by Jonathan White and RMF Partner Fumiko Tanaka at Japanese Emergency NGO
Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture
Taking Care of Local Students during Summer Vacation
Approximately 1,690 individuals, employees of 7 local companies, 11 households and the residents of 11 communities of Ishinomaki were reached by JEN’s activities during this period.
1) Volunteer Dispatch
Supported by 2,890 volunteers, JEN has completed removing rubble and sludge from a total of 196 buildings in Ishinomaki City. JEN dispatched volunteers to clean places such as houses, an office and a factory.
JEN was requested to send volunteers to help hold a sports event at Oshika Junior High-School. The tasks involved weed removal, setup for the event, food tray service and participation in the event.
Starting of an Aqua-Farming project in the Sameura area of the Oshika Peninsula, 108 additional JEN volunteers were dispatched to help fishermen on the port.
2) Psychosocial Care through Community Space
JEN has been providing community spaces where evacuees can gather for activities and share their experiences as psycho-social care. There are currently 3 places where activities have begun as pilot projects in the existing communities, and 8 at transitional shelter compounds.
Homework support for children by university students from Tokyo has been ongoing throughout the reporting period. In addition to homework support, classes for Japanese calligraphy and balloon art were held for the children. This space held between 10 and 20 students every day during the summer vacation.
JEN provided soup kitchen and massage services for the local people including residents of temporary housing. On September 13th, nearly 50 meals were provided and relaxation services were offered to 10 people.
Some new services including health checkup and a handicraft class began during the reporting period. The handicraft classes have been popular especially among housewives.
JEN proceeded with the preparation for the first workshop on September 17th.
JEN contributed an article to a monthly social educational magazine on its community support project in Nakayashiki that will be published on September 15th.
All photos JEN Copyright
The Kazuma festival was held on August 20th and attracted a large number of local residents. 4 food stalls were opened and all their food was sold out. In addition, a famous singer gave a performance to encourage the residents.
The meetings regarding the construction of a community café in Kazuma Space were continuously arranged with donors and local self-governing bodies. A "jichin-sai", a Shinto ceremony to purify the building site and offer prayers, was also held.
The first workshop at the Koganehama Space and neighboring areas was held on September 4th. The workshop focused on the things to do right now and the long-term reconstruction plans.
JEN provided massage service for the local residents. Acupuncture practitioners were invited this time and their service was quite popular among the residents. Moreover, new programs such as cooking or handcraft class are being considered.
As part of the community space projects, the following events were held in the temporary housing areas: tea party, massage service and legal counseling. Some tea parties called ‘Ochakkonomi’ in local dialect were held inviting local elderly mothers to chat over the tea for socializing purposes.
Economic Recovery Assistance
Rubble Clearance through Assisting Local Waste Management Contractors
JEN lent 4-ton garbage cars to Katsumata Transport, the Watanabe Cleaning Service Company and the Suzukyu Recycle Shop. A 4-ton damp car will be handed over to the Ishinomaki Waste Disposal Center.
Assistance of Small to Mid-size Local Businesses
JEN has decided to conduct assistance for building temporary shopping streets in Ayukawahama. The meeting on the contents of the project and how the project will develop in the future was held between JEN and the commerce and industry association in the area on August 23rd. To acquire cooperation from the public administration, the meeting with Mr. Okada, a head of the Oshika Branch of the Ishinomaki City Council, was also arranged. JEN confirmed the project site and gained the agreement on the implementation of the project from Mr. Okada. The next steps for the project will be: acquirement of permission in writing on the use of the town-owned land, selection of contractors, cost estimates on prefabricated houses, order for construction work and arrangement of contract documents and minutes.
JEN distributed vegetables to 80 households (260 people) in the Higashihama area of Oshika Peninsula. 280 loaves of bread were also distributed to the area from a bread factory in Ayukawahama.
For more information about our Japan Relief Efforts click here
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