Japan Western flood: Aiming for Immediate Restoration

After disasters, AAR Japan has mainly prioritized reaching out to the most vulnerable groups who are usually left out without support, such as people with special needs.
After the Western Japan was hit by the recent torrential rain and flooding, AAR Japan helped out with the restoration by providing welfare facilities with daily necessities and other items necessary for their reopening, such as computers and printers.

We are currently working on a restoration project to apply in the affected areas.

Making a progress towards recovery step by step:

“Okayama Mind Kokoro” is an NPO located in Mabi in Kurashiki City, Okayama.  This NPO was aiming to support people with special needs by running care homes, where they can live in comfort, as well as a brewery or a beer hall, where even the disabled can work.  “Okayama Mind Kokoro” believes that they can make Mabi village a comfortable place for everyone by offering space for interacting with each other, regardless of disabilities.  However, when their project was well on its way, the recent floods destroyed the beer hall completely. The ground floors of eight care homes were also completely washed away with all the furniture inside.

Some of the residents in the care homes have found it difficult to adapt to the radical change in the different environment and many of them had to move to shelters where they face many difficulties.  As such, it is very important to get their original care homes re-opened as soon as possible. “Okayama Mind Kokoro” staff cleaned the place as quickly as possible in order for the residents to return. The home was temporarily re-opened on August first and residents who used to stay at a hospital were able to come back. There is a good chance that some companies will donate refrigerators and laundry machines.  However, the brewery and beer halls that the residents found joy in working at are still out of service and the re-opening day is yet to be confirmed. Considering the time necessary for making barley into malt for local beer, we will have to wait for another year if we can’t start it by this autumn.

AAR is considering providing and fixing the necessary equipment for this NPO to help them re-open and proceed with their services.

Mr.Shinji Tada, the representative of Okayama Mind Kokoro expressed his gratitude to the AAR emergency assistance team for delivering supplies and attending to the needs of the residents.  He also expressed his firm determination by saying, “In spite of the harsh reality, we are steadily heading for restoring our facilities.  With your encouraging words, we promise that we will move forward.”
AAR staff Takumi Takagi (on the left) visiting the president of Okayama Mind Kokoro and listening to their needs while delivering oral rehydration solution, rolls of toilet paper and baby diapers to him. (Date:2018/7/24)

“If it happened to me”

Nima Elementary School, located in Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture, was turned into a shelter. AAR cooperated with NPO Peace Project from July 23rd to 25th to prepare meals for the shelter’s residents for another 3 days (July 28-30).
Before preparing the meals, we spread flyers about this news to the residents and received a lot of positive feedback such as “We have been looking forward to it!”
Despite the weather forecast predicting that the approaching typhoon No.12 might cause some damage, everything went as we had planned. We gave 300 servings of seafood curry on the 28th and 250 servings of rice with grated yam with fish soup, natto, turnips and pickled cucumbers.

A lady in her 80s complained “I am totally worn out just by having to stay in this gymnasium.” Another man in his 60s said to us, “While being engaged in voluntary activities, I sometimes wonder ‘What if such a disaster were to hit me?”
Mr.Kanzaki, the President of the Nima community, spoke about the necessity of support and advice of administration offices and support agencies so that the residents in Mabi can all come back and enjoy their lives the way they used to.

The residents of the shelters have been frustrated because they have been living there for weeks now and still do not know when will they go back home.
Ms.Mari Tanigawa (board of directors member), who used to be a marathon runner, offered a course on marathon for the shelter’s residents. Peace Project also organized a bingo competition in the shelter.
The residents were smiling, after enjoying light sports and recreation events.
Ms. Mari Tanigawa, AAR Japan board of directors’ member, who visited the shelter on July 28 and 29, is preparing meals with a local volunteer and setting the tables. The meals were received favourably and residents lined up every time the meals were prepared. (Date:2018/7/28)
Ms. Tanigawa is warming up the bingo competition (in the middle). On the left is Mr. Ben Kato the representative of Peace Project and also a member of AAR board of directors. (Date:2018/7/29)

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Account Number: 00100-9-600
Account Name: Nanmin wo Tasukerukai
Please write down “Western Japan” and specify if you need a receipt.