July 21, 2011
Scott Western Asahina, originally from the UK, volunteered at Ishinomaki with Peace Boat twice – first between April 2-9, and then once again during Golden Week.
During his first time there, Scott’s team of international volunteers – including people from France, Mexico, Germany, the US and Ireland – visited Minato Primary School in Ishinomaki. Through the cooperation of the teachers, the team spent some time with the children teaching English, playing games and drawing pictures.
The situation of the children living in the affected areas, many of whom have no home to return to, have lost many family and friends, and have no safe place to play, is very serious. However, in their drawings, the children showed signs of hope and warmth.
Scott, moved by the meeting with the children and the energy and inspiration they provided, decided to continue to support the children of Minato Primary School through a fundraising project – selling tshirts made with the children’s drawings and the message of “Gambarou, Tohoku” (of the children themselves.
On Children’s Day – May 5 – Scott once again visited Minato Primary School, presenting each of the children with a tshirt featuring their own design. As well as delighting the children, parents and teachers were also moved by this gesture of support.
These tshirts are now available for purchase online, with all funds going to Peace Boat’s relief activities in Ishinomaki. To see a video about the project and Minato Primary School, as well as to buy a tshirt, visit Scott’s web site here: Gambarou Tohoku
TAGS: Disaster Relief • donations • Earthquake • fundraising • international volunteers • Ishinomaki • Japan • Kanto-Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami • Minato Primary School • Peace Boat • Relief • Tokyo • Tsunami • Volunteer • volunteering • Volunteers
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
Goda Shigehiro, TEL：03-3363-7967 Mobile：090-6553-6395 FAX:03-3363-7562 E-mail：firstname.lastname@example.org
July 14, 2011
Now more than four months since the earthquake, more than 4000 volunteers have participated in the relief activities in Ishinomaki through Peace Boat.
The volunteers all have varied backgrounds – from Japan or abroad, corporate volunteers or youth, business people and students. With summer vacation coming up soon, the role of student volunteers is extremely important. Yet despite this, the number of student volunteers is unfortunately still quite low.
A group of university students who have volunteered in Ishinomaki are organising an event on July 20 for fellow students to gather and discuss how they can contribute to the recovery efforts, in cooperation with Peace Boat. As a special guest, Mr Bandai Yoshinobu will come from Ishinomaki to share with students his own experiences. (For more information about Mr Bandai, known fondly by volunteers as “Ban-chan,” read the earlier blog post here.)
This event will be held in Japanese – please see the Japanese language homepage for more information here.
Date: July 20 (Wed), 6pm
Venue: JICA Global Plaza (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, 1 min from Hiroo Station)
Up to 200 seats available; event is for current university students or university related people.
Contents: Part 1: Ban-chan’s story, Part 2: Workshop and Orientation for Students
July 13, 2011
The following was received in a letter from a family in Chuo-cho whose house was cleared of mud by volunteers:
“Nice to meet you, hello. My family name is Henmi, and I live in the central area of Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, where Peace Boat volunteers are mainly working after the recent disaster.
Of course we live in an area which received much damage by the tsunami, however thanks to the volunteers coming several times to help to clean, we are now able to live in our own house.
The first time that the volunteers came, the flower bed in our garden was totally covered in mud, however by their last visit the flowers were starting to come through. My mother was so happy, and told the volunteers that ‘once the flowers are blooming, I will take a photograph and send to you all. Thank you so much.’
I myself was not sure if flowers would really grow in a place which had been covered with so much salt water, however in the past few days the flowers have come to full bloom, so my mother told me ‘send the photos!’, which is why I am contacting you all of a sudden now.
I am attaching these photos together with our deep feelings of thanks. Even now we see many people from Peace Boat throughout the town, and there are many people wearing the blue emergency relief outfits helping with so much – thank you very much! The reason that Ishinomaki is now able to be making moves towards recovery is thanks to the great energy that was given to us by the volunteers helping with the clean up. We just cannot express enough of our thanks. We apologise for mailing you just to send one single photo like this. Thank you so much.”
TAGS: cleanup • debris removal • Disaster Relief • Earthquake • international volunteers • Ishinomaki • Japan • Kanto-Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami • Peace Boat • Relief • Tsunami • volunteering • Volunteers
July 12, 2011
On July 31 and August 1, the “Ishinomaki Kawabiraki Festival” will be held. It is expected that a great number of local residents will join this event. Considering transportation and safety issues within Ishinomaki during these days, Peace Boat has decided to postpone the short-term volunteer dispatch during July 30 – August 2, 2011.
For further details about the Ishimomaki Kawabiraki Festival, please see the official website here: http://www.ishinomakikawabiraki.jp/TAGS: festival • Ishinomaki • Peace Boat • Volunteer • volunteering • Volunteers