AAR JAPAN’s Relief Cheers Up the Elderly

Welfare Facility without Water Gets What They Need

AAR JAPAN’s Emergency Relief Team continued its delivery operation on Sunday, March 20, visiting two small welfare facilities for elderly people in a town of Okawara, and the municipal office in Iwanuma City, Miyagi.

Relief items for this day included diapers for adults and infants, clothes, futon mattress, etc., in addition to water, milk, milk powder, and sweet-bean cake (yokan).  The Iwanuma Municipal Office is to deliver our items to the evacuees in its vicinity, and one of the welfare facilities ,“Kusunoki (camphor tree)”, is planning to redistribute the goods to approximately 500 survivors living in the neighborhood.
Staff at welfare facility "Kusunoki" showing donated sweet-bean cake. A team of three from Sunmap Co.,Ltd., including Mr. Matsuoka, President (front right) came all the way from Kyushu to help the delivery (left, Sopana Hagiwara, Board Member of AAR JAPAN).

At Kusunoki, all of 30 inmates were fortunately unhurt by the quake, but the electricity resumed running only three days ago, and there was only one propane gas cylinder left.  They did not know what to do with gas after this cylinder empties out.  Their biggest problem was water, which was not running yet.  They were extremely happy to receive a supply of water from the AAR Team.  Sweet-bean cake also made them smile.  “I never thought we could have this here at times like this”, a worker of Kusunoki told the Team.

Helping the Japanese Who Helped Me Out of My Homeland

I am a Japanese citizen now, but I was born in Cambodia.  Helping the survivors of the Big East Japan Earthquake is for me giving back the favors I received as a refugee when I first came to this country.  Their anguishes remind me of my childhood memories of having to put up with a lack of food in war-torn Cambodia.  It is my sincere hope that AAR JAPAN’s operations will be of some encouragement for the survivors.
All at Kusunoki helped moving the items into the facility (center, Sopana Hagiwara)

In many parts of the disaster-hit area, there are still a number of shortages of supplies.  AAR JAPAN will continue to convey the warm support extended from our supporters to the survivors.

It needs to be mentioned here with our heartfelt gratitude that Sunmap Co.,Ltd., based in Fukuoka, and several other enterprises in Kyushu helped AAR JAPAN with procurement and transportation of the items delivered, and Toraya Co.,Ltd., of Tokyo kindly donated 20,000 pieces of sweet-bean cake.

Born in Cambodia.  He came to Japan in 1982 as a refugee.  Graduating from high school in Japan, he now works in the field of software development and network establishment.  AAR JAPAN Board Member since June, 2009.