One more serving please!

On July 2nd our AAR JAPAN team came upon Minami-Sanrikuchou. Our intentions were simple drive 3 hours northeast from Sendai city, and start up a simple soup kitchen for the local evacuees. On the way over to the Middle School (turned evacuation center), we drove through what remains of Sanrikuchou. The quiet drive through a desolate plain of boats, crushed cars and collapsed buildings was a staunch reminder of the disaster that had occurred almost four months ago. Even after four months, much work still remained.

Minami-Sanrikuchou more than 3 months after the tsunami, much work remains in cleaning up the city.

As I thought about the destroyed homes, of the people who are now living in evacuation centers, I felt I understood a bit of the uncertainty that many could feel towards the future. With this thought lingering in my mind, I helped to prepare the barbeque and miso soup pot. That night’s menu included barbequed fish, rice, some vegetables and miso soup (with freshwater clams).

Preparing daikon "white radish" as part of the seafood dish at the evacuation center.

During the preparation of the meal, some of the team members took a small break to play basketball with the middle school children. Although the school was turned into an evacuation center for 80 people, the sight of children playing gave it a sense of normalcy. It was a fun time playing basketball with the children; we gave into 3 more games after the first one. Hopefully a fun series of basketball games could keep their minds busy and entertained!

Everyone in the basketball court pause to see the ball going into the basket.
Upon returning from the courts exhausted, we finished up the preparations for dinner and began setting food on the plates. Soon enough, small groups of people came and took away trays to bring to their families or friends. It was a calm and quiet event, but was well worth the preparation. As the serving slowed down a bit, some of the children from the school came back for seconds asking “Okawari onegaishimasu. (seconds please)”, to which I replied, “hai mochiron! (Yes, of course!)”

The seafood trays are ready to be distributed, "Dinner is served!".
Nael Kerzabi
Intern at AAR JAPAN's Tokyo office. Born in America, he is currently attending Indiana University. He is a rising Junior and is majoring in political science.


Delivering Toys and Bringing Smiles at a Kindergarten Festival

“We want to make a festival that will live in the children’s memories”

The Raiku Festival on the grounds of Wako Kindergarten. A temple can be seen next door.

On July 23rd, AAR JAPAN delivered toys to the children at Wako Kindergarten’s Raiku Festival. In this port town kindergarten, all the classes are named after sea animals: Rakko (sea otter), Iruka (dolphin), and Kujira (whale). Largely planned and run by the school PTA, the festival was named by taking the first character of each class’ name to form Ra-i-ku.

After the earthquake, the kindergarten’s first floor was flooded by the tsunami, leaving the staff room and the 3-year-old children’s classroom unusable. The children were only able to return to the facilities on May 9th, after the completion of repair work. The remains of houses that were washed away by the tsunami are visible in the surrounding area, and there is still rubble on the kindergarten’s rice fields.
Happy children with toys

On the morning o the festival, members of the PTA prepared kaki-gori (shaved ice with flavored syrup) and yakisoba noodles inside the kindergarten. AAR JAPAN brought toy sets for the children, including water pistols, soap bubbles, and other toys in Sunny-chan tote bags that AAR JAPAN volunteers living around the country made and sent to us.

Toy sets were delivered to 42 children. We enjoyed watching them start playing with the toys right after choosing their bags. Mothers smiled and told their children, “Let’s play with your daddy when we go back home.” Other NGO groups also came to the festival, performing with bean bags, dancing, and engaging in other activities with the children.  

The vice-principal of the kindergarten told us that, based on her daily conversations with the children, she believes that they have been traumatized by the disaster. She wants to give them positive memories that they can carry with them into the future.

AAR JAPAN will continue to participate in community events and carry out psychological support activities for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

A girl chooses her bag. At right is Tomomi TAKAHASHI, AAR JAPAN staff.

Toys that AAR JAPAN delivered to children. The bags were handmade by volunteers living around Japan.

Children playing with colorful rubber bands. At left is Taro KOSUGE, AAR JAPAN staff.

