One Year Later
March 9, 2012
RMF partner JEN volunteers and local villagers making fishing nets in Fukkiuraüi (photo copyright JEN)
Yesterday marked the one year since an enormous earthquake sent a tsunami roaring into the east coast of Japan. Almost 19,000 people died in the ensuing tsunami waves with many coastal communities wiped off the map.
In the aftermath of this devastation, we partnered with a Japanese non-profit in Tokyo, Japanese Emergency NGO (JEN) in late March 2011, to deliver aid and supplies to those most affected. Our relief efforts over the past year with JEN have reached more than 33,000 people directly and continue on today with longer term rebuilding efforts. In the initial weeks, thousands of “care kits” were delivered to displaced families and more than 20,000 hot meals served in soup kitchens, community centers, and outreach efforts to displaced people.
JEN Staff gather at the Last Soup Kitchen Service at Nakayashiki Community Center (copyright JEN)
As part of our longer term rebuilding efforts we funded several new Community Gathering Centers in the Ishinomaki Cityarea, where psychosocial care, entertainment, economic and legal counseling and many other activities are provided free of charge. We also started a Fishery Assistance and Livelihood Program on the Oshika Peninsula that 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.
JEN Volunteers and local villagers working on oyster aqua-farming operation (copyright JEN)
Approximately 100 fishermen households in the village of Yoriiso-hama have been directly reached by JEN’s activities and the purchase of 2 large gathering tents, 44 storage tanks, a forklift and 10 pallets.
One our beneficiaries, Mrs. Kunie Ishimori, talks about how the joint effort Fishery Assistance Program helped her and her community:
“Our family used to breed scallops on farms at Yagawa-hama, Oshika Peninsula. The tsunami washed away our house, equipment, farm land and rice paddies, and my husband died. Now, I am living with my two sons at this transitional shelter. The other day, equipment for scallop farming was finally sent to us as a gift. My community has built a small lodge at the port and is now preparing to restart the aqua-farming. The assistance really warmed my heart.”
Real Medicine is currently focused on long term community rebuilding projects in Japan in partnership with JEN.
Our thoughts and prayers are still with the people of Japan and all those that continue to try and rebuild their lives.
Donations to our longer term rebuilding efforts can be made on our website by clicking here