Congratulations to Ichinoseki Fujinosono Children’s Shelter. They will open their new, children’s home this summer to house approximately 50 children. The original home was damaged in the March 11, 2011 earthquake that devastated the Tohoku region.
The home will be state-of-the-art and one of the most eco-friendly buildings in Japan, with solar, passive solar design, heating from bio-mass from the surrounding area. The building will also serve as a disaster center for the immediate area. Congratulations to Sister Caelina and to Sae Kani of Malteser International for raising monies and building the project.
A donation from the Tohoku Insights 2013 event was sent to Fujinoso. In addition, jazz musician, Akira Tana and his band Otonowa, made a donation from the proceeds of the new CD “Otonowa” that was featured at the Tohoku Insights 2013 event. Thank you Akira.
The Ichinoseki Fujinosono Children’s Shelter in Ichinoseki, Iwate prefecture, was damaged due to the earthquake of March 11, 2011. Malteser International raised monies to rebuild the shelter which will open in the summer of 2013. Designed with the most cutting-edge eco-design and technology this building will set new standards for sustainability and will be a model for global partnership and cooperation for the rebuild efforts in Tohoku. Sae Kani is the project coordinator for Malteser International.
More on Sae Kani
Just met Junko Suzuki Parsons and her friends at Mari Kawawa’s fundraiser “Twilight COncert on the Bay”, Saturday, April 27th, 2013 in Tiburon, CA, featuring the Edgewood Trio. Junko’s team is helping promote the Kids Orchestra Japan Project, an exchange program of youths in Japan and the U.S. collaborating with music. Their goal is to connect the kids in the affected areas in the Tohoku area of Japan to help them through these challenging times. Will be updating more about their progress.
Ayaka Ogawa, who lost her entire family in the earthquake and tsunami of 3/11 speaks at the US Embassy in Tokyo as the guest of ambassador Roos.
3/16/13 Tokyo, Japan
U.S. Ambassador to Japan, John Roos talking about the two year anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in the Tohoku region, on 3/11. An event was held to honor those who were affected including Ayaka Ogawa who lost her entire family in the tragedy. Through the help of the Tomodachi Initiative, she is now living in Michigan and attending school.
The Tohoku Insights 2013 public forum (http://www.tohokuinsights.com) was staged Saturday, March 9, 2013, in recognition of the two year anniversary of the disasters of 3/11.
This public forum featured 6 people who’ve been affected by the disasters and who are involved in the recovery efforts.
The event was live webcast, and can be viewed online at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jamsj
I was honored to be invited to a special luncheon today hosted by Give2Asia http://www.give2asia.org in San Francisco. 4 NGOs from the Tohoku area were invited to share their experiences in the rebuild and relief effort in the areas affected by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant failure.
It was heartwarming to hear their stories and their challenges. Yet their commitment showed the strength and resiliency of the Japanese people.
Still one of the messages rang clear: many felt uncertainty in regards to their future and that part of their (NGOs) mission is to give hope to the people who had lost loved ones, their homes, jobs, and any sense of normalcy. There are still over 300,000 people living in temporary housing. The population in some of the towns have decreased to 70% as people, especially the young, moved out to find jobs in Tokyo and other areas. The once vibrant fishing industry in Ishinomaki is now non-existant. Acres and acres of farmland are ruined as agriculture in certain areas has been abandoned.
Many outsiders fear traveling to the region due to the radiation contamination from the Fukushima power plants. The long term economic impact is yet to be realized.
It is my hope that on my trip to the Tohoku area, I can bring a sense of support and hope to the people. As one of the executives from the Give2Asia said, “working in the nonprofit sector to help the rebuild and relief effort, you have to be an optimist”. Bringing a sense of hope to the people, that by working together, there will be a better tomorrow.
Today was such an emotional, moving experience. Thank you Gillian Ira Yeoh and Give2Asia. I look forward to meeting some of the NGOs in Japan next week.
The 1000 Cranes created by the many volunteers for the “One Year After: Benefit Concert for the Children of Tohoku, Japan” on March 10, 2012, made its way over the Pacific Ocean and landed in Fukushima, Japan bringing our best wishes to the orphans in the Tohoku region. Please read this moving letter from Katherine Geeraert, Home Communications Manager for Soma Children’s Home and founder of Friends of Soma.
P.S. This letter arrived on the Fourth of July!
SOFTBANK CORP. will provide Japanese high school students from the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami with an intensive three week program focusing on global leadership development and community service. This program will take place at the University of California, Berkeley.
This program will be administered by Ayusa International, a non-profit educational exchange organization established in San Francisco in 1980 that provides life-changing cultural exchange experiences for high school students around the world. Prior to departure, students and parents will participate in in-depth orientations, and students will engage in two days of intensive English language lessons delivered by native English speakers. Students will travel to the United States with Japanese chaperones, who will accompany and provide support throughout the program.
In collaboration with UC Berkeley, this program will provide a campus-based leadership program concentrated on developing powerful social advocates. Students will learn leadership skills, and develop volunteer community service projects to implement in their home communities when they return home. Along with acquiring the skills to lead, students will be exposed to inspiring role models and situations focused on motivating and equipping them to assume leadership roles upon returning home. The program will feature extensive contact with Americans through their academic program, a weekend homestay, social and sightseeing activities, along with exposure to American culture and values.
For additional information on this program, including application procedures, please click here (in Japanese).