12.24.2013

The Great East Japan Earthquake: “It’s All About Folk Songs” Entertainer Nekohachi EDOYA and Singers Conducted Performance Tours in Fukushima

Following Miyagi and Iwate, folk song performance tours were conducted in Fukushima

Entertainer Nekohachi EDOYA IV, who is well-known for his performance of mimicking animals and folk song singers, went on performance tours, in order to cheer up the people in the disaster-stricken areas. So far, along with AAR, they have visited Iwate Prefecture in December 2012, Miyagi Prefecture in January 2013, and temporary housing complexes and community centers in Fukushima Prefecture in February and June 2013. Moreover, in October and November 2013, they visited the inland parts of Fukushima Prefecture so as to encourage those who were away from their hometowns, influenced by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.
23rd October 2013 - Nekohachi EDOYA (front left) and others held folk song performances, visiting 4 or 5 venues a day. (Minami1-choume Temporary Housing, Fukushima)

12.18.2013


Emergency Assistance to the Philippine Typhoon: Providing Assistance to Rebuild Damaged Houses

 

We have distributed galvanized iron sheets, plywood, and carpentry tools to families with elderly persons and/or persons with disabilities.

Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) that struck the Philippines on November 8th, 2013, has caused tremendous damage. According to the Philippine government as of December 16th the death toll rose to 6,069, and 1,779 are still missing. More than 1.14 million houses were damaged
AAR dispatched two staff members to the affected area on November 14th, and has implemented emergency assistance. On December 14th and 15th, we distributed galvanized iron sheets and tools for repairing their houses to 57 families with elderly persons or persons with disabilities in San Remigio, in the northern part of Cebu. And now they are going to rebuild their houses with the help of their family members and neighbors.
Norihiro FUJIMOTO of AAR (right), hands over plywood (San Regimio, Cebu, December 14th, 2013)

Distributed materials (per family):
6 galvanized iron sheets, 6 pieces of plywood, 1 1/2 kilograms nails, 1 hammer, 1 saw.

The woman (in the center) has received the materials for repairing her house. The persons in black T-shirts are staff members of a cooperating organization, GVSP (December 14th, 2013)
A set of relief materials distributed this time. Plywood for walls, galvanized iron sheets for roofs, nails, and carpentry tools (December 14th, 2013)

Carrying plywood and galvanized iron sheets, stepping over the fallen utility pole. (December 14th, 2013)

“My house full of memories had been blown away”

Rolando ALMENDRAS (48-years-old), living in San Remigio, has been suffering from a disability in his legs due to polio since he was two-years-old. His house was partially destroyed by the typhoon. His wheelchair is so heavy that he can’t wheel it without his brother’s help.
When typhoon No.30 hit the area, Rolando was evacuated to a day care facility in his village. He said that after the typhoon had gone, his house full of memories had been blown away. He was in deep sorrow and felt unfocused anger. While his brother was repairing his house so that he could manage to live in it, Rolando stayed at the day care facility for two weeks.

When Rolando received relief materials from AAR, he firmly grasped my hand and said, “ We have received food supplies so far but this is the first time to receive materials such as galvanized iron sheets. Thanks for these materials, my house will not be soaked by the rain any more. Thank you very much indeed.”

Rolando (left) firmly grasped my hand and showed his gratefulness. His present residence stands just by stretching a plastic sheet over bamboo poles. Norihiro FUJIMOTO of AAR (right). (December 14th, 2013)

“Now I can make the first step forward.”

Mariella QUINAPONDA (45-years-old), living in Luyan district in San Regimio, had lived in a plain wooden house with her 15-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son, who has congenital disabilities in his eyes and legs. While the typhoon was in the district, she was evacuated to her sister’s house nearby. When the storm had weakened, she went outside and found that her house had been completely destroyed. She said that she had been in deep grief and at a loss regarding what to do next for a long time.
Now she is thinking of trying to rebuild her house with her children. She said, looking straight in my eyes, “Materials such as galvanized iron sheets and plywood are very useful to rebuild my house. Now I can make the first step forward. Thank you so much.”

