November 13, 2013
PBV held an English-language Disaster Relief Volunteer Training seminar on November 2nd which was attended by 19 participants from 10 different countries.
Non-Japanese nationals are often considered a “vulnerable” group in disaster time, due to potential language and cultural barriers which may inhibit a full understanding of the situation and effective actions necessary to protect one’s self.
PBV believes in empowering, engaging and educating this “vulnerable” segment of the population to not only protect themselves after a major disaster, but to also help others.
The impact of non-Japanese volunteers was evident in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, when thousands of individuals mobilized to the afflicted regions to assist affected communities.
In the aim of enhancing and harnessing this kind of potential for future disasters, PBV organized an English-language Disaster Relief Volunteer Training seminar on Nov 2nd.
A diverse group of exchange students, NGO workers, teachers and executives (among many others) gathered at JICA Tokyo, each with their own unique background.
There were a number of lively discussions throughout the afternoon fueled by the participants’ experiences and perspectives on prevalent disaster-related issues.
Participants shared stories of how they were affected by the March 11th disaster, as well as how they were able to help those affected, despite differences in language and culture.
Feedback from some of the participants includes:
“The course was great. The case study was really entertaining and useful because it illustrated that there are many opinions for every individual situation that have to be taken into consideration” – participant from Belgium.
“Lots of useful information. I have experience of many things spoken about but it was great to have it refreshed and I got lots more detailed information too” – participant from Australia.
“It was very beneficial as I learnt not only about how I can protect myself and my loved ones but also how I can support people affected by disasters in the future” – participant from Japan.
PBV will continue to provide this kind of training in the future for non-Japanese and English-speaking individuals.
We will announce future trainings on the PBV English-language website and Facebook page in the near future.