Relief Activities for the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: Report on our projects to the end of May 2011

Sep 01, 2011 20:11
NICCO has been conducting relief activities for victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck and devastated large portions of the Tohoku region of Japan on 11th March 2011. NICCO made a prompt decision to initiate emergency relief activities, and within 2 days our research team were deployed to the most affected areas in order to assess the situation and needs of the victims. 
As of April 2011, we have conducted the following projects thanks to generous support from all NICCO members, supporters and donors.

1. Coordination of volunteers
1)    Soup kitchen service with local chefs
2)    Cleaning and debris re
In Kesennuma City (Miyagi Pref.) and Rikuzentakata City (Iwate Pref.):

110510-1.jpgNICCO continues to link motivated students and corporations to the earthquake and tsunami affected areas. 
Every weekend, we hold a workshop for approximately 25 student volunteers from across the country.  These volunteers are sent to the affected areas for a week and engage in such activities as cooking and serving in the soup kitchen service, as well as cleaning and debris removal. There are a number of applicants who are willing to join the work every week, and NICCO has so far deployed more than 100 students in this program.
We employ local chefs, who have lost their jobs due to the disaster, in order to provide hot meals at the evacuation centers. This soup kitchen service offers nutritious meals that are familiar to the victims as well as creates jobs in the affected area. Volunteers sent by corporations also perform crucial roles in this project, making use of their experiences and skills in management, procurement, and preparation of the meals.

Results achieved to date
- Number of hot meal provided: Approximately 1,000 portions a day
- Sites providing soup kitchen service: 3 points in Kesennuma City.
- Number of sites conducted debris removal since April 26th: 29 sites.
- Sites conducting cleaning and debris removal: In Kesennuma City and Rikuzentakata City.

(Photo above: Student volunteers and NICCO staff working on cleaning and debris removal.)

2. Mental/Psychosocial care
In Natori City (Miyagi Pref.) and Rikuzentakata City (Iwate Pref.):

1) Psychosocial care program
In order to prevent the development of posttraumatic stress disorder among children after the earthquake and tsunami, NICCO is conducting a psychosocial care program for students at Yuriage elementary/junior high school in Natori City. This program is built upon experience that we have gained through past projects in developing countries.

2) Relaxation events
NICCO is also providing mental care through the relaxation events held in Rikuzentakata City. Our psychological team, consisting of a clinical psychotherapist, an occupational therapist and other experts, visits local community halls and temporary houses and  holds relaxation events named "kokoro to karada no kenko no tsudoi" (meaning "gathering for physical and mental well-being" in Japanese).  These events aim to provide victims with places to relax over tea and talk about their feelings.  NICCO is also carrying out singing and make-up classes in collaboration with former Takarazuka Revue Company actresses in several locations.
(Photo left: "kokoro to karada no tsudoi" held at Shotoku Temple in Rikuzentakata City)

Results achieved to date
-Number of event participants: 128 victims during the period of May 20th to May 28th.

taishin.jpg3. Safety checks of buildings
In Kesennuma City (Miyagi Pref.) and Rikuzentakata City (Iwate Pref.):

Although most buildings still need their safety to be confirmed due to the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th and subsequent aftershocks, there exists a shortage of professionals who can conduct the checking. NICCO, in partnership with Mokutaikyo, dispatches architects and conducts safety checks of buildings. These architects will initially confirm safety of the buildings, following which NICCO volunteers carry out cleaning and debris removal.

4. Emergency pest control (launched in May 28th)
In Kesennuma City (Miyagi Pref.), Ofunato City and Rikuzentakata City (Iwate Pref.):

As the coming months will bring a warmer climate, the alarming rise in numbers of flies, mosquitoes, rats, and other pests is of increasing concern for the earthquake and tsunami affected areas.  This is feared to lead to worsening of sanitary conditions, which may cause the spread of infectious diseases. NICCO will conduct pest control operations in 13 coastal cities, towns and villages in cooperation with the Japan Pest Control Association.

NICCO will continue our assistance according to the people's needs for reconstruction of the disaster-affected areas and normalization of victims' living environments. Your support is greatly appreciated.

You can make a donation from NICCO's website for the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Thank you for your support and contribution.