PEACE BOAT’S RELIEF EFFORTS
Peace Boat’s mission has been to provide immediate emergency relief and support for the long term social and economic recovery of the Tohoku region following the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, focusing on the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture and its environs. Peace Boat works in consultation and partnership with local communities, responding to their situation and needs, enabling and empowering them as part of the recovery process. Peace Boat’s operations focus on the training and deployment of volunteers in the belief that volunteers can provide essential support in the physical regeneration of Tohoku, and that the human solidarity they provide is a vital factor in the comprehensive recovery of the region.
Within a week of the March 11 disaster, Peace Boat had established a presence in Ishinomaki, one of the most badly affected towns in Tohoku. Peace Boat began emergency programs to deal with this unprecedented disaster, deploying thousands of volunteers to provide hot meals, distribute relief goods and clear mud. In Ishinomaki Peace Boat continues to work in close collaboration with the local community, authorities and other NPOs active in the region. Specifically, Peace Boat worked and works in partnership with the Social Welfare Council of Ishinomaki; the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC); the Ishinomaki Mayor’s Office; and the Japan Self Defense Force. Peace Boat is committed to provide support for the reconstruction of the area through the foreseeable future, contributing to strengthening local capacity. Our relief operations are continuing with the following projects.
- Clearing mud from private buildings (homes and businesses) and public areas in partnership with the local community.
- Supporting communities in Temporary Housing by distributing a regular newsletter, becoming part of the community and helping to identify and serve their needs.
- Training volunteer leaders and volunteers, with a view to making sure that in the future, Japan will be able to respond quickly and efficiently to natural disasters.
- Supporting the fishing villages by organizing a fishing version of WOOF program experiencing the life of fisherfolk, learning about the Fishing Union structures, and encouraging them to provide long-term support for the fishing industry.
- Sending volunteers and volunteer leaders to help people of other regions affected by disasters (Wakayama prefecture affected by Typhoon Talas in September-October 2011, Niigata prefecture affected by heavy snow in February 2012, Oita and Kumamoto prefectures affected by Heavy Rainfall in July 2012, New York affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012)