June 28th, 2011
HFH Japan Sends Third Team Of Volunteers To Clear Debris And Clean Up Houses In Badly-Hit Iwate Prefecture
Habitat board chair Ken Klein (left) receives the Standard Chartered donation from Mark Devadason, the bank’s group head of regions, corporate affairs, at Standard Chartered’s Hong Kong head office.
HONG KONG/IWATE, Japan, 28th June 2011: Habitat for Humanity’s response in earthquake-struck Japan has been boosted by a 32.3 million yen (US$400,000) donation from the Standard Chartered banking group.
Standard Chartered’s employees and customers raised the money with the banking group providing a matching gift for their contributions. The funds raised will go toward Habitat’s “Rebuilding Japan” program to support those affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 11th March.
“We are so grateful for this donation from Standard Chartered. It will allow us to assist those whose homes were damaged by the brutal tsunami waves, and those who lost their homes completely and are currently living in temporary government shelters,” said Kentaro Yamazaki, head of HFH Japan.
Ken Klein, chairman of Habitat for Humanity International’s board of directors, received the donation at a ceremonial handover whilst on a visit to Hong Kong.
This recent donation builds on Standard Chartered’s existing relationship with Habitat for Humanity, established after the severe flooding in Pakistan in 2010.
Standard Chartered Group raised a total of US$578,183 across its worldwide network for Japan. Of this amount, US$400,000 has been donated to Habitat for Humanity, with the remainder going to the Japanese Red Cross.
As part of its disaster response program in Japan, Habitat aims to clear debris and clean 300 homes, repair 100 homes and distribute 1,000 “home starter” kits.
Habitat for Humanity volunteers are clearing away debris, pulling out wet flooring and insulation and undertaking housing repair works – doing everything necessary to ensure that families currently in evacuation centers, or with friends and family, can return to clean and healthy homes.
The third team of volunteers recently returned after working over a weekend in badly affected Ofunato and Rikuzentakata cities in Iwate Prefecture.
Volunteer Motoki Sasaki, 32, works for an organization that advises corporate companies how to safely dispose of industrial waste. “I was part of a team of volunteers clearing debris and trash from a rice field in Rikuzentakata, a city in Iwate Prefecture. Rice fields are small areas of private land so it is difficult for big excavation machinery to access the fields. This is why individual volunteer help is really needed here,” said Sasaki.
Fellow volunteer, Takeru Nakano, a 49-year-old architect, helped to clear mud and cleaned up a shop in Ofunato, and also cleared a ditch. “Some buildings are still standing but if you look closely you can see that these buildings were submerged up the first floor, some to the second floor, and most of them have broken doors and windows hidden by temporary sheeting. It has been three months since the earthquake and tsunami but so many people still need support,” said Nakano.