Mr. Nagashima hard at work in his new bakery
Thank you so much for all the support you have given to the citizens of Japan. Their stories of survival and struggle are harrowing, but their spirit and dedication to resuming their lives and businesses are inspiring. We want to share with you a couple of stories to show how your contribution has made an impact.
Much like anywhere, the key to reviving these communities was to jump-start its small business sector. Through our partnership with PlaNet Finance and generous donors such NVIDIA and people like you, we have been able to provide financial tools to small business owners, help them re-open their doors, provide jobs within their community and restore badly needed flow of goods and services.
For instance, Ryota Nagashima - a bakery-owner from Minamisanriku, lost everything in the tsunami. While living in a temporary shelter, Mr. Nagashima spotted a bag of donated flour and immediately had an idea to make pancakes for his fellow shelter dwellers. Mr. Nagashima, with support from a Mercy Corps grant, reopened his bakery and hired two full-time positions. Today he is again famous for his creations, and his shop and products have drawn tourists from all over the country.
Then there is the story of Tsutomu Onodera - a former fish merchant whose business, along with the entire fishery infrastructure perished in the tsunami. Driven to help restart this vital product supply chain, Mr. Onodera, with the help of the re-employment grant from NVIDIA started a co-op fresh food market where small vendors gather to sell their produce and fish.
Ryota Nagashima's and Tsutomu Onodera's businesses are two examples of the 219 enterprises that this Mercy Corps program has reached - because of you - totaling over 2,600 people. But most importantly, 100% of the businesses that we have supported are still in business. At this rate, we plan to keep granting to businesses through 2014!
We could not do this long-term rebuilding without donors like you, so thank you! This is the last day to have your donations matched by Global Giving at 100%. Help us double the impact for the people of Japan and the rebuilding of their businesses.
The co-op fresh food market