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JAPAN EARTHQUAKE UPDATE

Update on August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

Activity by Morioka YMCA Miyako Volunteer Center
High school students in Miyako and Kobe shared their thoughts with each other 
On August 15, Miyako Volunteer Center hosted six students from Rokko High School in Kobe city, and supported them to interact with high school students in Miyako city, Miyagi Prefecture. By playing games, the students gradually became comfortable with each other, and shared their memories of 3.11 as well as their stories of the volunteer work which they are presently taking part in.

Activities by Sendai YMCA
Sendai YMCA supported the volunteer work of vocational college students at nursing home
From August 19 to 21, Sendai YMCA hosted the students of Wakayama YMCA International Welfare Vocational College, and guided them to the areas affected by the earthquake in Miyagi and Fukushima Prefecture. The students visited nursing homes in Yamotocho and Ishinomaki city, and spent time together with the residents. By making use of their skills for care, they gave the residents hand and foot bath treatment, which were greatly pleased together with their ocarina performance. 
 
Activity by YMCA Ishinomaki Support Center
Middle and high school students from the US visited Ishinomaki for cultural exchange
Middle and high school students from Virginia, USA visited Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture from July 30 to August 2, supported by Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund. Taylor Anderson, who lost her life by 3.11 tsunami, was an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in Ishinomaki, and wished to serve as a bridge between Japan and the US. while alive. Taylor's former students in Ishinomaki, who respect her will had visited her home country in summer 2012, and it was the sons and daughters of their host families, who visited Japan this time. They enjoyed their reunion, and spend memorable time together.

High school students in Miyako and Kobe shared their thoughts and stories
Hand and foot bath treatment were given to the nursing home residents in Miyagi
American students spent memorable time in Ishinomaki

Update on July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Activity by Morioka YMCA Miyako Volunteer Center
■YMCA Summer Camp Orientation Meeting in Miyako
YMCA summer camp orientation meeting was held in Miyako church on July 20th. In spite of the bad weather and that it has already been three years since YMCA started the relief work in Miyako, as many as 70 children and their parents gathered and participated the meeting.

Activities by Sendai YMCA
■Sendai YMCA Invited Schoolchildren to the Summer Camp Program
From July 28th to 30th, Sendai YMCA invited 17 schoolchildren from Kosugo Elementary School in Shiraishi city to its regular summer camp program, held in Kurihara city, Miyagi. Within Miyagi prefecture, Shiraishi city is located  nearest to Fukushima, and up to this day, Sendai YMCA has hosted the summer camp for the children of Kosugo Elementary School for three times, aiming to provide them relaxed and enjoyable time in a place full of nature. As a next step, Sendai YMCA invited the children to its regular camp program this time, hoping that it would be a good chance for them to meet new friends and have new experiences. 

Activity by YMCA Ishinomaki Support Center
■Middle and High-School Students from the US Helped to Make a Flowerbed in Temporary Housing
Middle and High-School Students from BCCYMCA in the US is now visiting Tochigi YMCA in Japan as a summer camp program. From July 14th to 16th, they visited Ishinomaki, and participated in the volunteer work to make a flowerbed in temporary housing. Weeding is laborious work, especially for the old inhabitants in this season, and the students' devoted work was appreciated by many inhabitants. The students also sang English song for the inhabitants and they spend memorable time together.



  

70 people attended YMCA summer camp orientation meeting in Miyako
Schoolchildren in Shiraishi City enjoyed outing to the riverside, outdoor cooking, campfire etc. at Sendai YMCA summer camp program.
Studensts fromt the US made a flowerbed in Ishinomaki temporary housing

Update on December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

Activity by Morioka YMCA Miyako Volunteer Center
-Street fundraising for the Philippines
On December 8th, a street fundraising campaign was conducted for the typhoon affected areas in the Philippines near Miyako Station. Some local volunteers and 33 high school students in Miyako as well as YMCA staff gathered to raise fund for the emergency responce. The high school students called for an appeal by telling the passers-by "Let's become supporters not only  the beneficiaries. Let's share our motivation toward recovery." Many people were touched and the contribution collected was approximately 100,000 yen (1,000 US dollars).

Activities by Sendai YMCA
-Soccer Games among the teams in the disaster affected areas
On November 2nd and 3rd, the soccer friendly tournament was taken place at Tohoku Gakuin University on its ground and dormitory. The participating teams were four children's soccer teams in Kesennuma, Ishinomaki and Yuriage as well as the Sendai YMCA soccer team. This event was supported by the Y's Men's Clubs in East Japan Region, North Eastern Disricts and The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC). Also, the youth volunteers of Tochigi and Maebashi YMCAs joined as supporters. Some participants commented that the children were enjoying actively and freely with big smiles on their faces. 

Activity by YMCA Ishinomaki Support Center
-Indoor activity in Koriyama, Fukushima
On November 23rd, an indoor activities program for the children was held at Koriyama Xaverio Gakuen in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture. This is the third time to have this series of programs since February 2013. This time, in addition to the elementary school students, the children in kindergarten or nursery joined the program and enjoyed playing actively with the youth volunteers. It is said that exercise is one of the important elements for the children's growth. Tokyo YMCA will continue to organize the programs regularly for more children to have time and opportunity to do physical activities. 