Tomomi TAKAHASHI, from Sendai Office


PRESS RELEASE – AAR JAPAN Launches Emergency Relief Operations for the Food Crisis in Eastern Africa

In response to the drought and subsequent food crisis in Eastern Africa, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR JAPAN) will begin emergency relief operations based out of its Nairobi office in Kenya.
The drought in the area is considered as the worst Eastern Africa has seen over the last 60 years, as 11 million people are said to be in dire need of assistance. Especially in Somalia, tens of thousands of people have already died of malnutrition, and 3.7 million people, approximately half the country’s population, are in great risk of death (according to the United Nations
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as of July 23rd 2011).
AAR JAPAN is dispatching Ikuko NATORI (Ms.), Go IGARASHI (Mr.) and Hiromi KAWANO (Ms.) to Kenya at the beginning of August, and they are set to start food distribution and healthcare projects.
AAR JAPAN has been delivering aid and relief in response to various large scale disasters such as the Sumatra Earthquake, the Myanmar Cyclone, the Haiti Earthquake and others. In addition, AAR JAPAN entered the disaster affected areas shortly after the Great East Japan Earthquake hit the Tohoku area of Japan, and has been carrying out relief activities from very early on. AAR JAPAN will use its expertise gained from previous experiences to effectively carry out relief efforts in Eastern Africa.

At the moment, we are only receiving donations via wire transfer. Please refer to the data below to make a donation!
·         Bank Name: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Meguro Branch
·         Account Number: 1161451
·         Account Name: Association for Aid and Relief, JAPAN
·         Address: 5F, Mizuho Building, 2-12-2 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, 141-0021 Japan
·         Swift Code: BOTKJPJT
·         Bank Address: Meguro Building B2, 3-1-1 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan


Maintaining the Health of Elderly Evacuees

Lack of Activities at Evacuation Centers has been a Serious Problem

Prolonged evacuee life has given the elderly little opportunity to exercise, which can have a harmful effect on their health. AAR JAPAN has begun sending a team of experts in occupational therapy and physiotherapy to visit evacuation centers on the Oshika Peninsula, part of Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, to provide rehabilitation and advice on how to make the living environment better suited to long-term physical fitness. On July 9th, a team of six, including nurses, occupational therapists and social workers, visited two evacuation centers and four homes on the Oshika Peninsula.

Exercises and Living Environments Suited to Each Person

A woman in her 80s has been staying at an evacuation center with her husband. She suffers from osteoarthritis, and as her knees hurt bitterly when she moves, she hasn’t been able to move around. Mr. Kiyoshi ISHII, an occupational therapist, gave her a careful massage to mitigate the pain in her knees. The woman slept on a bed at home, but uses a futon at the evacuation center, which causes further strain on her knees when getting up. We advised her to use a shower chair found in the evacuation center as an assistive device to allow her to stand up and sit down more easily.

Japanese-style squat toilets are also difficult for the elderly to use. At this evacuation center, only the men’s lavatory has a western-style toilet, so the woman has had no choice but to use the men’s lavatory. We recommended that the evacuation center bring in western-style sitting toilets that can be placed over the Japanese-style toilets.

With pain in both knees, this woman has had difficulty getting up from her futon and going to the lavatory. Mr. ISHII (right) gives her a massage.

At another evacuation center, a woman with intellectual disabilities in her 70s walks with the heels of her shoes folded over because they have become too small for her swollen feet. Although she can walk, with her bent back and weakened muscles she is at risk of falling at every step. We taught her a rehabilitation exercise using a walking frame found in the evacuation center, and recommended shoes and a walking frame suitable to her. We advised her to walk with them in the evacuation center regularly.

Occutational therapists Mr. ISHII (left) and Mr. KONO (right) guide a woman through rehabilitation exercises with a walking frame.

The elderly need daily exercise to prevent their bodies from weakening as a result of prolonged evacuee life. It is essential not only to offer temporary solutions such as massages and strength training, but also to teach routines they can undertake in their daily lives, and to offer suggestions for improving their regular living environments.

AAR JAPAN will continue our support for survivors as their environments change, whether in their homes, in evacuation centers, or in temporary housing.

