Delivering Handmade Bags to the Disaster Affected Areas

Handmade Bags Full of Encouraging Feelings to be Delivered to the Evacuees

Evacuees receive the bags from Yoshiteru HORIE (AAR JAPAN’s Secretary-General, at the center) at Sports Arena Soma, a sport facility currently used as an evacuation center.
 AAR JAPAN called volunteers from all over the country to donate tote bags during April and May. We started gathering tote bags because we heard voices from the ones living in the evacuation centers saying that a bag to carry their belongings and relief items would be very useful. A large number of people responded to our call and in only a month, we received around 5000 bags.
To deliver these bags, we visited Sport Arena Soma, in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture on May 25th. Around 80 people are currently living there, using the judo tatami room as a sleeping room.

“Wow, I’m delighted!”, says an evacuee when she saw the letter inside the tote bag.

For each tote bag, we put an AAR JAPAN’s mascot Sunny-chan’s key holder and also a letter from the person who donated the bag. People at the evacuation center happily took the bags they most liked and were saying “It’s really well made!” or “I’ll start using it right away!”, with satisfaction.
We will continue delivering the tote bags for the disaster affected areas. We would like to deeply thank everyone that sewed the tote bags

On May 26th, we delivered tote bags to the people living outside evacuation centers, in their own houses in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture. Difficulties in receiving food and medical services still continues.

May 26th – At Ando Elementary School, used as an evacuation center in Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture. Students from Ando Elementary School are now going to Kiri-Kiri Elementary School, where temporary container houses are being built in its own school yard.

Yoshitaka SUGISAWA (Tokyo Headquarters)
Has been working at AAR JAPAN since May 2010. After graduation, worked in a private company before joining the organization. Entered the disaster affected areas on March 13th and has been engaged in the relief activities in Northern Japan since then. (Born in Ibaraki Prefecture)