Mariella and her children tell Norihiro FUJIMOTO of AAR (left) what happened to them at the time of the typhoon. She tells him that her house was standing left behind of the picture, but there isn’t a trace of it. (December 14th, 2013)

We are collecting emergency donations.

Your support is greatly appreciated.
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Maria PRECIOSA (50 years old, female) is visually impaired. She has lost her house by the typhoon and now she lives in a very small hut. Her sister is going to rebuild her house with the materials distributed by AAR. (December 14th, 2013)
[Reported by]
Norihiro FUJIMOTO, AAR Tokyo Headquarters Office.
Since November 2011, he has taken charge of projects in South Sudan and Tohoku at AAR Tokyo office. After three and a half years working in a private company, he had studied in New Zealand for six months. He worked for a human resources consulting firm afterwards, and joined AAR, hoping to contribute to people through work. He was involved in reconstruction assistance for the earthquake in Turkey (2012).

12.16.2013

Zambia: “Providing Medical Treatment under a Privacy-Protected Environment” - New Medical Facilities for HIV/AIDS Patients

The spread of AIDS is serious in Zambia. AIDS was believed to have been a fatal disease before, but nowadays antiretroviral (ARV) medicine is available, which can control the development and aggravation of the symptoms provided that the medicine is taken religiously everyday.  However, many HIV-positive people and AIDS patients discontinue taking ARV medicine for if they are unwilling to disclose their status to their neighbors, or they wait before going to hospital with the false understanding that they are still healthy. With the goal of encouraging such people to take their medicine appropriately, AAR Japan has been training volunteers for ART (antiretroviral therapy) support and establishing medical facilities in various communities.

At Mount Makulu Clinic and Nangongwe Clinic in Lusaka Province, AAR Japan built ART Centers, where patients in need of medical treatment through antiretroviral medicine can consult a specialist under the privacy-protected environment. Yuki SAKURAI of AAR Japan residing in Zambia since October, 2013 reports:

100 People Participated in the Handover Ceremony of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Centers
A ceremony to handover the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Centers to the Health Department of Zambia was held on November 8, in which about 100 persons participated, including officials of the government of Zambia, doctors and nurses of the clinic, ART Support Project volunteers who work with AAR Japan, as well as local media and people from the communities. The ceremony started with welcome remarks by Chilanga District Commissioner, Edith MUWANA, followed by a presentation by Hiromi KAWANO, County Director of AAR Japan in Zambia, who discussed the past 30 years of AAR Japan’s activities in Zambia and the current state of its ongoing programs. The ART Support Project volunteers who are actively engaged in the project at Mount Makulu and Nangongwe were introduced to the participants.

AAR Japan’s Country Director in Zambia, Hiromi KAWANO, reported its activities in Zambia to the participants. (November 8th, 2013)

12.06.2013

The Great East Japan Earthquake: Preview of the Latest Studio Ghibli Film "The Tale of Princess Kaguya" in Soma

On November 22nd 2013, Association for Aid and Relief (AAR Japan) and non-governmental organization, Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) held an advance screening of The Tale of Princess Kaguya, the latest film produced by Studio Ghibli Inc. at the City Welfare Center Hamanasu-kan (Soma, Fukushima) in cooperation with the distributors, Toho Co., Ltd. and Toho-Ad Co. Ltd.

People arrived 2 hours early to get in line for the preview of The Tale of Princess Kaguya. AAR staff Takeji ASANO (right) and Ekuko YOKOYAMA (second from left) check admission tickets. (Soma, Fukushima, November 22nd, 2013)

11.22.2013

Pakistan: An unexpected side to the tough-looking man revealed in the field

When AAR staff member Tomohiko MORITA was to conduct training on sanitation and hygiene to a group of difficult-looking men, he surprisingly found that it was their beaming smiles that calmed his nerves the most. This is Morita’s report from one of these training courses. AAR operates in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, situated in the region of Pakistan that borders Afghanistan.

“Unimaginable”: Communication with the severe-looking men

What images come to mind when you think of a typical man from Afghanistan or Pakistan? Through the protracted conflict in Afghanistan and news about terrorist bombings by the Taliban and Al Qaeda, a cheerful face may not be the image you conjure up. Before I left for this post, I too was slightly anxious about what topics of conversation would best build rapport and understanding with the local people.

