September 7th, 2011
More Help Still Needed Six Months After The Disaster
BANGKOK, 7th September 2011: Volunteers working with Habitat for Humanity and partner organizations have spent more than 50,000 hours clearing up homes hit by the devastating tsunami wave that struck Japan’s northeastern coastline six months ago today, on 11 March.
In the coming weeks and months hundreds more volunteers are scheduled to continue and expand this clean-up operation.
“The sheer scale of destruction here is massive, but Habitat for Humanity is committed to helping revitalize communities so damaged by the earthquake and tsunami,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.
“It is heartening to see everyone working together to help Japan recover. Shoveling mud and clearing debris are not glamorous jobs. I want to thank all the volunteers who are doing the hard work of clearing and cleaning buildings so that residents can return home and regain a sense of normalcy. Your commitment, strength and sensitivity are greatly appreciated,” continued Reckford.
Habitat for Humanity is working with partner organizations, like All Hands Volunteers and Peace Boat, to support and mobilize volunteers in the clean-up operation in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures. This includes recruiting volunteers, and providing financial and logistical support to procure tools and safety equipment. In the coming months, Habitat will be working with local carpenters to undertake repair work.
To date, Habitat has helped hundreds of volunteers take part in the clean-up operation, including many Habitat for Humanity Japan volunteers who have previously travelled to other countries to support Habitat’s work internationally. Many more volunteers are planned to travel to Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures in coming weeks and months, including teams of volunteers from Habitat corporate supporters such as APPJ and Standard Chartered Bank.
In addition, Habitat for Humanity is working with partners to distribute thousands of ‘home starter kits’, providing items like mattresses and household goods, to help families moving in to temporary government shelter or those returning to damaged homes.
The 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday 11 March was the largest to ever hit Japan since recordings began. The earthquake, and the subsequent tsunami waves, killed more than 15,700 people, with 4,500 still missing, and damaging or destroying more than 125,000 buildings.
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Habitat for Humanity Japan
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Japan is the Japanese chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. HFH Japan was officially registered in 2003 and 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.
All Hands Volunteers
AHV is a US-based, non-profit organization. AHV provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. By supporting volunteers with shelter, food, and logistical support at no charge, AHV is able to provide free and effective response services to communities in need. Programs are directed by the needs of each community in which volunteers work, ensuring a timely, relevant, and culturally sensitive response. Over 6,000 volunteers from over 42 countries have worked with AHV to provide critical assistance to more than 30,000 families.
Peace Boat is a Japanese international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment. Peace Boat’s relief operation provides immediate aid in the aftermath of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, and supports the long term social and economic recovery of the town of Ishinomaki and its environs. Habitat for Humanity is working with the Peace Boat Center in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.