YMCAs’ Relief Work Report;
We are with Kumamoto (Vol.1)
The Damage Situation and YMCA Works for Kumamoto It was over “1100” times, number of earthquakes occurred in Kumamoto Prefecture, since April 14 till May 2, including that of magnitude-7.3. The quakes resulted in 66 deaths, and 17 of them lost their lives in middle of life as evacuees. While 22,000 evacuees are reported, more than 10,000 houses are confirmed “damaged” by the serial natural disasters in Kumamoto, as of May 2.
Kumamoto YMCA, with its local 14 establishments, started relief work immediately after the initial quake, for the people in Kumamoto and their regions, although they were the victims at the same time. Particularly, the Mashikicho Sogo Undo Koen (Mashiki Town General Athletic Park) and the Mifunecho Sports Center (both operated by the Kumamoto YMCA as a designated manager according to Local Government Act) accepted more than 1000 people as shelters. And from all Japan YMCAs, expert staff have been sent to Kumamoto for co-working with the Kumamoto YMCA and local governments and for running the shelters, providing supplies, and taking care of the senior citizens and children.
YMCA as a whole will exert our efforts into a recovery of Kumamoto and its people on a mid-long term basis, giving a special attention to the people suffered by the disaster.
【Following are based on the reports dated on April 25.】 Care Program for Senior People at Shelter From right after the first earthquake, YMCA has been engaged in an activity that can specifically focus on the senior people, and thus provide the senior-friendly environment in terms of stress they may be affected. The YMCA experts–dispatched to Kumamoto–work together to remove the fatigue of the aged people forced to live from April 14 onwards at the shelters and to prevent them from potential diseases. The program to care and refresh for the people includes a mild exercise that they can enjoy and a massage by one another using YMCA’s recreation technique. The pictures of these activities in the program–when put up on the bulletin board–received a good reputation from the many people at the shelters. Then, we added a popular, radio gymnastic exercise in the program, which too has been very much favored by them.
Childcare Program at Shelter In the earthquake-hit regions in Kumamoto, public schools will resume not before May 10, 2016. Because of prolonged life at shelters, children are currently confused and stressed due to the fear of aftershock and other psychogenic factors. So, lots of plays and educational opportunities are the ones they most needed. To address this problem, YMCA, backed by its task team of Childcare Programs and with practical experiences and management of its kindergartens, preschools, and childcare programs, has taken care of the children at the shelter. To take care of children leads to care of its family eventually. For instance, the Mashikicho Sogo Undo Koen, designated by the city, is provided as a base for all children to play and for preschool activities.
Café was Born at Shelter On April 20, a café run voluntarily was open at the corner of the Mashikicho Sogo Undo Koen. This spot was designed–mainly by Yokohama YMCA–to provide people in the shelters with a space and time, so that they may be able to ease their fatigue even for a little while by enjoying a cup of hot coffee. Before the café was opened, students at all three levels (elementary, junior-high, and high schools) had presented their ideas ranging from the menu board to the relaxing atmosphere inside the café. As the nickname of the café, Starbox was selected, and about 50 people lined up, attracted by the coffee flavor flowing outside, on its first day of the café. Some of them said, “I felt relieved” and “a good taste!” with beautiful smiles–for it was the first time to taste the dripped coffee since they were forced to evacuate to the shelter.
Another very “nice” surprise at the Starbox was coming up from elementary and junior-high students; they voluntarily worked for serving coffee to the people. All students debut as volunteers lately called themselves, Café Corps. In this way they are showing us a fresh and great ability to cheer us up.
Regardless of youth and adult, a willingness to support each other is certainly transformed to an energy that can bridge over the position of people being supported or supporting. This energy leads all of us to live tomorrow, resonating with the term Otagaisama meaning “We should help each other in times of need.
Street Donation in Japan and Messages from Overseas Since the week after the initial quake in Kumamoto, all YMCAs in Japan have taken the initiative in building a circle of support. This movement has now spread throughout the country, in the form of donation on a number of streets* mainly on Saturday and Sunday, and on web sites. In overseas, children of the mountain tribe in the northern Thailand–whom Kumamoto YMCA has been so far supported–started raising money for the victims in Japan. Also from Chiang Mai, Thailand, the fund raising activities were reported; thus, the members in Kumamoto YMCA have been much encouraged by their actions in Thailand.
The World Alliance of YMCAs in Switzerland, Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs in Hong Kong, YMCAs in China and Korea, and YMCAs of many parts of world have delivered to us words of encouragement and supportive messages. And from Ecuador YMCA–though the country also had a severe tremblor on April 16, we received a considerate message, “Pray together and overcome together for the difficulties.” Y’s Men’s Clubs of Japan have also extended great support to Kumamoto. YMCAs and Y’s Men’s Clubs worldwide have been praying for Kumamoto in Japan.
Name : The National Council of YMCAs of Japan
Address : 7 Honshio-cho Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo
Beneficiary Bank : THE BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI UFJ,LTD.
Branch Name : YOTSUYA BRANCH
Bank Address : 3-2-1 YOTSUYA SHINJUKU-KU TOKYO
Swift code : BOTKJPJT
Account Number : 051-0111494
|Name||The National Council of YMCAs of JAPAN|