From December 2012, I began working in the AAR Pakistan office and have been providing educational support to the Afghani refugee children that live in and around the refugee camps. Along with maintaining the sanitation facilities in the classrooms, libraries, toilets and washrooms of the schools, we have been conducting training courses aimed at teachers and parents with the aim of having accurate hygiene information delivered from adults to the children. From April 2012 to September this year, 793 teachers and parents have participated in AAR’s sanitation training courses. 

The training courses are conducted over 4 days and are separated into courses for men and women. On the first day of a training course held in March, the group that gathered was made up of severe-looking men with magnificent beards. I had prepared a game of Chinese-whispers to allow the participants to realize the importance of communicating well-organized information, but was nervous about their willingness to even participate in a game

The unexpected reaction

However, as soon as the game began all the participants began to laugh and giggle and lean in closely to each other to pass on the secret messages. When the answers were revealed, the excitement in the small classroom had reached its peak and tenor cheers of “Yes!! That’s right!!” “No!! Totally wrong!!” vibrated throughout. The participants appeared to have genuinely enjoyed the game. I was surprised by the serious note taking and concentration that was displayed by participants, and the lively responses and raising of hands to AAR staff questions that was seen after the game.

Most of the participants of the training courses arrived to the camps as Afghani refugees and thus had not had the opportunity to learn at a school up until this point. The participants appeared to thoroughly enjoy the chance to gather together to learn something, just like in a class at school. The Afghani and Pakistani people I met turned my image of “a strict people with harsh faces” right on its head.

The men from the refugee camp enjoying a game of Chinese-whispers. A smile slips as the message is whispered into his ear. (26th March 2013)

11.13.2013

11.3 Million People Affected: AAR Japan Responds to Typhoon in the Philippines

Please support our cause to help those affected in Philippines

In response to Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) that struck the Philippines on November 8th, 2013, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) will deploy its staff members from Japan to carry out emergency assistance activities.

The typhoon, which caused massive flooding and landslides, has affected an estimated 11.3 million people all across the island nation, especially in areas around Leyte Island. It has been reported that as many as 10,000 people may have died in Tacloblan City alone, and more than 670,000 people have been forced to evacuate. These numbers are expected to increase through the subsequent surveys. Assistance is urgently needed including provision of water, food, medication, sanitary materials alternative shelters, and removal of debris (*source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: UNOCHA).

Zambia: Measures against HIV/AIDS “Don’t worry alone” AAR encourages HIV/AIDS patients to take medicine by cooperating with volunteers

AAR has been making comprehensive efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS infection since 2000 in Zambia by spreading proper knowledge, supporting children whose parents died of AIDS to go to school and providing care for HIV/AIDS patients. AAR reports about the ART (antiretroviral therapy) support, which we implement in the suburb of the capital city of Lusaka.

We wish more patients could live longer
Zambia, where more than 200 people die due to AIDS every day, is working on measures to combat HIV/AIDS. Recently, the treatment using “ARV”, the medicine for HIV, which slows down the progression of the disease, if taken properly everyday for the rest of patient’s life, has become common. However, among HIV/AIDS patients, many stop taking the drug due to various reasons. Some are afraid that their neighbors will know their status and thus hesitate to receive the drug in a clinic, while others procrastinate to visit a clinic, thinking “I am fine now.”

In response, AAR started training local volunteers who support patients to take ARV drugs since January 2013. 21 people were chosen from the area around a clinic, and received training for 23 days. The volunteers learned counseling skills such as how to make a friendly atmosphere that patients feel comfortable to talk, along with the basic knowledge of HIV/AIDS and ARV drugs.


The volunteers during the training. Their bright smiles and careful counseling support the patients. (April 10th, 2013)

10.24.2013

Laos: What Would You Do If UXO Accident Happens in Your Village?