                                              Naoko MIYAMOTO, AAR JAPAN Morioka office
After graduation from university, she worked as a caseworker in a rehabilitation facility for people with intellectual disabilities. She then worked in a school for children with disabilities in Fiji as a Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteer. After returning to Japan, she studied international health and public hygiene at graduate school before joining AAR JAPAN. She worked in AAR’s Dushanbe office in Tajikistan from June 2010 to June 2011. She has been engaged in emergency relief operations in the Great East Japan Earthquake since June 2011. (Born in Nagasaki Prefecture) (Profile at time of posting)



Improving Sanitary Conditions in Evacuation Centers

Flies, Mosquitoes, Dust and Ticks Pose Risk to Evacuees’ Health

 AAR JAPAN staff Mizuho SEKII (left) puts covers on a newly-arrived futon (Japanese blanket) at an elementary school being used as evacuation center

AAR JAPAN is carrying out sanitization projects for approximately 1000 victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake living in evacuation centers in Ishinomaki City and Minami-Sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

Rising temperatures and humidity have led to a deterioration in sanitary conditions at evacuation centers. At locations surveyed by AAR JAPAN, blankets and mattresses distributed after the earthquake were getting dirtier, and some had even developed mold and ticks due to long use without being washed or aired. The great numbers of flies and mosquitoes that have bred in the areas surrounding the evacuation centers have had a further negative effect on sanitary conditions.

Asthmatic evacuees have suffered due to the increase in household dust and ticks brought about by the impossibility of regular cleaning and laundering. In addition, evacuees with eczema and skin allergies have been facing aggravated symptoms due to ticks and excessive perspiration in the summer heat.

Cleaning dirt and the dust at an evacuation center.

To reduce the health hazard, AAR JAPAN has been changing bedclothes, airing out futons, carrying out general cleaning, and handing out blanket dryers, vacuum cleaners, electrical fans, dehumidifiers, cleaning tools, fly paper, and insecticides, as well as giving instructions on their use. We collected all the old dirty blankets, and are delivering new cotton blankets and other bedclothes for summer use. To prevent food poisoning, we are also delivering refrigerators to evacuation centers in need of one. We visited a total of 16 locations between June 14th and July 6th.

AAR JAPAN will continue to carry out relief efforts to improve the sanitary conditions of people struggling to live in evacuation centers.

Erika Saitoh, Sendai Office
Has been working at medical assistance projects in AAR JAPAN’s Sendai Office since April 2011


14 Public Health Workers Created in South Sudan

4-Year Training Concludes

14 trainees celebrate completion of their training in May 2011. Front left is Ryo KAKUTANI, AAR staff.

AAR JAPAN has been working in the city of Lafon in Eastern Equatoria, at the eastern end of South Sudan, where no health care centers or medical services are available. In cooperation with UNHCR (The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), AAR JAPAN built 3 health centers in the area in 2007. While management of the facilities was then meant to be handed over to the local administration , no health workers could be found to staff the centers. In response, AAR JAPAN trained local health workers, instructing them in basic techniques for medical examinations, first aid, and medicine management, as well as aiding in the transport of medical supplies. 

AAR JAPAN’s training followed the guidelines of the (then) southern Sudan government’s 9-month public health workers’ training program. The trainees rely on farming and agriculture to sustain themselves, making it impossible for them to take a continuous 9-month training program, since they are needed to work during the busy seasons. In order to meet their needs, AAR JAPAN divided the training into several sessions over 4 years.
In May 2011, the trainees completed the program and held a graduation ceremony, where two representatives of the local county office handed out certificates to each graduate.
As public health workers, the graduates will not only give medical care, but will also offer medical education to the local people. One aspect of the training included surveying the women in nearby villages, where it was discovered that only a quarter of them knew that malaria was the main cause of death in their region.
Many clinics have been left derelict for lack of health care workers to maintain them. This project, which included not only building a medical clinic, but also providing a training program for workers to staff it, represents a success story for medical improvement in South Sudan, and AAR JAPAN will recommend the newly-independent government of South Sudan make room for such programs in its policies.

Trainee representative Daniel Ohyucholmoi (28)
I was really glad to be able to finish training, and I want to use the skills I gained to provide better medical services for the local people. The 14 trainees all came from different regions, and although I had never seen them before training, they are now my friends. Here there’s often interregional fighting over water and livestock, and I think the simple fact of young people gathering together and having friendly relationships is going to be extremely beneficial for the future. I thank AAR JAPAN for giving us this opportunity.

AAR JAPAN carried out this project through individual donations and a grant from Japan Platform.

Ryo KAKUTANI, AAR JAPAN South Sudan Office
Worked at the Tajikistan office from November 2007 to March 2010. Has been working in Kapoeta, South Sudan, since April 2010. Studied British English at university. After graduation, worked at an overseas diplomatic facility for two years before joining AAR JAPAN. (Born in Hyogo Prefecture)


First Step Toward Recovery—Opening of the Onagawa Container House Village Shopping Arcade

The shopping arcade finally opens on July 1st!

