November 14, 2011

In Kitsunezakihama, on the eastern side of the tsunami-ravaged Oshika Peninsula, NPO JEN brought 30 volunteers from one company to assist in the preparations for oyster cultivation—a staple industry of the region. Shells are strung together to provide a bed to which new oysters will attach themselves and grow. Each oyster farming household uses about 1,000 of these strings, so although the season does not begin until next summer, the preparations must begin now. The 30 volunteers were able to finish 175 strings on the first day and 290 on the second day. Many of the volunteers said they wanted to come back again to help, and the fishermen and their wives were truly grateful for their assistance and their company!

On November 2, the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) broke ground for the construction of the AMDA Otsuchi Health Support Center in Iwate Prefecture. They plan to hold a ridgepole-raising ceremony and other traditional festivities this week to involve the local residents in the project, and are also planning on distributing brochures about the new facility and conducting a survey of residents. In addition to offering acupuncture and moxibustion treatment from AMDA doctors, the new facility will have a community space for activities that can bring residents together and help sustain their mental health as well.