In Laos, U.S. Forces dropped as many as two million tons of bombs during both the Vietnam War and the civil war in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Reportedly, approximately 30% of them have remained in Laos as unexploded ordnance (UXOs) that continue to cause accidents and deaths even today. Xieng Khuang Province located in the north of the country in particular is an accident-prone area. According to statistics from National regulatory Authority for UXO/Mine Action Sector in Lao PDR, in 2012, 31 persons are injured in this province alone, accounting for 55% of all the victims in Laos.
Below is a report from Noriko ANDO, who has been engaged in operations in Xieng Khuang Province.

A Nearby “VHV” is Better than a Far-off Hospital
The medical standard in Laos is not very high. In Xieng Khuang Province, one of the worst affected areas by UXOs, each district has only one hospital that is able to provide decent medical treatment for victims of UXOs. There are only four ambulances available in the whole province. To make matters worse, most of the roads are unpaved which prevents ambulances from reaching hospitals during the rainy season. Delayed medical treatment has resulted in higher numbers of UXO-related deaths as well as victims who sustain life-altering bodily injury. Some victims do not even have a   choice but to give up going to hospitals because of their inability to cover their medical fees.

“I would like to share what I have learned with villagers,” said Ms. Syvai, a VHV in Phounven Village with Noriko ANDO on the right.

9.12.2013

Hello Asia: A summer event for elementary school students

Tokyo was connected with Myanmar and Afghanistan through Skype

On August 21st, 2013, AAR Japan held a summer event aimed at elementary school students called Hello Asia. Through this event, local AAR Japan office staff in both Yangon (Myanmar) and Kabul (Afghanistan) directly communicated with the participating children online using Skype. The event was held over two sessions, a Myanmar session and an Afghanistan session Thirty-three elementary school students and thirteen parents attended.


After a short introductory video by the local staff members, Takashi SAWAUCHI, previously a high school Social Studies teacher for thirty-eight years (currently a lecturer at the Faculty of International Studies at Bunkyo University), introduced the flags and the living environments of the countries using fun quizzes and bingo games. Afterwards, the children were split up into groups where they came up with questions they wanted to ask regarding life in each of the countries, such as the climate, the culture, work and school.


A video call with the AAR Japan office in Yangon. Local staff member Thinza (right on the screen) and Japanese staff Namiko MOTOKAWA (left on the screen). The MC for the event, Takehiro HOZUMI, is pictured front-right. (August 21st2013)

9.04.2013

Haiti: Protecting Children from Infectious Diseases

To Establish a Habit of Using Toilets and Washing Hands for Preventing Infectious Diseases
The Republic of Haiti, where AAR Japan has operated since when the country was hit by the devastating earthquake in January 2010, has been one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere even before the earthquake. The country suffers poor infrastructure including roads, schools and hospitals and among others, the lack of sanitation facilities such as latrines and hand-washing facilities is severe. Added to this constant want, the earthquake devastated the country and forced Haitian people to live in the worsened sanitary condition. This led to the further prevalence of cholera in the autumn of 2010, which resulted in approximately 580,000 cases of infection and casualty of around 8,000 people. The government of Haiti also recognizes that promotion of good hygiene among children is one of the most urgent issues to address.

The living drainage flows and garbage is piled up on the road. (Port-au-Prince, October 2012)

8.23.2013

Great East Japan Earthquake: Let’s Prevent Economy-Class Syndrome!

Among those living in temporary housing after the Great East Japan Earthquake, there are many who have lost their jobs, are bereft of their hobbies and social connections with neighbors, and are living introvert lives. Many of these people also have significantly fewer opportunities for physical exercise. As a result, an increasing number are suffering from weakening in their backs and legs, and thrombi [plural of thrombus] in the blood vessels of their legs. Thrombosis, if left untreated, is a dangerous disease that can cause necrosis or sudden death, among other things.


Since April 2013, AAR Japan has been working together with Morioka City Hospital to conduct preventive medical examination and early treatment activities on Economy-class Syndrome (Evacuees Thrombosis) and Disuse Syndrome (Inactive Lifestyle), which are commonly seen in evacuees.

