一般財団法人 連帯 東北・西南 RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN

一般財団法人 連帯 東北・西南 RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN

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2012.09.04 20:23

Events (08/07 Rikuzentakata, Iwate; 08/09 Iwate Safari Park)

Rentai Touhoku•Seinan Staff, Tahir here.

● 7th August: Rikuzentakata Moving Tanabata Festival

At the request of Co-op Aichi, we prepared Pakistani Curry at the Moving Tanabata Festival in Rikuzentakata. We prepared 200 meals for the people of Kawara-cho, which was completely destroyed by the tsunami. We had great pleasure being part of the Tanabata the festival with these people.

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In the Kesen district of Iwate prefecture Obon is normally celebrated between the 13th to the 16th of August, however those families celebrating their first Obon, do so on the 7th of August. In order to honor the spirits, the Moving Tanabata Festival was started, and according to tradition, takes place on this day.

Most of the floats were washed away in last year's tsunami except for three. This year, with support from all over Japan, the number of floats increased to nine, and at 10:30 in the morning, people gathered and the parade started from the old city center. The festival was very impressive, people enjoyed themselves and we were very honored to be able to help.

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● 9th August: Iwate Safari Park

We invited about 20 children who live in temporary housing in Rikuzentakata and took them to Iwate Safari Park. This tour was realized with the kind support of many people such as Mr Murakami and Mr Suzuki of Senmayacho and the Manager of Iwate Safari Park.

This park, with its extensive fields, is home to about 700 animals and birds belonging to 70 species. We were able to have a typical safari park experience, watching the animals and their behaviour from the car.

We had close-up encounters with wild animals, and in the herbivorous animals section we could even hear the breath of giraffes and camels when they approached. It was a safari park where we really felt close to the animals.

The children of Rikuzentakata live near the coast and the sea is therefore very familiar to them, but a safari park in the mountains full of animals is an unknown world for them. The bus from Rikuzentakata to the safari park was full of excitement with voices of anticipation and anxiety.

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We felt like teachers taking children on a school trip. With the consideration of the manager at the safari park, a special tour was prepared for these children, and it was a great day out. Everyone brought their own delicious-looking packed lunches and we staff had enjoyed our lunches feeling like children again. We hope this would be a nice memory of the summer for the children who participated.

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We thought the children who had been so excited since the morning would be tired and fall asleep on the return journey. However, they were even more energetic than the in the morning. Even Tahir, who usually has a lot of stamina, was slightly running out of steam by the end of the day. We are very grateful to the mothers who accompanied the children and ourselves, and to the people who helped organize this event.

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Categories:Staff reports

2012.09.04 20:23 admin

2012.09.04 20:16

Events (07/22 Minami Exchange Center, Senmaya-cho, Rikuzentakata, Iwate; 07/25 MinamiSanriku-cho, Miyagi; 07/28 Oshima, Kesennuma, Miyagi)

Rentai Touhoku • Seinan Staff, Tahir here.

● 22nd July: Helping with the 'Pal Pal Exchange Programme' at Minami Exchange Center in Senmaya-cho

At the request of Senmaya Rotary Club, we provided Pakistani curry for the children in order to assist with the Pal Pal Exchange Programme.

The Pal Pal Exchange Programme is a project set up in 1985 to nurture healthy young people in the Konashi district of Senmayacho, Ichinoseki City and the Taishidou district of Setagaya, Tokyo. Since then, more than 2000 children have participated in training camps in the spring and summer.

Last years training camp had to be cancelled due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, but this year 30 children came to Senmaya-cho from 22nd to 28 July from Setagaya. The children from Setagaya stayed in the campsite until the 28th of July and participated in various events and took part in an exchange programme with the local children. Since our Pakistani curry was the opening event to welcome the children we tried very hard to make delicious curry for the children to enjoy.

We were invited by people of Senmaya, who always consider us as their family, so we tried to live up to their expectations, and we were honored that we were able to help with this event.

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● 25th July: Curry Event in Minamisanriku

On the 25th of July we carried out a curry event in the Minato district temporary housing estate in Minamisanriku. Although it was the first time for us to plan an event in this area, we were able to do this with the help of Mr Takahashi who owns a café restaurant in the Okago area of Fujisawa-cho.

Mr Takashi's parents reside in the Minato district temporary housing estate, and they supported us in making Pakistani curry. This event was held to provide the opportunity to vitalize communications between residents of the temporary housing estate and we provided curry as an evening meal. The meal being dinner, rather than lunch, everyone had more time to talk and the event was a success.

I don't need to mention that the delicious coffee and cake the Mr Takahashi provided after the meal played a large part in enabling everyone to relax and have a good time. The fifteen children who were present lit fireworks following the meal and enjoyed the summer evening fully.

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● 28th July: At Oshima

At the request of the Fukushi Social Service Committee of Kesennuma, on the 28th of July we visited three temporary housing estates in Oshima and helped vitalize communications among residents.

