Sustainable Support Leveraging the Power of Community
The last few years has seen a wide range of initiatives to help with the recovery from the Great East Japan earthquake. As well as major infrastructure projects, such as the creation of breakwaters and highways, there are many activities focused on supporting people’s everyday lives.
One such example is a program to share information and raise awareness about how to save lives if a disaster occurs. Even though people know what to do in these situations, particularly given the region’s history, they don’t necessarily act accordingly when disasters strike. To help address this, a network was established for professional storytellers to share the experiences of the disaster, a simple yet effective way of helping focus people’s attention on information can could one day save their lives. Funding for these types of low-profile-yet-essential programs is often a challenge but is a perfect match for our approach to community support.
We also fund initiatives that provide emotional support for women and children affected by the disaster and assist elderly and disabled people in the area to live more independently. Projects such as these that leverage the power of community as the foundation for rebuilding local people’s lives can have a long-lasting impact, providing opportunities for genuine healing to take place.
Another key to ensuring that recovery activities are sustainable is the provision of spaces where people in the local area can get together and form connections. Recognizing this, we also support NPOs and other organizations that work at such places and who are actively encouraging the establishment of partnerships.
Holding regular in-house market-stall events where local specialties and industry products from disaster-struck areas are sold to help strengthen the capacity of local communities.
Conducting regular workshops to explain how to best use and distribute disaster aid grants to help NPOs and support groups realize their activities.
Providing a place where support groups from each region can come together and communicate to enable improved continuity and to help scale up reconstruction activities.
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