Mid to long term support project for Great Eastern Japan Earthquake/nuclear accident survivors (May 9, 2016)
Five years from the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, the suffering of the affected people are still continuing. More than 165,000 people are still displaced, and the people who chose or had no choice but to stay in /return to the affected areas are facing the threat of health risks and continuous psychological stress from radioactive pollution, which takes thousands of years to disappear
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, the YWCA of Japan has engaged in emergency relief activities, including provision of aid supplies and sending volunteer coordinators and volunteers.
At this stage, we are conducting programs for mid-to-long term support, to continuously support the women and children facing difficulty in the affected areas, until the day when children born on the day of the disaster turn 20 years old.
Our program is based on the following three pillars:
We have launched the Activity Space Caro Fukushima in 2012, in order to provide mental care for the young parents with concern about the health and future of their children and to empower the people in the local area. Here we engage in community building efforts, staying present to the situations of those who are concerned about health risks of radiation but chose/ had to choose to stay in Fukushima.
We implement short-stay programs in the school holiday seasons in Spring, Summer and Winter, aimed to provide the children in the affected areas and their families with an opportunity to refresh their bodies and minds, using the YWCAs throughout Japan as a basis, utilizing the unique human resources of the YWCA.
In this program, the YWCA of Japan rents three houses in Yokohama. Nagoya and Kobe, and lends them to families and groups from the affected area for free, supporting their stay for 3 to 14 days. Transportation fee support is provided for users. This program is another form of “Refresh” program, which allows participants to choose the date freely, providing easier access for the people who cannot participate in the above short-stay program due to work. It also does not limit participants by age, so it allows for whole families to participate together.
These activities by the YWCA of Japan have been supported by generous donations from around the world. We express our heartfelt gratitude for all those who have extended their hearts for the people facing the nuclear disaster situation, and ask for your continuous solidarity as we tackle the ongoing difficulties.