Oshima is an island located about 25 minutes by ferry from Kesennuma and has three temporary housing estates: Oshima Middle School Ground, Oshima Citizen's Holiday Facility, and Shin-Ohei Ground.

Due to the high proportion of elderly residents, these areas are lacking in communcation, often resulting in isolation. We don't think we can do enough just by visiting once, but we went this time with the hope that we could contribute even a little.

Residents gathered in their respective halls and we provided chai, and the Social Service Committee provided origami paper creating a place for conversation. We had a full-on schedule going round the three temporary housing estates from the morning, however the residents enjoyed our visit.

As this was not a curry event, we had more time than usual to talk to everyone and it was a fulfilling day.

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Categories:Staff reports

2012.09.04 20:16 admin

2012.08.06 09:45

Curry Event (Saturday 7th July 2012 • Hirota Primary School, Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture)

Reported by Ryu and Tahel, Staff of Rentai Tohoku-Seinan

On the 26th May (Sat), 2012, a sports festival was held at Hirota Primary School in Rikuzentakata, Iwate and we served free Pakistani curry to cheer children and their families. At the event, Mr. Sata, chairperson of our foundation, talked with one student and their friendly talk led us to host a curry lunch party at a nearby temporary housing complex where the boy was living on the day of Star Festival or the 7th July (Sat).

We planned it hoping to give a little change and a moment of fun to those who had been forced to bear the inconvenience at the temporary housing units. Though the meeting room at the housing complex was not spacious enough, we were able to have the event, using both the meeting room and the outside space.

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After the event on the 26th May, Mr. Sata sent several books to a family he became friendly with. Coincidentally, the family used to possess one of them, "Magical Words for Kids to Grow On", before the earthquake. They were delighted to receive the book and wrote to Mr. Sata that it was as if the book lost to tsunami somehow made its way back to them. We were also surprised at the strange affinity and became even more enthusiastic to get ready for the event.

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At seven in the morning, we loaded our cars with food ingredients and the cooking gear at Senmaya Minami Communication Centre and set off for Rikuzentakata. On the way there we dropped in a dairy farm and received freshly milked milk. We thanked to the couple at the farm who always warmly welcomed us and gave us milk for free.

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Though it had been drizzling since the night before, it was still possible to hold the event as planned. Children who had been looking forward to the party welcomed us at the temporary housing complex. After talking with the head of the resident committee, we set up the tent and cooking equipment helped by residents at the housing complex. We brought in food ingredients that were meant for 200 people, but mothers who came to help us were so skilful and quick to prepare everything in a blink.

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We used a pair of huge pots to cook curry. Mr. K and a schoolboy who lived at the temporary housing complex took charge of one of the pots and were happy with their accomplishment. When serving the curry, Mr. K was very proud and boasted to everyone that he made curry himself.

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It was even more challenging to make naan bread than curry. However, luckily, a person who acquired all the tips and secrets from one of our staff at the event at Hirota Primary School came from Sendai to help us and displayed a fantastic baking skill which would pass as that of a professional naan baker. Thanks to him, we were able to provide naan with curry with no problem.

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The curry was made less spicy and palatable for everyone to be able to enjoy. Though we made a massive amount of curry, all was gone around 30 minutes after we started serving. The supporting volunteers from Fukushima and Nagoya also enjoyed it very much.

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This time, the purpose of our event was to cheer up those who were living at the second temporary housing complex in Okubo, Hirota-cho, Rikuzentakata. We believe that it provided an opportunity for many people to get together at the meeting room and spend a good time. As it was the day of Star Festival, Mr. Sata gave children gifts of baseball kits, basketballs and footballs. Kids were so excited and squealed with delight. The head of the resident committee agreed to keep these sports gear at the meeting room but the children ran out into the drizzling rain and started ball playing in the parking lot in front of the meeting room, as soon as they put their hands on them.

Held at the third largest temporary housing complexes in Rikuzentakata, the event was successful with many participants. And those children who ran around chasing balls gave us a little hope for the bright future.

Categories:Staff reports

2012.08.06 09:45 admin

2012.06.26 21:27

Curry Event (Saturday 26th May 2012 • Hirota Primary School, Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture)

Reported by Ryu and Tahel, Staff of Rentai Tohoku-Seinan

With a request from Mr. Numakura of Hirota Primary School in Rikuzentakata, Iwate, we served free Pakistani curry for children and their families on the sports day on the 26th May (Sat), 2012.

As temporary housings currently occupy the ground of Hirota Primary School, the festival was held on the ground of adjacent Hirota Junior High School. It was the first sports day since the earthquake and the slogan was "Never give up, Hirota Kids! Shine like stars!". This time we cooked a huge amount of Pakistani curry for them.