Many people arrived for the check-ups being offered. Most were elderly folk, who do not have many opportunities to undergo medical examinations. (Support Center Tomioka, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture, June 29th, 2013)

8.09.2013

Cambodia: Learning Together with Children with Disabilities – Support for School-aged Children in Cambodia

Since 1992, AAR Japan has been carrying out various relief activities in Cambodia, including vocational training for persons with disabilities and the production/distribution of wheelchairs. In April 2013, we launched a new project to provide opportunity for education to every child regardless of whether they are with disabilities or not.

Prek Tameak Primary School’s grounds. Entrance to the classroom requires ascending steep stairs. (April 24th, 2013)

8.06.2013

Japan: Community Events Ongoing to Empower Disaster Survivors

Protect Temporary Housing Residents from Isolation and Poor Health

Although it has been almost two and a half years since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s Tohoku pacific coastal areas, the survivors of the disaster are still struggling in difficult living conditions. Some people have started to take a step forward by getting a new job or leaving their temporary housing complex to live in their own houses they managed to rebuild. On the other hand, those who are forced to live in inconveniently-located temporary housings have no choice but to spend all day in their small rooms, even on weekends and holidays, unless they have a car. Elderly people who live alone have even fewer opportunities to go out and easily end up spending their days isolated inside their small rooms. Besides this, there are also people who develop alcohol dependency, losing their jobs because of the disaster and the resulting nuclear accident, and being overwhelmed by the anxiety and stress of an uncertain future.

8.01.2013

Kenya: Supply safe water for people who struggle against repeated drought

In 2011, AAR Japan started operation in Kenya, for supporting people suffering from the huge drought in East Africa. Since February 2012, we have repaired the water supply facilities and built new wells in local villages located as far as an eight-hour drive to the east of Nairobi, the capital in Kenya.

Women and children are usually in charge of drawing out and carrying water. They dig up dry bottoms of seasonal rivers and draw water from underground in villages with no well (around Ture Village in Garissa District, April 12th, 2013).

7.16.2013

Tajikistan: “We will change our lives on our own.” Challenges taken on by women with disabilities.

In Tajikistan, the social welfare system has not been fully developed, and the pension provided by the government for persons with disabilities is only 80 somoni (roughly 1,600 yen) per month. Simply buying a slice of bread (their staple food) uses up all of their income. AAR Japan has been providing vocational training program to those with disabilities and their families in an effort to help them regain their independence and ability to support their families.

Below is a report from Yoshio NAKAGAWA, who has been engaged in operation in Tajikistan for three years.

Zarina (27, on the left) has difficulty walking. She took part in the cooking course through a vocational training program organized by AAR japan and worked hard to find employment at a high-class hotel as a cook. (at Dushanbe Serena Hotel on June 13th, 2013 with Yoshio NAKAGAWA (on the right))

6.25.2013

The Great East Japan Earthquake: Providing Safe Drinking Water and Lunches for Children in Fukushima Prefecture

Following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, concerns have been expressed about the safety of children’s drinking water and food in areas where high levels of radiation have been detected.

In many of the day care centers in Fukushima Prefecture, children are drinking bottled mineral water due to the concern over radiation exposure. Local governments provide safe drinking water to some communities, but unfortunately, this is not on a regular basis and the supply is limited. There is not enough water for children to drink at lunch and at snack time; nor is there a sufficient amount of safe water to mix powdered milk with for babies. By providing mineral water and installing water servers, AAR Japan has donated 16,480 liters of drinking water to nine kindergartens and day care centers in Soma, Minami Soma and Date City.

April 22, 2013 at Tsukidate Day Care Center in Date City - The mineral water donated by AAR Japan is used for cooking lunches and making powered milk.

6.13.2013

Haiti: Reconstructed Disaster-affected Facilities for Children

Over three years have passed since the massive earthquake jolted Haiti in January 2010. AAR Japan has now entered its fourth year of aid operations in Haiti while continuing to support the country’s recovery efforts. In Haiti, many children are still enduring poor living conditions due to slow progress in the reconstruction of disaster-affected buildings and infrastructure. During a period from August 2012 to January 2013, AAR Japan supported the reconstruction of three devastated facilities so that children could live and study in better environments.

January 13th, 2012 – Most children did not have notebooks or pencils to write down what their teachers said or wrote on the blackboard.

5.09.2013

Kenya: Assistance needed as soon as possible to those who await refuge



The family who evacuated three weeks ago. “The bananas that we brought with us has run out. Other crops are damaged by the water.” (Garissa District, Kenya, April 27th, 2013)

Kenya - a flood has broken out due to heavy rain fall which has been continuing since March this year. The country has over 80,000 flood victims with 54 dead. In cooperation with Kenyan Red Cross Garissa Branch, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) is engaged in distributing emergency relief goods to the victims in places such as the city of Garissa, the Garissa District, the Northeastern Province, and refugee camps located near AAR Japan’s activity areas. Normally in Kenya the rainy season is from March to May and the situation remains unpredictable as there is a possibility of the damage worsening through until the end of May.



4.05.2013

Japan: Recovering From The Great East Japan Earthquake: Aiming For One Step Beyond

A New Challenge For The Disaster Hit Area

Workers in the 'Forest of Dreams — Sunflower Workshop' in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture. The establishment, part of the social welfare services, was aided in its restoration by AAR.  All the handmade confectionery have passed the taste test!
Although two years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, victims of the disaster, particularly those with physical or mental disabilities, are still facing various problems caused by the earthquake. Sayako NOGIWA, AAR Tohoku branch chief, reports on the difficult situation faced two years ago, and recent AAR efforts to tackle the subsequent challenges.

4.02.2013

Pakistan: AAR Japan Builds Libraries for Primary Schools in Border Area

 “Reading books and playing sports, we’re enjoying school!”

The new libraries have enabled access to a wide range of books. Children are diligently reading books. (February 6th, 2013)

3.11.2013

The Great East Japan Earthquake: Two years on from the earthquake disaster- an activity report of the progress to date

Building on its extensive experience in providing international emergency relief, the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) has continued with relief efforts to support affected communities in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Through cooperation with the government and disabled people’s organizations, AAR Japan has utilised the mobility afforded to NGOs to continue its focused efforts for those in areas that are difficult to reach. Together with expressing our heart-felt gratitude to the individuals, corporations and organisations that collaborated with AAR Japan, this report entails our endeavours for the last two years (March 2011 – February 2013).

*Owing to the diverse range of activities that are undertaken, a portion of the report has been omitted. Please view the following for individual activity reports. 


Reconstruction Relief: For a new tomorrow

Reconstruction of facilities for the elderly and persons with disabilities: 67 locations

Using a trailer house, the ‘Earth village café’ from the Yamamoto Town Workshop in Miyagi Prefecture opened in December 2012. Many customers visit from the surrounding neighbourhoods. (6 December 2012)

Many facilities for persons with disabilities suffered as a result of the earthquake disaster. These facilities offered skills training and employment to those who have difficulty working in private companies; however, as a result of the earthquake disaster, these facilities were lost. By conducting activities such as repairing these facilities for persons with disabilities or supplying the necessary equipment for work, AAR Japan relief efforts are assisting persons with disabilities in reclaiming a space in which they can conduct activities.

Market stalls for products made at welfare facilities: 19 events

Several companies in Tokyo also agreed to participate in the market stalls. (9 March 2012)
While the production of sweets and handcrafts has resumed at welfare facilities in the disaster areas, there has been a sharp decrease in sales. This is partly because previous customers have also suffered from the disaster. By holding markets stalls for welfare facilities from the three North-Western prefectures at local companies, as well as supporting joint market stalls at shopping centres in Morioka City and Sendai City, AAR Japan is supporting the market expansion of products of 23 welfare facilities. AAR Japan is also contributing to the development of new products.


Holding events that promote regional exchange: 157 events

In July 2012, the “Nishi-Aizu Exciting Kids School” opened so that the children of Fukushima Prefecture can relieve stress and counter the lack of exercise that has resulted from the evacuee lifestyle, by playing outside in the natural surroundings of Nishi-Aizu City(22 July 2012) 
To ensure the disaster victims live with both a healthy body and mind, AAR Japan supports a number of events that are held under the “Building Healthy Communities Project”. In several areas, temporary housing sites regularly hold events that combine rehabilitation, concerts, and some focused activities. Additionally, AAR Japan also supports agricultural activities such as small scale farming so that people can participate in fieldwork and use their bodies, while interacting with their neighbors.


