they already have nursing qualifications.

According to “the Survey on Expectant Mothers and Nursing Mothers” conducted by Fukushima Prefecture in 2014, 12 percent of those mothers in Fukushima suffered from postpartum depression , which was 3 percent higher than the national average. Frequent phone calls and consultation requests for help from the Midwife Association indicate that many mothers are concerned about both of their mental and health conditions or the mothers are isolated from the society causing absence of child care assistance.

After the earthquake, many families with young children left Fukushima to escape from the critical living conditions. Since those who chose to stay and to feel anxiety about the children’s health, Fukushima Prefecture implemented a policy which grants mothers and babies short stays at maternity centres. Besides being commissioned to perform this plan, the Fukushima Midwife Association is also conducting its own project of providing:

- Pre-prenatal classes;

- Places for nursing mothers to communicate with each other;

- Well balance meals for mothers and babies due to encouraging proper infant diets.

Five years have passed since the earthquake, yet this kind of mother and baby support projects are still little known to see across the nation. The projects will regularly carry on mothers and babies support among other local authorities in Fukushima Prefecture. Therefore, we will be supporting the Association on funding, presenting the project of the Association to the local authorities, and preparing necessary documents for policy promotion targeting other local governments, until December 2018.

Well balanced meal
Well balanced meal

On the 11th March 2016, it is the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan earthquake.
Even though many people in Tohoku experienced great fear at that day in 2011, now you can see various restoration endeavours are taking place in the region. JEN is putting its efforts into the recovery by providing a wide range of assistance to four partner organisations involved in unique activities that address people who tend to be left behind by the recovery.

In Iwate Prefecture, JEN has been in partnership with “INCLU IWATE”, an NPO dedicated to supporting single-parent households that we support their initiative “Children’s Cafeteria” since its launch in January, 2016 in Morioka city.

Over 80 percent of Japan’s single parents with job and more than half of them are living in low income; these parents are apt to be isolated from the society. In Morioka city, you can see such households who moved from the coastal regions after the earthquake and began to settle down in the city.

INKLU IWATE and its “Children’s Cafeteria” initiative are expected to change the present situation where single parents and their children easily become socially isolated. The day of opening the Children’s Cafeteria, which runs occasionally, provides single parent households with not only nutritiously well-balanced meals, but also comprehensive support, for example: providing useful information; giving consultation service; learning support for children, and supporting the single parents who quickly access family and child benefits.
Also, INKLU IWATE is going to open the second “Children’s Cafeteria” in the earthquake affected coastal areas.

The first picture shows – the volunteer cooked well-balanced meals. Many of the ingredients are contributions by local farmers or NPO’s.

The second picture shows – the day care centre offers the “Children’s Cafeteria”. The lady on the right is a dietitian, and the lady on the left is a counsellor, they prepare a meal with volunteers.

The specialists
The specialists
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Japan Emergency NGO (JEN)

Location: Tokyo, n/a - Japan
Website: http:/​/​www.jen-npo.org/​en/​index.php
Project Leader:
Miyako Hamasaka
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.