Seven more volunteers led by Mr. Eba, a friend of Mr. Sata, arrived from Nagoya and we started to chop vegetables for curry at Senmaya Minami Community Centre in the previous evening. The volunteers from Nagoya got to work as soon as they arrived and with their fabulous chopping skills, we quickly finished the preparation for curry for about 400 people.

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Later in the evening, we had a meeting with local people to exchange opinions. At first, they had no idea about what Rentai Tohoku・Seinan was and seemed to wonder what we were doing there. However, as they saw us working hard till late for the curry event on the following day, they gradually opened up and had better understanding toward us. The chairman of the local Rotary Club kindly donated 30kg of chicken for curry.

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At seven o'clock in the following morning, we set out for Rikuzentakata by six cars full of chopped vegetables and other ingredients prepared at Senmaya Minami Community Centre as well as cooking gear. The drizzling rain during the night stopped by the dawn and it was a clear sunny day perfect for a sports day. Children who had been looking forward to the day welcomed us at school. After the briefing with the headmaster, we pitched the tent and set up the cooking equipment.

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When the opening ceremony of the sports day started at nine o'clock, we also started cooking. Though it was a fine day, we were occasionally hit by powerful winds. If we had used a usual camp stove and pots, we would have had to struggle to protect the gas fire. However thanks to our disaster equipment which was perfectly wind-proof, we were able to go on cooking with no problem.

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Baking naan to be served with curry was another challenge even more difficult than cooking curry. However, staff members who experienced naan baking at NUMA☆FES2011 in summer 2011 took the leadership and we managed to serve freshly baked naan.

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Lunch break was at 11:45 am. At the discretion of the headmaster, our chairperson, Mr. Sata, and Tahel made a speech on the stage and gave the cheer for the children, "Hurrah! Hurrah! Hirota!"

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We prepared two kinds of curry, mild and hot. Children seemed to prefer mild one. Brave kids dared to try hot curry but both were actually made less spicy than usual so that children could eat even hot curry. So everyone was able to enjoy their food care free. Though we were anxious that we might have cooked too much curry and it would be left over, children with good appetite finished off everything before 12:30pm.

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Mr. Eba, who produced "shinsei" and "shinsei II toward the light", charity music CDs for disaster relief, introduced his works and played some pieces from the CDs for the people on the ground.

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This was the first event since we changed our name to Rentai Tohoku-Seinan. We feel that we were able to bring a little more excitement to the sports day at Hirota Primary School. Mr. Sata talked with one student at the sports day and found that the boy lived in a temporary housing next to the school which, according to the boy, was the third largest temporary housing complex in Rikuzentakata. This encounter led us to plan another lunch curry party at the temporary housing on the 7th July (Sat). We are now making a plan of the party so that it would give a break to those who put up with the inconvenience at a temporary housing and hopefully, cheer them up even a little.

Categories:Staff reports

2012.06.26 21:27 admin

2012.04.20 20:03

Rentai Tohoku meeting (March 31, Kawasaki-cho, Ichinoseki)

A gathering of about 25 people was held in Kawasaki-cho, Ichinoseki, with local people who have been supporting Rentai Tohoku's activities, as well as those who participated in the Second Symposium on Self-supporting Reconstruction in Nagoya on March 11.

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The primary school teacher who participated in the Nagoya Symposium also took part this time, and exchanged opinions with the teacher who joined us from Rikuzentakata. The discussion highlighted the fact that external parties are not fully comprehending the needs in disaster areas.

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The 'Friends Burger', which was part of the menu provided to participants of this meeting, has been registered as a trademark of Rentai Tohoku and is being sold as a commercial product in local shops.

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The representative from Japan Cherry Blossom Association who also participated announced a plan to donate cherry tree saplings whenever the receiving end would be ready to accept them. The representative emphasised that cherry blossoms are not only to be planted and left, but need to be subsequently supervised and therefore it is important to think in the 50-100 year time frame. It was suggested that it would be ideal to think in the direction of having residents take part in the cherry trees' supervision rather than leaving them to be managed by an authority. This time, an initial three saplings were brought and donated to three people.

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There was participation by members who released the charity CDs 'shinsei' and 'shinsei II toward the light' and there was talk of a desire to hold an event in the Tohoku area to perform and dance as a way to take a literal step 'towards the light'.

In addition, 31 March was the 40th(+?) wedding anniversary of a lady from the Minami Exchange Centre where we (Rentai Tohoku staff) regularly prepare meals. We presented a large cake and needless to say we all sampled it afterwards.

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Following the gathering at Kawasaki-cho, we visited the temple of the chief priest who joined the Nagoya Symposium, and in the main hall we heard about the history of the temple.

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Through supporting the Tohoku area we feel like we have been made a part of the family. We must extend our activities to the world, through encouraging each other. We hope that our activities can provide some support to the hearts of the people of Tohoku.

Categories:Staff reports

2012.04.20 20:03 admin

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RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN Support activities
Reports of our activities

Latest articles

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