In the Chinomori district of Ofunato (Iwate Prefecture), construction was completed on 71 temporary homes last week, which will house 188 people. With the help of local volunteers, Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) delivered household items to help make those families’ new lives a bit easier. Most of these families have no means of transportation, so getting out to shop for essential items to furnish and supply their new homes is very difficult. In May and June, PWJ is planning on providing supplies for about 11,000 temporary homes that are going up in Ofunato, Kamaishi, Rikuzentakata, and elsewhere.
Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) is a Japanese NGO that began work 30 years ago as a relief organization in Southeast Asia, and is a Japan Platform member. Since the earthquake, SVA has tried to meet basic human needs (warm food, clean-up, sanitation, etc.) and is now in the second phase of its efforts, “from emergency to reconstruction.” It is caring for children and the elderly, and is focusing on isolated households. For example, the Iwaisaki Takadai evacuation center in Kesennuma (Miyagi Prefecture) houses 60 evacuees. Thanks to its high elevation, the site was untouched by the tsunami, but everything around it was destroyed. The center is totally isolated and can only be reached by foot, so SVA staff were met with surprise and gratitude when they delivered relief supplies there.
SVA also has been offering shuttle buses to and from public bath houses for those in evacuation centers that still have no running water, and are providing school supplies for nearly 1,800 students in Kesennuma (Miyagi Prefecture). The president of SVA visited one of the schools and shared a special message from children in Laos (who are also receiving SVA support) to the children of Japan. The note said that all the children of the world are supporting them and cheering them on.