AAR JAPAN has been providing easy-to-build container houses for victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. Used as both residences and shops, 26 houses have now been set up in Onagawa Town in Miyagi Prefecture’s Oshika County.

Located near the seaside, the shopping arcade in Onagawa suffered extensive damage from the tsunami. Since then there have been only two stores where residents could go shopping—a convenience store and a small shop. On June 7th and 8th, AAR JAPAN set up 10 container houses at Washinokami-hama in Onagawa Town, responding to a request from the youth section of Onagawa’s Commerce and Industry Association, which wanted to use container houses to rebuild the shopping arcade. 8 container houses were to be used as shops, and 2 as residences.

On July 1st, the new shopping arcade finally opened, being dubbed the Onagawa Container House Village Shopping Arcade. There are 7 shops in total, including a fruit and vegetable shop, a shop selling frozen meat and fish, a flower shop, a delicatessen, and an electronics shop. The shops will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

July 1st – Fruit sales are brisk. Mr. AIHARA (left), chairman of the shopping arcade, lost his original shop to the tsunami. (Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

A Base for Creating Smiles

At some shops, the wares were lined up so tightly that the six-by-two meter container houses were completely full. At the delicatessen, the staff cooked inside while selling under a blue tent out front. Every store was crowded with locals who came bright and early to shop.

A woman in her 70s told us that she walked to the shopping arcade from her shelter nearby. Holding a melon she had purchased at the fruit and vegetable shop, she said with a broad smile, “Since my car has been swept away, it’s been hard taking the bus to go to the supermarket. Now we have a shopping arcade nearby, which really helps. Thank you very much.”

The container house selling frozen meat and fish was full of customers. A woman in her 60s who has been taking shelter nearby told us, “Without a refrigerator, we haven’t been able to eat sashimi or tofu. I’ll come again before dinner.” Lacking a washing machine and still unable to move into temporary housing, she has been anxious about her future. Enjoying the smell of fried food from the next container house, she looked into the shop and remarked, “They also sell fried food! A delicatessen is convenient.” Encountering an old friend in the shop, a smile spread across her face.

“I hope this shopping arcade will bring a smile to everyone’s faces” says Mr. ABE, a member of the youth section of the Commerce and Industry Association, which has devoted so much effort to the recovery of the shopping arcade. True to his words, smiles have been created here one after another.

In the disaster area, there are still many places in need of this kind of base for creating smiles. AAR JAPAN has been receiving many requests from people who want to use container houses as temporary offices, welfare facilities, and meeting places. I ask for your continued support so that we can provide as many container houses as possible.

July 1st – The Onagawa Container House Shopping Arcade. The white and blue tents are nicely suited to the blue lines on the container houses. (Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

July 1st – There is a lovely flower shop at the entrance of the shopping arcade. Some people buy flowers to offer before the markers of the deceased. (Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

July 1st – The electronics shop sold 5 fans within an hour of opening. The owner told us, “Although many places have been facing a shortage of supplies, I made sure I had a large stock for today.” (Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

July 1st – Members of the youth section of Onagawa’s Commerce and Industry Association, who have devoted so much effort to the recovery of the shopping arcade. At center is Kaori YAMADA of AAR JAPAN. (Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

July 1st – Stepping out of the shopping arcade, the remains of the town form a bleak reminder of the effects of the tsunami. (Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

                                                                       Kaori YAMADA, AAR JAPAN Tokyo office
Worked at a Japanese NGO for 8 years before joining AAR JAPAN. Has been in charge of public relations and supporters at AAR JAPAN’s Tokyo office since November 2007.


Four Months since the Great East Japan Earthquake: Activity Report

Working Toward Reconstruction for Everyone

AAR JAPAN has been carrying out relief efforts for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake since immediately after the disaster. In addition to delivering emergency supplies to those who have limited access to aid, such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, and survivors living at home, AAR JAPAN is also providing medical support, implementing health and sanitation projects, repairing welfare facilities, preparing soup kitchens, and setting up container housing for survivors. Furthermore, we have had conferences with prefectures and independent groups to impress upon them the importance of assisting hard-to reach survivors while passing on information about their current situations.

June 7th – The shopping arcade waits to be opened for the first time since the earthquake. These people all cooperated in setting up the container houses.

