3.31.2015

Vanuatu/ Cyclone Pam: Distributing Clean Clothes and Kitchen Goods

“We are wearing scavenged clothes”

AAR Japan is engaged in emergency relief activities in Vanuatu, a South Pacific island country, which was struck by Cyclone Pam from March 13th to 14th, 2015. The cyclone devastated Vanuatu, a sprawling country of 83 islands and approximately 230,000 people. The storm affected around 166,000 people who are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.

AAR Japan dispatched Fukuro KAKIZAWA to Vanuatu on March 18th, 2015. He assessed the extent of damage on Tanna Island, which suffered severe damage, and Efate Island, where Port Vila, the capital city, is located. AAR Japan distributed clothes and kitchen goods in villages on the east side of Efate Island following coordination meetings with other humanitarian agencies from all over the world, including the United Nations. The other agencies had not yet reached these villages despite the scale of damage.

A mother and daughter living in Takara Village receive a bag full of clothes. Clean clothes were not available for two weeks in the aftermath of the cyclone. Fukuro KAKIZAWA of AAR Japan. (Right) (March 26th, 2015)

Afghanistan: From One Woman to Another – The Future of Mine Risk Education

In Afghanistan, with prolonged security instability, at least 40 people a month still fall victims of mines and UXOs. In an effort to help people protect themselves from the risk of landmines, AAR Japan started conducting Mine Risk Education in 2002 to educate people about what mines and UXOs look like and what to do when they find them. In 2005, AAR Japan introduced the "mobile cinema lecture" which contained internally developed short films to be shown as part of the Mine Risk Education. After watching the film, AAR Japan’s local staff provides explanation about different types of mines and their risks using posters and other materials. With limited entertainment in the country, this lecture, a rare opportunity to see a "film", has been very popular. In the beginning, however, women did not participate in the lectures simply because they were taught by male lecturers. Afghan cultural custom does not allow for adult women to be in the same room as men other than their family members.

Mobile cinema lecture for women (April 23rd, 2014)

3.23.2015

Cyclone Pam: Catastrophic Damage on Farm Products on the Self-Sufficient Vanuatu Island

AAR Japan, with their headquarters located in Tokyo, is conducting a damage assessment brought by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. In Vanuatu, agriculture is the main source of livelihood, hence people's lives are largely self-sufficient. Since Cyclone Pam wreaked most of the agricultural land, an emergency assistance is urgently needed to resume agriculture.

Tanna Island suffered severe damage by Cyclone Pam. The picture captures a collapsed concrete building. (Tanna Island, Vanuatu, March 21st, 2015)

Vanuatu/ Cyclone Pam: Two Weeks since Cyclone Pam – Distributing Emergency Relief Goods

Provision of clean clothes to the disaster victims 

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan, which has headquarters in Tokyo, and is led by President Yukie OSA) has dispatched Fukuro KAKIZAWA to Vanuatu, which was hit by Cyclone Pam on March 13th, 2015. He is engaging in emergency relief activities for the disaster victims. AAR Japan distributed clothes to Takara Village, on the east side of Efate Island, on March 26th, 2015. The distribution was decided upon the thorough assessment on Efate Island, where the capital is located, and on Tanna Island, which was devastated. Coordination meetings with other humanitarian agencies from all over the world, including the United Nations, also contributed to the decision.

A mother and daughter from an affected family smile as they receive a bag full of clothes. Fukuro KAKIZAWA of AAR Japan. (Right) (Efate Island, Vanuatu, March 26th, 2015)
There are approximately 300 residents in Takara Village. The village does not have any shelterbelts, so it was severely affected by strong winds. Many houses were completely destroyed. The wind also blew away clothes, forcing parents to dress their children in scavenged clothes that were washed in seawater. It was clear that the victims were living in conditions of poor hygiene. In the meantime, humanitarian responders were reaching out to the affected islands. A dire need for food and construction materials was apparent at first, but governmental and other humanitarian agencies had decided on large scale distributions. Under such circumstances, AAR Japan decided to distribute clothes such as T-shirts and skirts for both children and adults to 56 families (approximately 280 people) in Takara Village, whose houses were completely destroyed.

Vanuatu consists of 83 islands, and ferry services to remote islets have been resumed.   Accordingly, the details of the disaster’s impact have been getting clearer. AAR Japan will continue to collect information and provide relief assistance.

Fukuro KAKIZAWA, AAR Tokyo Office 
KAKIZAWA has been in charge of Afghanistan and Pakistan operations at AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters from May 2013. He also engaged in emergency assistance for Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013. He is 34 years old.
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Japanese-English translation by Ms. Keiko Machida
English editing by Ms. Mariah Gomes

The article on this page has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Japan's Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.

3.06.2015

Pakistan: No Desks, No Chairs, No Toilets! Improving the School Environment

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province located in the northwestern part of Pakistan, shares an international border with Afghanistan. This province has more than 50 camps that house as many as 1.5 million refugees who fled from neighboring Afghanistan, which has been plagued by political instability for more than three decades. Since May 2011, AAR Japan has carried out activities to renovate and reconstruct primary school buildings, and to raise public hygiene awareness in three refugee camps and the surrounding villages in Nowshera District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Fukuro KAKIZAWA, from our Tokyo Office, reports.

Remote primary schools lacking even bare essentials

Villages in Khairabad, Nowshera District, are situated in hilly areas at locations some distance from the main town center. There is no road access to the villages, compelling any visitors to drive up a dried-up riverbed.
A dried-up riverbed, the only access to villages in the Khairabad area. The villages are about two and a half hours’ drive from the capital Islamabad where the AAR Japan Office is located. (June 2014)