Japan: Announcing Project Tohoku Extension!

Aug 30, 2011 09:14

All Hands Volunteers is pleased to announce All Hands Asia, our newly formed Japan-based General Incorporated Association, and welcomes Representative Director Satoshi Kitahama. We further wish to welcome Henry Takata and Laura Winthrop (AHV Board Member) and David Campbell (Executive Director of AHV) as Directors to the Board of AHA. All Hands Asia establishes our permanent presence in Japan and the greater Asia-Pacific region and affirms our continued support of Tohoku’s tsunami-affected populations as they recover from the events of March 11.

Under All Hands Asia, Project Tohoku will have an extended volunteer presence until November 12 and maintain a firm commitment to the long-term recovery of Japan into 2012 and beyond.

In over five months on the ground, we have witnessed incredible progress and recovery in northeast Japan. The resolve and industriousness of the Japanese people is to be credited for achieving so much in such a short time. The government has moved emergency shelter residents into approximately 50,000 newly constructed temporary homes in less than six-months, and fleets of heavy machinery have cleared and sorted more than 11 million tons of debris. Construction crews are repairing and rebuilding homes, and basic services are mostly restored. The response has been truly impressive.

Within this well coordinated recovery effort, we have applied our characteristic flexible approach to identify gaps and rapidly deploy volunteers to meet those needs. Thanks to the generous support of donors, the cooperation of city and prefectural supporters, and of course the efforts of over 800 enthusiastic volunteers from Japan and 30 other countries around the world, we have provided direct assistance to more than 4000 citizens through 48,000 hours of volunteer labor. We have gutted and repaired homes, rehabilitated business sites, mucked out municipal drainage canals and restored treasured family photos. Work remains, but with the rapid pace of recovery it is an ever-shifting landscape and we must stay nimble to be effective. After September we will engage a smaller group of volunteers and roll out a long-term recovery strategy, particularly designed to meet the needs of affected local businesses. We will focus on applying our generous donor contributions to public parks rehabilitation, school library restocking, supporting infrastructure projects such as those needed to raise the docks of hundreds of ports on the coast that sank up to a meter in the earthquake, and other economic revitalization efforts, such as creation of new industry.

We have successfully completed the third round of volunteer applicants. As space and logistics necessarily limit our volunteer numbers, we will only reopen applications if we extend or expand our project. Thank you for your interest and your support.

Thank you for your continued support of All Hands Volunteers in Japan and around the world. To find out about our other projects visit www.hands.org