A network of churches and organizations supporting churches and communities in Iwate Prefecture stricken by the Great East Japan Disaster
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2. Evacuation Relief Phase

Evacuation Relief Phase
This phase is a period when substantial infrastructure has been reinstated and preparations are being made for disaster survivors to move on to life in temporary housing, while still residing in evacuation centers or living a life of evacuation while at home. Large scale evacuation centers tend to receive substantial attention from the mass media as well as being well looked after by larger relief agencies, so we emphasized working with smaller evacuation centers and those still living out of their homes, as these tend to be overlooked and relief coverage is also insufficient. This is also a period in which we continuously sought out methods of support that would permit our long term participation, contemplating the needs of life in temporary housing (“kasetsu”) and then the needs of the period when the survivors moved into reconstruction housing or rebuilt their homes.
Relief supplies
224059_153696968029763_7710369_nA whole variety of daily supplies are in short supply at the evacuation centers, but so often, we would see mismatches and imbalances between the needs on hand and the material aid being supplied. We also saw that there were discrepancies between evacuation centers; some would be overflowing with relief supplies while others had substantial shortages. For those survivors living out of their homes, they would either not be able to obtain relief aid from the evacuation centers or would find it psychologically difficult to go and obtain relief supplies from the evacuation centers. Due to this reason, at our Network, we spent a lot of our time and effort supporting the disaster survivors living out of their own homes.
Mud-outs and clean-up
220135_153816204684506_7704812_oMud-outs and cleanup activities of homes overrun by the tsunami can have a variety of purposes. It could be the first step towards rebuilding livelihoods, or looking for cherished possessions, or collecting things needed for everyday life. Headcount mattered, because heavy equipment could not enter individual houses and everything needed to be done by hand.
Cook-outs
204577_152684388131021_153744_oLike other relief organizations, we also organized cook-outs. Having a warm meal or eating something different for a change not only fills the belly, but warms the heart of people who are spending time in the evacuation centers where it is not easy to fill their stomachs and the food is the same every day. Not only did we serve food, we packaged it with a time of mingling, children’s playtime and the delivery of relief aid.
Consolation visits & events
335766_210266865706106_2119173396_oAs the time spent in the evacuation centers extended, the exhaustion and stress faced by the survivors increased. To offset these negative elements, we engaged in arranging music concerts and trips to hot springs for the survivors. We learned the importance of communicating well with the people in charge at these evacuation centers.
“Play-With-Me” teams
209977_146523678747092_6453060_oWe noticed right away, as the time to be spent in the evacuation centers began, that the children had almost no space to play as children normally would. Through our “Play-With-Me” teams, we provided an environment for the children to freely and openly play like any other child, became their playmates and took on the frustrations they vented. This is an important step in providing care for the children.
Listen
376866_10150968432487470_288254431_nWe cherished the opportunity to listen to the survivors at every opportunity, at every juncture of our relationship with them. We may not all be professionally trained, but we took great care to take in each story the survivors would share with us.

この投稿文は次の言語で読めます: Japanese

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Date/Time 2015-02-10 / 11:00
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