Japan: Playground Equipment Installed at Temporary Housing Complexes in Fukushima

Outdoor Playground Equipment Installed at Temporary Housing Complexes

A total of approximately 400 children currently live in the 13 temporary housing complexes in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture. Having lost their homes, friends and relatives in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, these children have suffered devastating loss. Play time is a vital aspect of children’s emotional stability and healthy growth, but with cars driving through the complexes and a lack of open spaces or playgrounds in which to play, these children cannot get enough exercise.

March 14th, 2012 – Children play on the newly installed playground. (Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture)

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) has started installing playground equipment at temporary housing complexes to provide places for children to exercise and release the stress built up from staying indoors all the time.


Cambodia: Vegetables Are Growing in Flood-Affected Areas

We have Distributed Vegetable Seeds and Provided Agricultural Training

February 14th, 2012- We distributed vegetable seeds and complimentary items such fertilizer and gardening tools to the floods victims. (Chreav Commune, Siem Reap)

In response to the massive flooding that struck Cambodia last year, AAR JAPAN distributed food and non-food items to 3,000 households in the disaster-affected areas. In continuation, we have been carrying out an agricultural assistance project targeting 840 households in the same areas. By distributing vegetable seeds that can be harvested relatively quickly such as sponge gourd, morning glory, and long beans, as well as gardening equipment such as hoes, watering cans, insect-proof nets, fertilizer, and pesticide, our objective is to support those who had lost their harvest in the floods restart farming again. Furthermore, in collaboration with agricultural trainers from local NGO “HURREDO,” we have also conducted a hands-on training program to give instructions on modern farming techniques including how to prepare a seedbed, use fertilizer, build poles, protect the vegetables from insects, and properly water the plants.


East Africa: We Are Delivering Safe Water to Areas Suffering from Water Shortage

February 9th, 2012- Yoko HAYASHI of Tokyo Headquarters office conducts field research on the local water situation. (Mutomo District, Kitui County)

In response to the drought that struck East Africa last year, AAR JAPAN carried out an emergency assistance operation from August to November 2011, distributing food and non-food items to disaster victims in northeastern Kenya. We also set up tents to be used as elementary schools and distributed school supplies in refugee camps in Dadaab near the Somali border, where there was a massive influx of drought-affected refugees. Currently, we are engaging in a project to deliver safe water in Mutomo District, Kitui County in the Eastern Province, an area suffering from severe water shortage. This report is made by Yoko HAYASHI, who is in charge of the Kenya project at the AAR JAPAN Tokyo Headquarters office, based on her 1-month visit in Kenya earlier this year.


Japan: Supporting a Handcraft Class where People can Shape “What they Want to Do”

A Handcraft Class was Held in a Temporary Housing Complex in Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture

On February 5th, 2012, a handcraft class was held at Uchihibiki temporary housing complex in Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture, where participants created dolls of dragons and jizo (stone statues) with old pieces of fabric. What initiated the idea were the suspended Hina dolls that were displayed inside a meeting room, which had been made by Ms. Kuniko NINOMIYA, a resident of the temporary housing complex. Some of the residents there had wanted Ms. NINOMIYA to teach them how to make dolls so that they can sell them and gain some sort of income, but they had not been able to do so because they had no access to necessary materials. However, a businessperson who happened to visit the facility with AAR Japan staff members proposed to support their sales idea, which prompted AAR Japan to provide materials such as scissors and old pieces of fabric that had been donated by our supporters. This led to the realization of the first handcraft class.

February 5th, 2012 – The suspended Hina dolls made by Ms. NINOMIYA. The variety of decorations such as goldfish and flowers look gorgeous. (Uchihibiki temporary housing, Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture)


JAPAN: Bringing Smiles to Children in the Disaster Area

Many nursery schools in the Tohoku region suffered  flooding and collapse as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Even now, the remaining nursery schools continue to struggle. As a result of damage to nearby schools, Shimoyahagi Nursery Center in Rikuzen-Takata City, Iwate Prefecture, has 55 children enrolled, far exceeding its maximum capacity of 35 students. In Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture, Ando Nursery School has no place for children to play, as it is borrowing rooms from a nearby elementary school and the schoolyard is filled with temporary housing.

Below are examples of AAR JAPAN’s ongoing efforts for Tohoku children in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Seasonal Events: Christmas and Setsubun

December 24th, 2011 – “What’s inside?” A Christmas event at Ando Nursery School in Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecutre. At left is Ryo OIKAWA of AAR JAPAN Morioka Office.