Below is a report on the activities that AAR JAPAN’s supporters have enabled us to carry out in the last 4 months. AAR JAPAN will continue its efforts to aid all people, with a focus on hard-to-reach survivors.

Delivery of Relief Supplies to Affected Areas from March 14th to June 7th

List of supplies delivered and receiving institutions from March 14th to June 7th

Delivery Points
854 locations totaling approximately 71,100 people
Miyagi Prefecture: Sendai City, Ishinomaki City, Natori City, Tome City, Higashi-Matsushima City, Onagawa Town, Tagajo City, Iwanuma City, Minami-Sanriku Town, Yamamoto Town, Shiogama City
Iwate Prefecture: Otsuchi Town, Ofunato City, Rikuzen-Takata City, Kamaishi City, Yamada Town
Fukushima Prefecture: Soma City, Minami-Soma City
Yamagata Prefecture: Kami-Yamagata City
And others.

Relief Supplies Delivered
Diesel oil (13,600 liters), Kerosene (4,400 liters), Gasoline (2,060 liters), Water (14 tons), Rice (2.5 tons), Oranges (2 tons), Bananas (2 tons), Milk (480 packs), Sweet-bean cakes (41,000 units), Vegetables (Potatoes: about 330 kg, carrots: about 200 kg, onions: about 500 kg, spinach: about 130 units, cabbage: 276 units, chinese radishes: 270 units, leeks: about 80 kg, bell peppers: about 4 kg, tomatoes: about 220 bags; also sweet potatoes, chinese cabbage, corn, and others), Fruit (Grapefruit, small watermelons: about 425 units, and others), Other food (Retort foods, food for the elderly, canned food, miso, soy sauce, nutritional supplements, etc.), Blankets (1,000 units), Underwear, clothes and scarves (25,000 units), Towels and hand cloths (50,000 units), “Furoshiki” wrapping cloths (3,000 units), Face masks (70,280 units), Hand warmers (5,000 units), Sleeping bags (3,400 units), Cold medicine (83 packages) and other medical supplies, Toothbrushes (10,000 units), Paper diapers (60,232 units), Adult diapers (816 units), Women’s sanitary products (17,000 units), Batteries (80 cartons), Baby products (Baby food, pacifiers, feeding bottles, baby wipes, etc.), High-pressure washers (32 units), Chainsaws (30 units), Shovels (12 units), Boots (100 pairs), Books and picture books (20 boxes), Crayons (300 sets), Cell phone chargers (120 units), Computers (21 units), Bicycles (74 units), Washing machines (13 units), Dryers (21 units), Refrigerators (11 units), Phlegm suction devices (2 units) Care beds (14 units), Rollaway beds (2 units), Futons (30 sets), Wheelchairs (5 units), Power generators (1 unit), Knives (20 units), Cutting boards (20 units), Small shelving units (10 units), Book shelves (1 unit), Clothing cases (6 units), Disinfectant spray (500 units), Hand soap (168 units), Reading glasses (100 units), Stuffed toys, irons and ironing boards (50 units each), Electric fans (15 units), Vacuum cleaners (3 units), Rice cookers (1 unit), Futon driers (17 units), Reflective heaters (5 units), Automated sphygmomanometers (16 units), Scales (10 units), Printingmachines  (1 unit),Futon sets (23 sets), Mattresses (50 units), Sheets (32 units), Bed linen (100 units), Insecticide and insect repellant spray, fly tape, and 12-roll sets of toilet papers (15 bags), Toilet-bowl cleaner (20 units), Washing baskets (50 units), Hangers (30 units), Buckets for cleaning (50 units), Notebooks (40 units), Copy paper (500 pages), Tin foil and cling wrap (60 units each), Grass cutters (10 units), Lawn mowers (1 unit), Cucumber seedlings (74 units), Tomato seedlings (82 units)
And others.

Delivering Relief for Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (Approximately 35,000 families)
With a grant from Japan Platform (JPF)* and in cooperation with ADRA Japan, we have been supporting the day-to-day lives of all families living in temporary housing and leased housing in Fukushima Prefecture (approximately 35,000 households). As the Japanese Red Cross is planning to distribute six-piece sets of home electrical appliances in earthquake- and tsunami-affected areas, AAR Japan will provide items such as kitchenware, bathroom goods, vacuum cleaners, kotatsu (heated tables) or regular tables, kitchen cabinets, and so on, based on requests from the  municipal governments.