From the disaster affected area to the regions suffering from the aftermath. High School Students called for emergency appeals for the Philippines
Friendly matchs among four children's soccer teams and Sendai YMCA
YMCA staff and volunteers are showing how to do some recreation games

Update on November 20, 2013

November 20, 2013

Activity by Morioka YMCA Miyako Volunteer Center
-Live performance at the temporary houses
On November 3, a singer from Tokyo had live performances for the people at the temporary housings at Dai-ni Junior High School, Nakazato and Atago areas in Miyako. He sang songs from the 1950s to 1980s. About 15 people gathered at the venues, and enjoyed listening to the oldies of Japan. The Children, on the other hand, were playing plunking with the YMCA's childcare workers and the local junior high school students at the "game corner" outside the meeting hall during the live sessions. 

Activity by YMCA Ishinomaki Support Center
-Support for the oyster farming industry continues in Ishinomaki City
From October 22 to 25, the Ishinomaki YMCA Support Center conducted the support work for the oyster farming industry which has continued since this summer in Ishinomaki City. This time, the volunteers helped to remove the barnacles and seaweed on the shells of the oysters. In this area, the workshops to remove the shells has not been recovered yet, so the fishers need to ship the oysters with the shells at the moment. Anyway, manual work is needed to remove the barnacles and seaweed. During the support work, more than 1000 oyeters were cleaned.

Activity in other areas
-"Refresh Family Program" for the families from Fukushima
On October 19, a "Refresh Family Program" for the families who evacuated from Fukushima was held at a farm. The participants harvested the green soybeans they sowed in June. The children, surrounded by autumnal things, played with Japanese pampas grass and picked up chestnuts . The participants learned how to harvest the soybeans with hands and special scissors and did by themselves. The adults as well as the children are all surprised because more beans harvested than they had expected. For the children and the parents or guardians who live in Kobe with a little different environment from their hometown in Fukushima, this program made them feel the nature and enjoy meeting new people and reunite the friends.

Program in cooperation with a private company
-Mitsubishi Corporation-YMCA Friendship Camp 
From November 2 to 4, the Mitsubishi Corporation- YMCA Friendship Camp, "Refresh Camp" for the parents and children were held at the International Youth Center, Tozanso in Gotemba, Shizuoka. Most of the participants were from Iwaki, Fukushima. The people who participated this kind of camp for the first time said that it had been difficult for those who evacuate outside Fukushima by their own will to join the camp, so they were glad to be able to participate in this camp.

Listening to the oldies performed by a singer from Tokyo (Miyako)
Volunteers removing the seaweed on the shell of the oysters (Ishinomaki)
Harvesting green soybeans sowed in June (Kobe YMCA Refresh Family Program)
Most of the participants were originally from Iwaki, Fukushima (Mitsubishi Corporation- YMCA Friendship Camp)

Update on October 23, 2013

October 23, 2013

Activities by Morioka YMCA Miyako Volunteer Center
-The Volunteers from Seattle visited the temporary houses
On October 7 and 8, the staff members at Miyako Volunteer Center made a visit to the Nitake Temporary Housings and the Dai-ni Junior High School Temporary Housings with the volunteers from Seattle. They enjoyed learning Japanese culture by doing some calligraphy.

-Children attempted to climb Mt. Kabuto-myojin-dake
On October 12, a day camp activity for the children in Miyako called Adventure Club was held. They attempted to climb Mt. Kabuto-myojin-dake which is located in the inland area, Kuzakai Kogen Height, but it was rainy on the day. Although they had to give up reaching the summit due to the bad weather, they enjoyed the outdoor activity. 

Activities by YMCA Ishinomaki Support Center
-Support activity for the after-school programs for the elementary school pupils in Ishinomaki
YMCA Ishinomaki Support Center continues to send youth volunteers to the after school programs in Ishinomaki since the summer of 2012. After the disaster, the environment around children at home and at school has changed and that made more the after-school programs necessary. The city government decided to raise the age of children who can use the facility, and many children have to be on the waiting list. This summer, YMCA Ishinomaki Support Center, in cooperation with the Ishinomaki City Hall, has sent 48 volunteers in total to the 8 municipal after-school programs.

-YMCA Singing Saloon 
On October 3, YMCA Singing Saloon was held in Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture. This was the second session at the gathering hall of Asahigaoka Housing Complex since June 2013. This area located on a hill had not been directly affected by the tsunami, but four sets of temporary housings were built within the sites.
The Singing Saloon at Asahigaoka Housing Complex created a bond between the original habitants and those who live in the temporary housing, and also contribute to build up the new community with all of the inhabitants.

The Volunteers from Seattle enjoyed Japanese calligraphy in Miyako
The participants of the Adventure Club went to Mt. Kabuto-myojin-dake (Miyako Volunteer Center)
More and more children in Ishinomaki come to the after-school sessions
The YMCA Singing Saloon contributes to connect the habitants of the Housing Complex in Onagawa, Miyagi

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