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Habitat for Humanity Japan recruits volunteers for relief operation

March 21, 2011

Singapore, 21 March 2011 – Habitat for Humanity Japan is asking people living in Japan who are willing to volunteer and help with the clean-up operation after last week’s earthquake and tsunami to register their interest.

“It may be several weeks still before we know how and when people can help, but we are taking names now so we are ready to go when the time is right.” Kentaro Yamazaki, Habitat for Humanity Japan’s manager of its national office, said: “We regularly send local and Japanese-based foreign volunteers – more than 800 a year – to support projects overseas, and now help is needed on our doorstep. If you are unable to come forward as a volunteer, please donate so we are able to help those most in need.”

Habitat for Humanity Japan, together with an assessment team from Habitat for Humanity International, is currently liaising with government authorities and other organizations to coordinate the most appropriate response in the areas of greatest need. The Japanese government has urged NGOs to wait until search and rescue operations have finished before commencing any clean-up activities.

Longer-term activities may include home clean-up and repair, targeting communities severely affected by the earthquake. A more detailed strategy for response will be completed when the full extent of the damage is known. Habitat for Humanity expects that its response to the earthquake and tsunami could last for up to two years.

To donate, please visit www.habitateurope.org

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday 11 March was the largest to ever hit Japan since recordings began. The earthquake created tsunami waves of up to 10 meters (33 ft) that struck Japan minutes after the quake, in some cases travelling up to 10 km (6 miles) inland.

The earthquake struck 130 km (81 miles) east of Sendai city, Japan, and this, plus the subsequent tsunami, has wrought massive destruction along the Pacific coastline of Japan’s northern islands.

Habitat for Humanity Japan
Habitat for Humanity Japan is the Japanese chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. HFH Japan was officially registered in 2001 to handle the increasing number of volunteers and to advance a currently insufficient level of building activity.
Each year, HFH Japan sends hundreds of volunteers overseas via to help build and repair homes for low-income families. In addition to this, HFH Japan raises funds to support house building in developing countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and post-disaster reconstruction around the world.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built and renovated more than 400,000 homes worldwide. In Europe and Central Asia, Habitat works in 22 countries with partners, donors and volunteers from the region. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitateurope.org