We are targeting 13 municipalities in the Hamadori and Nakadori regions of Fukushima: Soma City, Minami Soma City, Shinchi Town, Iitate Village, Tomioka Town, Kawauchi Village, Koriyama City, Sukagawa City, Kagamiishi City, Shirakawa City, Nishigo Village, Yabuki Town, and Izumisaki Village. In order to contribute to the economic recovery of the local communities, we are collaborating with local Commerce and Industry Associations in 8 municipalities to source aid goods locally as much as possible. As of June 22nd, we have completed the delivery of relief supplies to 3,334 households in the target area.

*Japan Platform (JPF) facilitates NGOs, governments, and corporations working together to conduct emergency assistance for natural disasters, refugees, and internally displaced people. JPF operates with governmental funding and donations from corporations and individuals.

Medical Assistance
AAR JAPAN has visited Makinohama, Takenohama, Kitsunezaki-hama, Sudachi, Fukkiura, Kozumihama, and Kobuchihama on the Oshika Peninsula, where approximately 640 survivors are taking shelter in their homes. Led by Dr. Toshiaki YASUDA, a local medical practitioner, AAR’s medical team has established a mobile clinic and engaged in health-related activities such as checking up on sufferers of chronic illnesses, preventing infectious diseases, and implementing psychological support. We examined a total of 622 people between April 9th and July 3rd.

AAR JAPAN has also implemented sanitation activities for approximately 1,000 people in evacuation centers in Ishinomaki City and Minami-Sanriku Town in Miyagi Prefecture. Futons, blankets, and mattresses that had been provided to evacuation centers after the disaster had been in constant use for an extended period without being either washed or sun dried, resulting in bedding becoming dirty and full of mites. The rise in temperature and humidity in the summer led to a further deterioration in sanitary conditions, with a huge increase in flies and mosquitoes. In response to the problem, AAR JAPAN dried and replaced bedding, engaged in general cleaning, and delivered futon driers, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers, and cleaning equipment to evacuation centers, as well as offering insect repellent and insecticides (fly tape, mite killer, etc.) and instruction on their use. We also collected old and dirty futons and offered new summer-season bedding. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, we also delivered refrigerators to evacuation centers that lacked them. We implemented these activities in 16 evacuation centers from June 14th to July 6th.

Soup Kitchens
In coordination with Ingram Co., Ltd., which is responsible for the Peace Project, AAR JAPAN organized soup kitchens in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures from March 31st to July 3rd.

Soup kitchen locations (Approximately 19,441 meals served in 52 locations)
Miyagi Prefecture: Watanoha, Aikawa, Kitakami, and Ayukawa (Oshika Peninsula) in Ishinomaki City; Wakabayashi District in Sendai City; Tagajo City; Shizugawa and Utatsu in Minami-Sanriku Town; Niitsuki, Shishiori, and Omose in Kesennuma City
Iwate Prefecture: Kamaishi City, Otsuchi Town, and Yamada Town
Fukushima Prefecture: Hara Town in Minami-Soma City

Soup kitchen menu
Tokushima ramen, Oden, Beef stew, Yakisoba (Fried noodles), Fried chicken, Vegetable sticks, Chukadon (Chinese-style stir-fried meat and vegetables on rice), Beef steak, Onion soup, Tuna sashimi on rice, Chanko-nabe (hot pot), Apple pie, Onion sauté, Minestrone, Ground chicken with egg and vegetables on rice, Fish miso soup, Hijiki seaweed mix, Fried sweet potato, Cabbage rolls, Mixed bean-curd lees and vegetables, Autumn rice, Pork miso soup, Stewed fish, Cabbage and spinach side dishes, Somen noodles, Minced fish soup, Hand-made sweet potato pies,Hhand-made langue du chats, Samgyetang (Korean chicken ginseng soup), Yakitori (grilled chicken), Miso soup with tofu and shimeji mushrooms, Stewed meat and potatoes, Boiled komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), Pasta with meat sauce, Potato salad, Miso soup with Chinese cabbage and shiitake mushrooms, Boiled field mustard, Inarizushi (fried tofu stuffed with vinegared rice), Cooked radish and minced meat, Kashiwa mochi (rice cake wrapped in oak leaf), Fried whitefish, Miso soup with radish, Root salad, Fruit Jell-O, Udon noodles, Almond Jell-O, Stir-fried meat with vegetables, Gyoza (Chinese dumplings), Borscht, Miso soup with clams, Marinated octopus, Miso soup with cabbage and Japanese mustard spinach, Squid with wasabi, Seafood curry and rice (with scallops, clams and shrimp), Japanese sweets and amazake (sweet mild sake), Charcoal-broiled fish, Kakigori (shaved ice with flavored syrup), Grilled corn, Kitsune udon, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), Japanese dace, etc.

