RMF first partnered with Japanese Emergency NGO (JEN) in late March 2011 to deliver aid and supplies to those most affected by the devastating 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami. In partnership with JEN, RMF funded several new Community Gathering Centers in the Ishinomaki area, where psychosocial care, entertainment, economic and legal counseling, and many other activities were provided free of charge. RMF also started a Fishery Assistance Program that assisted in the rebuilding of four different villages’ capacity to fish locally after their boats, nets, and ports had been heavily damaged by the tsunami. These support projects were successfully completed as of October of 2012, and RMF committed to work with JEN on longer-term rebuilding of communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
After two earthquakes hit southern Japan in April 2016, RMF supported JEN’s earthquake relief efforts in two heavily affected areas: Higashi Ward in the city of Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture and the village of Minamiaso, Kumamoto Prefecture. These areas had not yet received sufficient aid due to severe road conditions, small populations, elderly populations, etc. This was especially true of the mountain village Minamiaso, which became isolated when the earthquake destroyed the bridge and tunnel connecting the community to Kumamoto and surrounding cities. During April and May 2016, the program distributed essential non-food items to earthquake victims, including blankets, household supplies, and 9,000 pairs of underwear to promote hygiene and cleanliness during the water shortage. RMF is deeply thankful for our trusted partner, JEN, for their timely and exceptional response to these emergencies.
JEN has dispatched and has begun implementing emergency support to the people of Kumamoto city and its neighboring towns. We hope that our unique projects will contribute as evacuee’s psychological first aid during the emergency phase.