The Kumamoto Earthquake Report 7:
Overcoming challenges, turning them into joy and hope
May 3rd 2016
The number of evacuees at the gymnasium in Mashiki-town, run by YMCA, has exceeded 1,500 individuals. Numerous temporary toilets that are placed indicate delayed restoration of water and sewerage in this town. Many evacuees who could not continue their evacuation in their vehicles have also shifted to this evacuation center, and thus, the number of evacuees here isn’t decreasing at all.
Despite infrastructure challenge with already stretched facility and staff, in order to accommodate 1,500 people, there are numerous mini-solutions being sought and implemented here. For example, there are cafe space, health inquiry booth, playroom for children, nursing room, tent for pets, etc. There are signs that can easily navigate where things are, and posters written by children are really heart-warming.
“During the first earthquake on April 14th, I was working here in this gymnasium. When the bigger one hit on April 16th, I escaped from my apartment through bathroom window, and have helped others in the same apartment to evacuate. Then, I came to this place immediately”, said Yoko Marume, who is deputy chief of this athletic facility. Her fellow 15 colleagues have all been affected by the earthquake, but along with Marume, all staff came to the center immediately to assist the evacuee as their top priority. Although they have been going through sleepless nights and stressful days here, Marume and the rest of the staff are all cheerful with full of smiles.
Marume told us, “We are thinking of renaming this place as a town, and we can then call on people Mr. or Mrs. so and so from this district or that ward.” Their mind-set seems to be based on how to be creative in the current challenging circumstance. The reason for smile and cheerfulness from her and the other staff to appear seems to be that they are forward-looking. “We want to overcome this challenge, by turning this into joy and hope”, said Marume. Future of the center and the evacuees is still unforeseen in many respect, but none of the staff are giving up hope.
Children in the center proactively assist through making posters and carrying tea service and
“I have a dream of doing a YMCA camp with these children, with these students here as camp leaders”, said Marume. We believe this dream would definitely come true, especially after seeing great smiles, enthusiasm, and sense of responsibility these children are showing here. Collectively, they are all trying to turn existing challenges into hope for the future.
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
The National Council of YMCAs of Japan and the Church World Service Japan are working together as partner for relief activities in Kumamoto Earthquake.
Here is English Report by Mr. Takeshi Komino of CWSJ about Japan YMCA’s relief works.
Interviewer: Yoko Yano
Photo taken by: Ryoji Inaba, YMCA Kumamoto
English translation: Takeshi Komino, CWS Japan
|Name||The National Council of YMCAs of JAPAN|