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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2011.05.01 17:58

Volunteer report:1 May 2011-Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture-

Here are reports from volunteers who participated in meal preparation at Minato Primary School in Ishinomaki City.


(Mr S, Age 39, Male, Tokyo resident)
I took part in activities such as meal preparation from 30 April to 1 May. Reconstruction of the devastated area had not progressed as much as I heard about through news reports, and I felt, first hand, the misery of the disaster site with the smell of sea water sludge, washed up rubble, cars, boats, and damaged houses.
Evacuees at Minato Primary School were living with dozens of people in the confined space of one classroom, and had been continuing this sort of existence without a break for more than a month.

I felt that there is a need from now on to undertake activities such as debris removal and sewerage cleaning move towards reconstruction of the devastated area.


(Mr M, Age 37, Male, Kanagawa prefecture resident)
Although initially before participating I was unsure if there would be anything I could do to help, but I realised that there are many activities I could be part of.

When I saw the vicinity of Minato Primary School, the area towards Ishinomaki port, and the areas where there was greatest tsunami damage, I felt that even just taking the first step to actually visit the disaster site was significant and would lead to providing practical support. I witnessed situations too dreadful to put into words, which gave me a shock and at the same time made me realise the significance of our daily support activities as well as the significance of what was lost.

However, according to stories I have heard from grandparents since I was a child,  the circumstances during postwar days were just as devastating, following which Japan was able to recover, which is why today's society exists. Up until now we have been receiving the fruit of our predecessors efforts for revival, but now, we, as the people concerned must strive for revival. 


(Mr T, Age 45, Male, Tokyo resident)
I felt that the town was divided by the disparity between the areas that received enormous damage and those areas where damage was slight. While in the former, people gather for meals prepared by volunteers, in the latter they go shopping at supermarkets. In addition, even within those areas where damage was great, when I spoke to people from the site, I felt that there is an emerging gap between those people who lost their houses and those who didn't.



Categories:Ishinomaki,MiyagiRENTAI TOHOKU activities

2011.05.01 17:58 admin

2011.04.23 17:50

Volunteer report:23 April 2011-Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture-

We provided emergency relief in the form of meal preparation at Minato Primary School, Ishinomaki City. We would like to present some of the impressions of volunteers who participated in this activity.


(Mr K, Age 26, Male, Saitama prefecture resident)

kibou.jpgSince the immediate aftermath of the earthquake disaster of 11 March, I had been continually preoccupied with the thought that I should do something to help the devastated area, and therefore decided to participate in this volunteer activity.

The feelings one experiences at the actual disaster site proved to be very different from those experienced through television or other media. I was lost for words when I witnessed the overwhelming destructive force of the tsunami at the coast, and although this may sound sentimental, when I saw the cherry blossoms flowering in stark contrast to their devastated surroundings, I was not able to hold back my unexpected tears.

How is it possible to express in words the way that just one difference in paths could result in completely different consequences; is the word 'destiny' truly appropriate for this. I can't help but feel that whatever words I use feel too light.

One elderly lady I spoke to at the evacuation centre told me how she was saved only because she returned to save her friend.  I was shocked by the way in which just a small difference in timing made the distinction between life and death; I felt that I too am living an existence according to such timing, and realised anew that I must live my life earnestly.

(Mr I, Age 37, Male, Tokyo resident)
1.cooking-2.jpgAlthough my schedule was for a limited time, I participated in meal preparation. I saw before my eyes that the people who had evacuated there had lost their loved ones, homes, familiar communities, and were in extremely distressful, awful circumstances. It is certain that much more support is still needed, and it is important for there to be a system of emergency relief to support today's life, and tomorrow's life, through Japanese and foreign people coming together as one. However, at the same time, when I recall the proud character of friends and acquaintances from Tohoku I feel anxious about what lies ahead. What I feel most is that while retaining the dignity they originally possess, perhaps the time has come for these victims to work towards becoming independent.  In order for them to regain a life with a purpose while doing something worthwhile, I would like to find something I can do to help.


Categories:Ishinomaki,MiyagiRENTAI TOHOKU activities

2011.04.23 17:50 admin

2011.04.17 14:00

report:17 April 2011-Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture-

In the 3rd Week of April, we moved our activity base to Minato Primary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi. While providing meal services and helping to create a play space for children at the refuge shelter, we talked to some evacuees in order to grasp the needs for support and determine a direction of our future activities. The following is the voices of evacuees our volunteer staff interviewed.


(Male evacuee, Age around 70) Recorded on 17th April, 2011

Stopped Clock at 2.47pm.jpgAs my house is covered with mud, I must clean the mess from half past four every morning. Cleaning takes ages as there is no water supply. I cannot even wash myself when I get sweaty.
My only hobby used to be bird watching. But no wild birds fly in as things are like this. Now, I have nothing to look forward to apart from smoking. It is hard to find cigarette anywhere but my nephew was thoughtful enough to send me some packets.



P4170797.JPG(Male evacuee, Age around 70) Recorded on 17th April, 2011
My wife underwent amputation of a foot a week before the earthquake. Though she needs to see her doctor for post-operation follow-ups, the hospital has been closed. She has not seen the doctor yet. As transportation is paralysed, I cannot take her to a hospital away from here.






Categories:Ishinomaki,MiyagiRENTAI TOHOKU activities

2011.04.17 14:00 admin

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RENTAI TOHOKU activities

This is about meetings and support activities involving people from the affected area.

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