|Staffs and users of “Katatsumuri”, a welfare facility that we provided a vehicle operating pick-up and drop-off services for people using the facility. (December 26, 2013. Ofunato, Iwate)|
Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, the prefectures where AAR Japan are conducting its activities, are facing various problems such as an aging population, depopulation due to relocation, and the ongoing situation at nuclear power plants. Those factors are closely intertwined, and can cause longer and uneven setbacks in different areas. Some people have already rebuilt their houses by themselves, while some say that they don’t even know when they will be able to move into newly reconstructed houses and possible have to live in a temporary housing complex for rest of their lives. Even within the same temporary housing complexes, people are facing different problems. It’s necessary to respond to the individual issues.
As time passes, people’s needs have changed. At first, essential daily items such as food or a travelling clinic were in demand, followed by the need for electric appliances as construction on temporary housing complexes began. Then, our support shifted to reconstructing welfare facilities and shopping streets. And now, we are requested to be there to support every single person, and provide a timely and appropriate support that meets each person’s pace of recovery. For the elderly living alone in the temporary housing, we arrange places and opportunities at which they can seek counseling and support. For children living in high-radiation areas, we provide opportunities to play outside to their hearts’ content, without a fear of radiation. For a welfare facility hoping to find a new market, we suggest ideas to develop the market and provide equipment needed for production. We are providing various kinds of support and consultation for each person’s situation and actively make every effort to respond to their needs.
|We visit meeting places in temporary housing complexes to provide massages service and active listening. |
Left: Kazuya OMURO of AAR, Physiotherapist
(December 8, 2013 Ishinomaki, Miyagi)
On the other hand, Ekuko YOKOYAMA of AAR Soma office, who has been conducting counseling and other related activities at the temporary housing complex, says, “Deeply affected by shock and sorrow, time has essentially stood still for many people since they lost their loved ones in the earthquake, and they have not been able to take the next step forward.” Three years is not enough time to heal the deep emotional wounds, so we still need to help them cope with their sorrow and anxiety.
To deliver your kindness and to reduce the number of people left behind from the recovery, we, the staff of AAR Tohoku office, visit disaster-stricken areas lying under the snowy sky today.
We deeply appreciate your thoughtful and continuous support.