June 27, 2011

Fork lifts and holding tanks provided by Peace Winds Japan are being used at the newly reopened Ofunato fish market.Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is working to help the economic recovery of the town of Ofunato. The town’s fish market recently managed to reopen. Working through the local government, PWJ provided office equipment (computers, Internet-related equipment, copiers, etc.) and other items to get the fish market’s administrative offices up and running. It also covered the lease on a forklift, and provided scales, holding tanks, etc., for the market. All items should be delivered by mid-July, and so business at the market is expected to pick up quickly.

A recent JEN volunteer posted an account of her experience helping to clean up four large greenhouses in Ishinomaki that had been contaminated with sea water from the tsunami. Roughly 30 people, including individual and company volunteers, came together from nine in the morning until three in the afternoon, shoveling out hundreds of sandbags full of the contaminated soil so that the greenhouses could once again be used to grow food. She noted that the greenhouses were quite hot inside, so even the teenagers who were helping out were getting tired out.

This volunteer had participated in a workshop about volunteering prior to coming. She had been nervous about what she could contribute, but gained confidence after hearing a JEN official talk about the process as being similar to holding a glass slipper and looking for the person who can fit into it perfectly. There are lots of slippers in need of feet in this effort. In addition to the big tasks, there are many smaller tasks, like cleaning these greenhouses, that need to get done, so anyone who can volunteer should be assured that there is a job for them.