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November 2011

02 November 2011

Announcement from Relief Headquarters

Dear Friends and Supporters from Overseas,

Through the support of our many friends and colleagues overseas as well as people in Japan, we, at “the Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities of Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake” have been able to provide various supports to people with disabilities affected by earthquake and tsunami. 

Since the establishment of Headquarters, Relief Focal Centers have been set up in prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate to coordinate activities locally attending the needs of individuals with various people with disabilities and their families. 

We would like to inform you that we will put on hold of English updates temporarily.  As we progress further in assisting individuals and families locally, we are attending more and more personal/private needs which cannot be disseminated publicly. 

We will, however, inform you time to time on major progress through DPI-Japan’s English website. 

We ensure to continue our assistance to empower people with disabilities in affected areas toward construction of NEW INCLUSIVE SOCIETY!!

Thank you very much for your supports and prayers.
Warm regards,

Office of Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities
of Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake

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Relief Headquarter Activity Reports
08/31/2011 Issued by the Tokyo Office of Relief Headquarter

(1)From Focal Relief Center & Relief Headquarters
Because of many supports and volunteers, we, Relief Headquarters, were able to be a part of reconstruction efforts since right after the earthquake. We appreciate from the bottom our hearts. 
The Relief Headquarters terminated accepting new volunteers at “Focal Relief Centers” in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima by the end of August. From September, we continue to assist by hiring locals in order to activate communities.

(2)Activity situation of Focal Relief Center
At Focal Relief Center in Miyagi and Iwate, regularly 8-10 volunteers from all over Japan are supporting through talking with persons with disabilities living at temporally houses, helping with transportation to hospitals and groceries, and bathing.  Through the visit to each temporary house, it became apparent of cases of individuals’ serious needs such as communication difficulty by deaf elderly and multiple persons with disabilities in one family.  At the same time, spotted and isolated disabled people are starting to be in contact and increasing locations for gathering.

Photo: Temporary housing in Ofunato-city.  Installations of slope have become possible through application.

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[Iwate]
From mid. June to August, an Independent Living Center, Mainstream Association of Nishinomiya-city, Hyogo has lead ‘Persons with Disabilities dispatch project’ [Person with disabilities supported by persons with disabilities (Peer support Activity)].  In Iwate, most of persons with disabilities live at group facilities or with families.  There are few living independently and they do not often go out.  We have arranged person with disabilities visit them to listen to their needs and discuss about independent living with the objective of empowering them. So far 7 pair of a person with disabilities and a staff have visited coastal areas like Tanohata-village, Miyako-city, Yamada-town, Otsuchi-town, Kamaishi-city, Ofunato-city, and Rikuzentakata-city.

[Miyagi]
Headquarter of Sendai-city, Watari-town/south of prefecture, Tome-town/north of prefecture these bases have kept finding awaiting disabled people at individual housings and support their needs. On the other hand, Center Miyagi had hosted an event [Talk with Mr. Rokusuke Ei and Mr. Hitoshi Komuro meeting in Nagamachi] at Nagamachi temporary community square in Sendai city on August 23, 2011. That was planned for people at the temporary housing to have a little fun and relaxing time.
We visited every 130 temporary houses to advertise this event and to talk about our support activity mainly for persons with disabilities.  Many people participated in the event despite rainy night. (Mr. Rokusuke Ei and Mr.Hitoshi Komuro have been supporting the disaster relief activity for persons with disabilities for ten years as spokespersons of Yume-Kaze Fund.)

Photo 2: No one left the event during raining until the end.

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[Fukushima]
Through the request by Prefecture government, Independent Living Centers are providing supports for people at temporary housings, responding to the needs of persons with disabilities, and investigation of radiation damage.  And Center Fukushima has conducted a survey to 1139 registered people with disabilities since April 30, 2011 by the request of Minami Soma-city government. The results of this survey were submitted to Mr. Katsunobu Sakurai, the Mayor of Minami Soma, with a meeting on August 29, 2011. This was only the case that the support group cooperated with Municipal government in conducting a survey for individual disabilities with disclosure of individual information by officials despite privacy protection issue. We expect this will affect other municipalities, methods of the support activity, and the countermeasure for ‘People who need assistance in disaster’.  While we have gained overall picture of the situation of persons disabilities (492 people living in the city and the number of confirmed deceased), we need to find out more information (about 600 people including those who left the city).
-Here is the report and the results of survey
http://www.dinf.ne.jp/doc/JDF/0829_houkoku/index.html

Photo-3: At Minami Soma city hall, Mayor Sakurai 4th from left

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(3)From Relief Headquarters
At the Relief Headquarters, other various projects are ongoing in addition to the activities we reported in this article.  “After disaster, we hear various issues and requests beyond our experiences” “Lack of contacts for consultation and services” – recognizing these circumstances we are planning to conduct workshops for staff in order to strengthen counseling/support services for persons with disabilities. Furthermore, we are making visual materials about situation of after disaster, images of shelters and relief activities from the view of person with disabilities.  We hope to share broadly among disability community, government/municipal officials, organizations and other stakeholders in order to help disaster prevention/reduction and reconstruction/recovery. We greatly appreciate your continuing support.

Article from newspaper August 22,2011 Yamagata News: Searching needs, helping independence, 5 months at “Focal Relief Center Miyagi”

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Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities of Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake
DPI-Japan
5th floor Musashino Bldg, 3-11-8 Kanda-nishiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0054 JAPAN
Tel: +81(0)3-5282-3730  fax: +81(0)3-5282-0017
Website:http://dpi.cocolog-nifty.com/en/
Contacts: tamaru@dpi-japan.org  shimano@dpi-japan.org

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