April 16–April 17, 2011

One of the roles of Japan Platform is to match companies who are willing to donate relief supplies with the nonprofit groups on the ground that have assessed the needs in the affected region. It recently announced that 489 different types of items had been donated as of April 15 by 113 companies, and they had been able to set up 82 “matches” (corporate-NPO partnerships).

NICCO is working with Youth for 3.11 (a nonprofit group organized to get college and other students involved in the relief and recovery efforts in the Tohoku region) to recruit volunteers for a one-week clean-up project in Rikuzentakata starting from the 17th. Students will help in cleaning schools and homes, and NICCO is arranging for bus transportation, lodging, and food. Plans are also underway to recruit students to help prepare hot meals for evacuees in Kesennuma the following week.

uid000003_201104141852071eebcf6fIn addition to their ongoing medical efforts, the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) volunteers are continuing to help make life a bit more pleasant for those in the evacuation centers. Volunteers from Okayama and Hiroshima who happen to be bakers made 2,000 roll cakes, which were delivered by electric car to the sites where the mobile clinics were being held. The delicious fresh cakes brought smiles to the faces of young and old alike. Volunteers also arranged a dodgeball tournament that let the children shout and play in a way that is usually difficult in the tight confines of the evacuation center. AMDA also helped carry out a high school exchange program where 4 students and 2 teachers from Hiroshima came to Hanamaki in Iwate Prefecture to learn first-hand about the relief efforts and donate stationery supplies to high school students in Iwate.

shizugawaOn April 15, the Shizugawa Public Hospital in Minamisanriku began using the temporary tents that were left behind by an Israeli medical team that had been helping in the region for its pre-opening preparations. The hospital will officially reopen on April 18, and AMDA is working with the hospital staff to provide them with the necessary medical equipment they will need to treat patients.