Local Farm Donates Rice through AAR JAPAN

On Thursday, March 24, the AAR JAPAN’s Emergency Relief Team visited Higashi-Matsushima City in Miyagi Prefecture and a town of Otsuchi in Iwate Prefecture, stopping at six locations for delivery of relief items.

“Survivors First”

At “Hamanasu no Sato (Land of Rugosa Rose)”, a nursing home for the aged in Higashi-Matsushima, approximately 100 survivors are taking refuge, which include the inmates of other welfare facilities.  The entire staff, none of whom has gone home since the outbreak of the disaster, is taking care of the group.  Here the AAR JAPAN’s Relief Team distributed rice, water, towels, clothes, etc.  Rice had been donated from “Farmin’” an organic rice farm in Tome City in Miyagi, an area well known for its rice production.  Their clients had expressed to the Farm that their portion of rice be sent to the survivors, and the Farm had entrusted AAR JAPAN with the delivery of 300kg of their rice.  In order to save precious water, all of the donated rice had been specially processed so that no pre-cooking washing, which is a common practice in Japan, is necessary.
Staff member of "Hamanasu no Sato"receives locally produced rice from Sopana HAGIWARA (left), Board Member of AAR JAPAN.

The survivors at “Hamanasu no Sato” have not had an opportunity to take a bath since the Quake.  “Electricity got back on recently, which is a great relief.  But we still do not have running water.  We cannot take a shower; we even have difficulty brushing our teeth.  Some of the people here are starting to show the early symptoms of pneumonia.  The situation is unnerving because we cannot take them to hospital”, the Team was told.
IKEA JAPAN, a global furniture company, donated bags of potato chips through Japan Mothers Society, an NGO for working mothers.  "This will make both inmates and staff members very happy" said an employee at "Hamanasu no Sato" with a smile.

List of Destinations on March 24

Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture
-No.2 Kyosei-en (Welfare facility for persons with disabilities, 100 survivors)
-No.2 Kyosei-en Annex (Welfare facility for persons with disabilities, 20 survivors)
-Izumi no Sato (Welfare facility for the aged, 32 survivors)
-Hamanasu no Sato (Welfare facility for the aged, 100 survivors)

Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture
-Kozuchi Community (Survivors staying at home, 50 persons)
-Board of Education, Otsuchi Town (through Emergency Headquarters, Otsuchi Town: a focal point of delivery of relief items to over 40 refuge centers and its 5,000 survivors)
Sopana HAGIWARA carries towels donated from Bonheur Group, an amusement company, into "Hamanasu no Sato".  The floor in front of the main entrance had a big crack.

A teddy bear among debris in Higashi-Matsushima