On behalf of the local residents of Nishihara Village who were benefiting from the support of GlobalGiving donors, I wish to extend my gratitude. With your support, from July to September, we have mobilized a total of 73 volunteers and assisted 12 local farmers and their families in their agricultural farms and in maintenance of their public lands.
Most of the volunteers are repeaters who have developed a sense of attachment to the community and to the locals, particularly the elderly. These volunteers assisted the locals in farming-related activities, such as post-harvesting of garlic, weeding, and harvesting of blueberries, persimmon fruits, potato and Chinese cabbage.
In comparison with last year, requests from farmers were on a downward trend due to the almost ending reconstruction assistance in agriculture sector. The earthquake survivors expressed the need to be self-reliant, however, due to circumstances such as old age, they have no choice but to seek help.
Nishihara Village, like the other rural villages across Japan, is suffering from the decline of agricultural production due to old age. We felt that in order to contribute to the immediate reconstruction of the village after the earthquake, mobilizing of volunteers is one of the best solutions.
Aside from mobilizing volunteers, we also assist the village farmers in processing and showcasing their products for them to have more income. The locals were inspired when one of the villagers penetrated the market after producing a vinegar made from peach. After setting a booth and setting their crops in one of the summer festivals in Fukuoka, a group of local farmers is still in awe after profiting more or less 6,200 USD.
Meanwhile, other than assisting in agriculture works, outside volunteers who are mostly government officials and doctors also bring information that are useful in the daily lives of the villagers. Such information includes government services that can be accessed by the villagers.
As we evaluate our project, we can deduce that what we are doing is a win-win situation. Some former volunteers decided to reside at the village and the locals whom they have assisted became their immediate families.
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