Disasters in Japan: Relief Assistance for the PWDs, the Elderly and Children

AAR Japan has been providing continuous relief assistance to the victims of the following disasters: torrential rains in the western Japan in July 2018, Hokkaido earthquake in September 2018, torrential rains in the northern part of Kyushu in July 2017, and the Kumam0to earthquake in April 2016. Immediately after these disasters, we started to provide victims with hot meals and distribute daily necessities and, while doing so, made sure that no People with Disabilities (PWDs), elderly residents or children were left behind. We are very appreciative of your generous support. The following is a report on how things stand in these areas.

Waiting for the re-opening of the mushroom cultivation center
– supporting the victims of Hokkaido Earthquake since September 2018

A big earthquake with a maximum intensity of 7 on the Japanese intensity scales hit Hokkaido in September 2018, with the central-eastern part of Iburi Subprefecture as its epicenter. AAR has been and still is supporting its welfare facilities in Mukawa town and Hidaka town respectively. The Hobetsu employment support center run by the social welfare corporation Aisei-kai (in Mukawa) owns a place called “Ryokuryu Aperasu”, where PWD are employed to grow and cultivate mushrooms. The earthquake seriously damaged the two rooms for mushroom cultivation, destroying the shelves where mushroom beds were installed as well as the ventilation systems. AAR is planning to help them with the installment of the new ventilation systems, but the contractors are still too busy to start it.  Since mushroom cultivation requires a ventilation system to control the temperature and humidity, we are doing our best to start working for the restoration of the system.
Mushroom shelves in the cultivating room damaged by the earthquake (October 19th, 2018)
Providing hot meals at Kami-Atsuma Elementary School (in Atsuma town). For six days after the   
    Earthquake, we prepared 980 hot meals. From the right, Tsutomu Kato (AAR Director) and Shin’ichiro Ohara (AAR staff)  (September 12th, 2018)

Helping the victims with the restarting of their life

Torrential rains in Fukuoka Prefecture and Oita Prefecture in July 2017 led to flooding of rivers and landslides on a large scale. AAR Japan has been supporting an NPO called YNF (in Fukuoka city in Fukuoka Prefecture), whose aim is to reconstruct the livelihoods of disaster victims who live in their own houses or in temporary housings. Among the victims are those who have no financial support after the donations were stopped, those who are isolated and are at a loss without any information about how to ask for public welfare support or whom to ask for advice. Paying special attention to those who are leading an unstable life, YNF has been acting as a liaison, offering a variety of consultation services for those in need, visiting the victims’ houses, helping them with various procedures and giving necessary information. A person whom YNF helped with the application for the demolition of his house with the cost borne by the local government, said, “I was not sure about the application procedure, so I am very grateful to YNF for their support.” Another said, “As I was in and out of hospital, I found it almost impossible to make it by the due date, but thanks to the support of YNF, I managed to make the application.”
At a customer service counter, Ezaki Taro (Chief Director) is discussing the contents of support with the staff in the city office. (November 14th, 2018)
Providing mental care for children with picture books

Kumamoto Prefecture and Oita Prefecture were hit by one earthquake after another in April 2016, with 270 casualties, including disaster-related deaths as of December 13, 2018,  as reported by Crisis Management Division Kumamoto Prefecture. AAR Japan has been engaged in relief activities in the Minami Aso area, which was most badly affected. An NPO named “Minai Aso Ehon no Kuni” (in Minami Aso Village in Kumamoto Prefecture) has been actively engaged in activities using picture books led by Mr. Shomei Yoh (Director of Aso Highland Museum Park) and Mr. Shotei Hayama, who had their own library. After the earthquakes, children living in temporary housing units found it difficult to go to the library and enjoy reading picture books as they used to, which was why this NPO started a “mobile” library. This has helped children get over their stress. AAR Japan has helped the NPO start a traveling library by donating picture books, shelves and chairs.

At a traveling library, more than 80 children participated in events such as storytelling with pictures.  (December 16th, 2018)

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