The provision and set-up of playground equipment in Fukushima Prefecture: 26 locations


  • The provision of water to preschools: 11,440 litres to 9 locations.
A park was born within the grounds of a temporary housing site. (Shinchi Town, Fukushima Prefecture, 27 February 2012) 
AAR Japan has assisted in creating play areas in which children can relieve stress and counter the lack of exercise that has developed from living in cramped temporary housing. This includes setting up large scale play equipment within the grounds of the temporary housing sites and supplying indoor play toys to places such as assembly halls and child care facilities. Furthermore, heeding the concerns of mothers worried about radiation in the drinking water, bottled mineral water has also been provided to preschools in Fukushima Prefecture.


Distribution of radiation measurement devices: 11 devices

A radiation measurement device used at the Karishikida Daiichi Temporary Housing Support Centre in Soma City (centre-back). Results are produced within 15 minutes of placing chopped ingredients into the measurement device.
To measure the dosage of radiation in daily food or unprotected locally produced crops, food radiation measurement devices have been set up in the community centres and temporary support centres around Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture.


Delivering thoughts from across the country


  • Handmade tote-bags: 10,543 bags

Harumi KAWAGOE from the Tokyo Headquarter, reads a message and delivers chocolate at the Nakazuma temporary housing development in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (right).  “It has lifted my spirits”, they happily responded. (19 December 2012).
Stemming from suggestions by disaster victims that a tote bag would be excellent to use when going to school or to arrange relief supplies that were provided, a large number of handmade bags with messages attached were donated after a nation-wide call out for their creation. (Bags collected in April 2011, October 2011 and September 2012).

  • Chocolates: 4,843 boxes

Several people also contributed to the “Heart-Warming Chocolate Delivery Campaign” where messages of support from the public were attached to AAR Japan charity chocolates (with cooperation from the Rokkatei Confectionary Co., Ltd.) and delivered to the disaster areas.  Some recipients shed tears when they received the message “We have not forgotten you”.  (Messages collected: Winter 2011-2012 and Winter 2012-2013).


  • Flower seedlings: 1,603 pots

In the spring of 2012, AAR Japan commenced the “Flowers and Heart-Warming Campaign”, which aimed to send flowers to brighten up disaster areas. AAR Japan purchased pot plants from garden shops and facilities to deliver individually to persons with disabilities in the disaster area, such as the temporary housing sites, each with a message attached. 

Improving the welfare system for persons with disabilities in the disaster areas


  • Staff dispatched: 5 staff members dispatched for 63 cumulative months.


AAR Japan’s Kazuo OHARA prepares to support the welfare office at the Morioka Regional Centre. (25 July 2012).
In cooperation with government and other organisations, AAR Japan addressed the maintenance of the welfare system for persons with disabilities in the disaster areas. In Iwate Prefecture, 4 staff members have been temporarily transferred to the regional centres of the “Iwate Disability and Welfare Recovery and Relief Centre”. Creating manuals for emergency evacuation and gaining an understanding of the  conditions of disaster victims with disabilities are examples of the work that is being conducted. In Miyagi Prefecture, AAR Japan has dispatched one staff member to the “Miyagi Prefecture Linkage Cultivation Group”. Focusing on Minami-Sanriku Town, this project has continued with repairs of areas in which children with disabilities can play after school and in the summer holidays. 


Recovery Support: Reclaiming daily life

Provision of living essentials to victims in Fukushima Prefecture: 22,559 households

With the cooperation from the community and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, daily items such as fans, kotatsu (Japanese heaters) and detergents were delivered. (5 August 2011)
Living essentials such as kitchenware and cupboards were distributed to all households in the 13 municipalities of Fukushima Prefecture that were moving into temporary and leased housing.


Vehicle provision for the community and for facilities for the elderly and persons with disabilities: 45 vehicles

Welfare vehicles were provided to the “Japan Disability Forum Fukushima Disaster Area Disability Support Centre”. (15 January 2013)
Both welfare vehicles and standard vehicles were provided to facilities and communities throughout the North-Eastern region to be used by welfare facilities in dropping people off and to transport those assisting in the recovery effort.

