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July 24 event: Nigerian Community in Japan Supports Disaster Recovery Efforts through Peace Boat

July 21, 2011

Nigerian Community in Japan Supports Disaster Recovery Efforts through Peace Boat
- July 24: Report on volunteer activities and presentation of 2 million JPY donation -

International NGO Peace Boat has been carrying out disaster relief and recovery activities, centred around Ishinomaki and Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture. To date, Peace Boat has dispatched over 4,000 volunteers to the affected areas (20,000 days of volunteer work), providing hot meals, clearing mud and distributing relief goods. Of these volunteers, 400  were non-Japanese, coming from more than 35 different countries. Peace Boat has also supported the work of many Embassies and Governments in distributing relief goods, carrying out its support beyond borders.

The Nigerian Community living in Japan has recently also become involved in disaster relief support. Around 15,000 Nigerians live in Japan, and through their activities to raise funds throughout the country over 2 million yen in donations was raised. Although members of this community are by no means all financially well off, in June they contacted Peace Boat with their wish to send their donations and also message of solidarity to Tohoku. This is the first time for the Nigerian community to come together in such a way for disaster relief, and the funds are designated to be sent via Peace Boat to support the purchase of necessary items for temporary housing in Onagawa, Miyagi.

Furthermore, within the Nigerian community there are also many people who have concerns or feelings of isolation as a result of not being able to access sufficient information about the damage caused by the tsunami or the relief efforts due to language barriers. Thus, on July 24 at the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre in Tokyo’s Takadanobaba staff and volunteers involved in the relief efforts will gather and report about the activities, as well as present the donations, to 10 representatives of the Nigerian community.

As shown in this case, international support is crucial for the relief and recovery efforts following the March 11 disaster. Through this experience, a new form of international exchange and cooperation is being developed both in the affected areas and in Tokyo. This is an important opportunity for Japan to overcome the disaster and create a new, diverse and better society.

We invite all members of the press to attend this report session and learn more about the Nigerian Community’s activities and intercultural exchange in the post-disaster environment.

● Nigerian Community in Japan & Peace Boat: Joint Report on Volunteer Activities and Presentation of Donation

Date: July 24, 2011 (Sun); 11:00 – 12:00

Venue: Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre
B1-3-13-1 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
※ 6 min from Waseda Exit, Takadanobaba Station, JR Yamanote / Metro Tozai Lines

Speakers: Okeke Kevin Christian (Representative of Nigerian Community in Japan) and 10 others
Goda Shigehiro (Administration Officer, Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre)
Volunteers in Ishinomaki etc

Contents: Report of Peace Boat disaster relief and recovery activities in Ishinomaki, Onagawa etc
Live telephone report from disaster affected areas
Speech and presentation of donation by Nigerian Community in Japan
Intercultural exchange session

● Contact:
Goda Shigehiro, TEL:03-3363-7967 Mobile:090-6553-6395 FAX:03-3363-7562 E-mail:relief@peaceboat.gr.jp