Support for victims of Typhoon Hagibis (2019): Steady progress for reconstruction

Vehicle handover ceremony at the social welfare corporation “Work Center Mugi” in Sukagawa, Fukushima prefecture on December 12, 2019. Ms.Matsuo from IMC(right) and Mr.Shigemasa Aoki from “Gospel Association”.

AAR Japan [Association for Aid and Relief, Japan] currently supports 11 social welfare facilities in Miyagi, Fukushima, Nagano and Tochigi prefectures where affected by the Super Typhoon Hagibis that hit main island of Japan on October 12, 2019. We provide furniture, fixtures, and equipment for restarting operations, and support building repairs as well.

Many facilities suspended activities due to disaster

AAR focuses on providing assistance to persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly, who are particularly underserved in the event of a disaster. Immediately after the disaster, AAR emergency team visited facilities for PWDs and the elderly one by one in the most affected areas for damage investigation. Many facilities which we visited had to temporarily suspend due to the flooding and inundation of necessary furniture and equipment, such as office equipment and home appliances, working machines and children's toys, which were used for the activities. In addition, facility’s vehicles to pick up and drop off users of facilities were also damaged extensively, making it difficult for PWDs to come to each facilities.

AAR has been making efforts to recover and improve such situation, providing facilities and equipment necessary for the facility's activities so that PWDs can resume their normal daily life as soon as possible. As part of this, through a great financial support from International Medical Corps (IMC), AAR provided two pick-up vehicles to two welfare facilities in Fukushima. IMC is a humanitarian organization headquartered in the United States and has been supporting AAR's emergency aid projects for disaster victims since the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011).

"We use this vehicle in our daily work"

On December 12, 2019, handover ceremonies of vehicles were held at the social welfare corporation “Work Center Mugi (Wheat)” of “Gospel Association” in Sukagawa, and at the facility for children with disabilities “Reiru” of “Hotto Welfare Memorial”, a social welfare corporation in Koriyama, both in Fukushima. At the ceremony, IMC Representative in Japan, Ms. Sawako Matsuo handed the vehicle keys to both facilities. Managers of both facilities, later said "Thank you so much for providing us a useful car. We use it in our daily work" "We would move to a new location in February, and we promise to keep using this car with gratitude". These vehicles will be used not only for pick-up and drop-off, but also for activities such as the delivery of products made at the facilities and sales events. As a result, both facilities and their users can restore their daily life steady, step by step.

Children at the facility for children with disabilities “Reiru” in Koriyama, Fukushima on December 12, 2019.

Members of “Hotto Welfare Memorial” with Ms.Matsuo(third from right)and AAR staff in Koriyama, Fukushima on December 12, 2019.
 AAR sincerely appreciate a kind and warm support by IMC. We will keep working for the victims until the day they can get back to their peaceful daily life.

 Masaru MIKI, AAR Japan, Tokyo Office (Profile as of the date of this article)
After finishing university and working at a private company, he engaged in volunteer activities in Kenya. He started working for AAR in July, 2015 after returning to Japan. He worked for publicity and emergency assistance at the Tokyo office, then, went to Zambia in March, 2018.Then, He started working at the Tokyo office again.He is from the Kumamoto Prefecture.