Distribution of domestic-use generators


  • Domestic-use generators: 258 generators
  • Manual sputum aspirators: 419 pumps

Domestic-use generators were delivered to the Izumi Station for Visiting Nurses to the Elderly (Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture). (19 October 2012)
Power failures and blackouts are life-threatening problems for persons with disabilities that are living at home whilst using artificial respirators or sputum aspirators. During the earthquake, several regions experienced power failures and for many people, lives were saved by using car batteries or by rushing to a hospital that was equipped with generators. For these people to continue to receive care at home, AAR Japan distributed domestic-use generators and manual sputum aspirators to households of persons with disabilities and to visiting nurse centres.

Provision of container houses

Container houses that were set up in the “Rikuzentakata Future Shopping Arcade” are currently still being used as stores. (2 November 2011)
Demountable container houses that could be used as residences or shops were supplied.


Emergency Response: Life-saving emergency relief 

Distribution of relief supplies: Delivered to a total of 1,606 locations and 180,000 people

Gasoline, gas oil and kerosene were primarily delivered to facilities for persons with disabilities in the disaster areas that experienced severe fuel shortages. (17 March 2011)


AAR Japan activities have placed emphasis on the elderly and persons with disabilities; this stems from our international experience that indicates these groups are often overlooked during disasters.  Adult diapers and instant care foods were well received at welfare facilities.

  • Food supply deliveries: 25,000 meals to 73 locations

Visiting clinics and healthcare activities

  • Recipients of the visiting clinic: 817 patients
  • Recipients of visiting nurses: 387 patients

“I was so happy to have people come to my house so many times and be concerned about my condition. Having people recognise my existence gives me strength.” (30 May 2011)

On Oshika Island in Miyagi Prefecture, AAR Japan conducted activities based around local doctor Toshiaki YASUDA and his medical team. This team focused on carefully visiting evacuation centres and homes of evacuees conducting medical treatment, examinations for chronic illness, prevention of infectious diseases and offering psychological support.


Plans for future activities

In the future, AAR Japan will continue to provide relief to the elderly and persons with disabilities of the disaster region and those whose lives have been affected by the nuclear disaster.


  • AAR Japan will continue to carry out support to those living with in the aftermath of the nuclear accident. We will continue to provide the opportunity for children to partake in outdoor activities as they have been restricted since the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. To maintain a healthy mind and soul and move their bodies every day, we will continue the provision and set-up of play equipment to facilities for children with disabilities, temporary housing sites and the Nishi-Aizu Exciting Kids School. Furthermore, by making rounds to the temporary housing sites in Soma City and neighbouring municipalities, AAR Japan will continue to listen to the voices of the disaster victims and conduct relief activities suited to the residents.


  • AAR Japan will continue to promote the participation of persons with disabilities in community and economic activities. Through the creation of jobs at welfare work places and the production of products with high market value, AAR Japan will continue to provide support to enable more persons with disabilities to live independent lives. Additionally, through cooperation with government and social welfare councils, AAR Japan will continue to support maintaining the foundation for recovery for disability and welfare across the three prefectures of the North-East.


  • Through the “Building Healthy Communities Project” that is currently underway, AAR Japan will support consultations with livelihood counselors in addition to massages and health exercises provided by physiotherapists and occupational therapists. The project will also include the continuation of agricultural field work and handcrafts which the residents are actively involved in, revitalizing the interaction and exchange between the residents of the temporary housing sites while preventing the isolation of the elderly.


  • AAR Japan will carry out support for disaster prevention and reduction. In cooperation with communities and related organisations, this will be based on its experience of emergency recovery relief to date.


  • AAR Japan will continue to conduct activities that encourage public involvement and continued concern for the recovery of the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster. This will be achieved through the Hand-made Tote bag Campaign, the Heart-warming Campaign and the continuation of other activities that link the disaster area and the supporters.


The AAR Japan’s North-Eastern recovery relief activities are supported by generous donations from the public. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.