Institutional Reconstruction
In coordination with local construction companies, AAR JAPAN is repairing cracks in the walls and on the grounds of senior care facilities and facilities for persons with disabilities in 54 locations in order to help them resume services. From June 1st to July 7th, we completed fixing 3 facilities: Hoshi-Kai Omatsu-Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture; Minori-Kai Rubert Social Welfare Corporation in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture; and Shinwa-Kai Clovers Pier Wasse Social Welfare Corporation in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. Other facilities where reconstruction is still continuing are listed below.

Miyagi Prefecture: 32 locations (15 in Sendai City, 2 in Shiraishi City, 2 in Kesennuma City, 1 in Tome City, 1 in Higashi-Matsushima City, 1 in Natori City, 1 in Kurihara City, 1 in Ishinomaki City, 2 in Yamamoto Town, 2 in Minami-Sanriku Town, 1 in Zao Town, 1 in Marumori Town, 1 in Shibata Town)
Iwate Prefecture: 22 locations (5 in Ofunato City, 4 in RIkuzen-Takata City, 7 in Kamaishi City, 2 in Otsuchi Town, 1 in Yamada Town, 2 in Miyako City, 1 in Tanohata Village)

In coordination with each prefecture’s welfare division, social welfare council, and other related organizations, AAR JAPAN will continue reconstructing facilities for persons with disabilities and the elderly in the affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

Container Housing Project
At the recommendation of international journalist Izuru SUGAWARA, AAR JAPAN has been providing easy-to-build prefabricated container housing units in the disaster-affected areas. To date, we have installed 26 units in the town of Onagawa in Oshika County, Miyagi Prefecture. These container housing units are being used as private residences and small shops by evacuees.

Hand-made Tote Bag Project
AAR JAPAN made a concerted effort to collect hand-made tote bags in response to requests from people at evacuation centers and senior care facilities for bags to carry their personal belongings. By May 20th, AAR JAPAN had received 5,000 bags from inside and outside of Japan. AAR JAPAN volunteers helped to attach AAR JAPAN’s “Sunny-chan” mascot straps to the bags and deliver them to evacuees, with a special focus on the elderly.

Psychological Care for Children (Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture)
AAR JAPAN supports the SOMA Follower Team, a nonprofit organization formed by Soma City to provide psychological care for children at kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools. A professional team of clinical psychologists and health care workers carries out activities in each school, as well as holding community-building events for children in the city.

“Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project (Concluded)
In coordination with Manyo Club Co., Ltd. (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Ascendia Inc. (Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) and other companies, AAR JAPAN implemented the “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project.

With the cooperation of Kanagawa Prefecture’s Yugawara Onsen (hot spring), on the first day of the project, April 9th, AAR JAPAN delivered hot spring water to four evacuation centers in Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture: Yamoto Icchu Junior High School, Akai City Center, Ushiami Community Center, and Asai Civic Center.

After April 12th, in partnership with Miyagi Prefecture’s Onikobe Onsen (hot spring), AAR JAPAN delivered hot spring water to 6 evacuation centers: Yamoto Icchu (later divided into 2 locations), Ushiami Community Center, Akai City Center, Asai Civic Center, and Miyato Elementary School in Higashi Matsushima City, as well as Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai Social Welfare Corporation in Ishinomaki City, every day except Sundays. These 6 delivery points enabled 500-600 evacuees to bathe every day. AAR JAPAN provided the service until the end of May.

Shuttle Buses (Concluded)
In Miyagi Prefecture, AAR JAPAN aided in the operation of a shuttle bus service on Ishinomaki City’s Oshika Peninsula, providing mobility to those who lost their regular means of transportation. The shuttle bus circulated twice a day in the Ogihama area and once a day in the Ayukawa area. Beginning April 10th, approximately 530 people in the Ogihama area and 220 people in the Ayukawa area used the buses. The shuttle bus service was concluded on June 4th, after the roads were repaired and normal bus lines that had been running prior to the earthquake resumed service.