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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2014.06.24 22:21

Tomodachi Curry® Event(6/22 2014 at Shizu River Shizen-no-Ie Temporary Housing Complex in Minamisanrikucho, Minami-Motoyoshi County, Miyagi Prefecture)

On Sunday, June 22nd, we provided Tomodachi Curry® at Shizu River Shizen-no-Ie Temporary Housing Complex in Minamisanrikucho, Minami-Motoyoshi County, Miyagi Prefecture and had a chance to communicate with the residents.

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We held the event at this temporary housing complex through our relationship with Mr. Takahiro Inomata, the Executive Director of Minamisanriku Town Council of Social Welfare, who had given a lecture at the Symposium of Self-supporting Reconstruction held in Tokyo on March 11th, 2014. We tried to realize his hopes, who mentioned that "the road to recovery is yet to be seen in Minamisanrikucho. The awareness on the affected areas will steadily weaken as the memories of the disaster fade away throughout Japan", and that he wishes "the realities and the current situations of these affected areas be understood by as many people as possible and would like to request continuous support."

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We asked the residents to help us in the meeting room of the temporary housing complex where we used as the venue of the event, starting with the preparation first thing in the morning. Our purpose was to have friendly chats starting from the preparation stage. Several elementary school girls helped us cut the vegetables and uplifted the atmosphere in the room, and we were happy to see that people were able to chat with our staff as well.

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Mr. Hideo Sato, the dairy farmer (Senmaya) who had supported us since we began our activities and provided us with milk for the chai to serve with Tomodachi Curry®, unfortunately has recently withdrawn from the dairy business. As such, Mr. Nobuo Sudo, our new acquaintance, provided us with 20 L of fresh milk free of charge.

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Our staff continued to give instructions and explanations on the procedures after the ingredients in the pan were on the stove, and asked the residents to assist us. However, this is the time where the children gets bored, having have to wait. For this event, our Representative Director brought lots of firecrackers and balloons, and played with the children. In addition, the children asked to play tag and the game began with some of our staff joining in the fun. We leave it to you to guess who won.

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Tomodachi Curry® was finally ready before noon, but since the meeting room was not big enough, we asked to have a big tent outside and had the residents enjoy the meal with lots of conversation in an outdoor-activity environment. Thankfully the light rain we had during preparation had stopped by then and we had a good time, but unfortunately we could not find a place where many people could come and sit together.

Some benches were set in the corridor outside the housing complex near where we had our tent, and some people who could not find a space in the tent enjoyed the meal sitting on these benches.

Mr. Ikuo Takeyama, the Representative of Kamaya Memorial Building Committee, and Mr. Mitsuru Hatakeyama, the Director of Okago Christian Resource Center, who had given lectures at the Symposium held on March 11th joined us in the event. Dr. Shun Yonekawa of Yonekawa Clinic, whom our Foundation staff Tahir is close to, came from Nagoya to join us as well.

Mr. Onodera, the President of Nikko Fine Mecc Co., Ltd. in Senmaya provided us with blueberries harvested at his private residence. The blueberries went very well with Tomodachi Curry® and everyone loved this as dessert.

We held this event after hearing Mr. Inomata's words that "the road to recovery is yet to be seen in Minamisanrikucho", and we feel for the hardships the residents of the temporary housing complex must be going through.

We sincerely wish the best for the residents at Shizen-no-Ie Temporary Housing Complex.

Categories:Staff reports

2014.06.24 22:21 admin

2014.06.22 22:08

Interview with Mr. Yonezawa, Yonezawa Shokai CEO(6/21 2014 Yonezawa Shokai, Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture)

On Saturday, June 21st in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, we had a chance to speak with Mr. Yuichi Yonezawa, CEO of the company Yonezawa Shokai.

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He had been running a packaging goods store in the center of Rikuzentakata until the day of the Earthquake, March 11th, 2011, and now he continues his business in a temporary store.

During the Symposium of Self-supporting Reconstruction "Toward the light" held on March 11, 2014 organized by our Foundation, it was mentioned that "it seems that the removal of the affected buildings and ships of the area is being considered for psychological reasons, but if people wish the memories of the disaster to be linked to the safety of the next generation, then those hurtful things are specifically the ones which need to be preserved." Mr. Yonezawa himself decided to keep the building where he barely escaped death from the tsunami for the next generation.

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On March 11th, 2011, the day the Earthquake hit, Mr. Yonezawa evacuated on to the rooftop of a three-story steel-reinforced building. However, the tsunami even reached where he was, and he only just survived by climbing on the chimney part of the building. Sadly, his parents and brother who escaped to a different place could not make it.

Mr. Yonezawa put a sign saying "water level of the tsunami" on the chimney where he was saved, with hopes that the disaster would not fade away and that no lives would be lost when the next tsunami comes. He says that as someone who miraculously survived can do now is to live a full life each day, without leaving any regret, and keep promises made with others no matter what.

A new Rikuzentakata Station is to be constructed near the building Mr. Yonezawa owns, and from the side of the tracks, the town itself is planned to be raised up eight meters high. However, Mr. Yonezawa's building is outside this designated area and fortunately, for the time being, it will be able to stay where it is.

We shall keep Mr. Yonezawa's wish in our hearts.

Categories:Staff reports

2014.06.22 22:08 admin

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  • Tomodachi Curry® Event(6/22 2014 at Shizu River Shizen-no-Ie Temporary Housing Complex in Minamisanrikucho, Minami-Motoyoshi County, Miyagi Prefecture)
  • Interview with Mr. Yonezawa, Yonezawa Shokai CEO(6/21 2014 Yonezawa Shokai, Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture)