AYUS International Buddhist Cooperation Network
In order to support relief activities for the Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster, AYUS has started a fundraising campaign. As the damage has been immense and has covered a wide area, we feel we want to respond first through on demand aid. We ask for your support towards NGOs that are flexible and grapple with the matter in a sensitive manner. The first aid will done in an on demand basis. We are also appealing and coordinating Buddhist temples that can provide a base for NGO relief activities as well as providing a place for staff to stay.
These are the NGOs that we are supporting and connecting Buddhist temple to:
● International Volunteer Center of Yamagata (IVY)
On April 1st, we were able to send 500,000 yen/ $5,900 to IVY. As a representative NGO of the Tohoku region (Yamagata is next to the disaster areas of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Iwate), IVY has established an NGO disaster center for the Tohoku area and is coordinating requests for aid for both domestic and international groups. They are also offering food and material resources in areas where it has been hard to deliver aid. In discussions with IVY on April 1st, we learned that since there are areas where electricity still has not been restored, there is a need for funds to purchase solar powered lanterns from overseas (stocks within Japan are almost entirely depleted) as well as fireman type long boots and others materials. As the daily needs continue to change, we will need to continue to raise funds to meet them. For more details, see IVY’s English homepage.
● Citizens towards Overseas Disaster Emergency (CODE)
On March 24th, we were able to send 500,000 yen/ $5,900 to CODE. CODE was established during the great Hanshin Earthquake in central Japan in 1996. At the time of the recent Eastern Japan earthquake, CODE was engaged in dealing with the large amounts of volcanic ash that has covered vegetables in the area of Kirishima Mountain in Shinmoe-dake in the far southern province of Miyazaki since the beginning of the year. It is estimated that 800 million yen/ $9.5 million in agricultural produce was lost due to the volcanic eruption. By cleaning off the vegetables, they became perfectly fine for consumption. In cooperation with the NGO Collaboration Center for Hanshin Earthquake Rehabilitation, these vegetables were bought at sticker price and given out in the present disaster areas in the north. Up to now there have been 8 trucks that have transported the vegetables from Miyazaki to prepare hot meals for those victims in the north. For more details on CODE’s work see their English website.
● Palestinian Children’s Campaign
On March 24th, we were able to send 500,000 yen/ $5,900 to the Palestinian Children’s Campaign, which plans to work on the psychological care of children in Tono City, Iwate Province from April to September. This support involves: 1) dispatching psychological support to shelters, schools, kindergartens, and so forth; 2) providing training and support for adults to work with children and psychological support training for local people; 3) dispatching rotating groups of psychiatric professionals from a network as well as creating a system for introducing such professionals from the Tokyo and southern Kinki region, 4) training for volunteers to be dispatched into the field.
● SHAPLA NEER also know as “Citizens’ Committee in Japan for Overseas Support”
On March 24th, we were able to send 500,000 yen/ $5,900 to Shapla Neer which is a Non Profit Organization officially registered to perform emergency aid in Iwaki City in Fukushima and Kita-Ibaraki City in Ibaraki. They are transporting and distributing material aid in these areas over a two to four week period. Shapla Neer has also been distributing food at sites provided by the Tsukiji Honganji Jodo Shin Pure land temple based in Tokyo. For more details, see their English homepage:
● Services for Health in Asian and African Regions (SHARE)
From the end of March, SHARE began mid and long term health and medical aid activities in Kesenuma City, Miyagi province, principally aimed at socially disadvantaged persons such as isolated elderly, people with disabilities, mothers, children and so forth. One important issue that has arisen is difficulty in confirming the safety of isolated elderly, people with disabilities, mothers, children and so forth who cannot get to the shelters. This is due in part to personal administrative records being destroyed in the fires that happened after the earthquake over a wide area in Kesenuma. SHARE plans to support home care and check-up visits by doctors, nurses and medical professionals over the short and long term.
Since March 18, SHARE has implemented support for health check-ups at the Natori City Tohoku International Clinic in Miyagi Province. Natori, which is situated next to Sendai City, experienced enormous destruction to many of its primary medical facilities. Due to the overwhelming shortage of medical professionals and medicines in the disaster areas, SHARE is proceeding to offer medicines and dispatch medical professionals at the request of Dr. Norihiko Kuwayama of the Natori City Tohoku International Clinic.
The Tokyo regional office of the Jodo Shin Honganji Pure Land denomination transported food and water to meet the emergency medical needs being performed by SHARE in Natori City. The Tohoku branch temple of the Kodo Kyodan Buddhist Fellowship is helping SHARE in its emergency medical work and onsite inspections by offering a place to keep resources and allow staff to lodge. The Nichiren denomination International Network is providing SHARE with trucks to transport material resources.
For more details see the SHARE English homepage at:
● Other Support and Coordination:
The Japan Association for Refugees has received support from Sainen-ji Temple in Yamagata to lodge workers in order to perform onsite inspections. Peace Boat received 100 kgs of rice from Sonen-ji Temple in Nagoya City for food distribution.
To make a donation by bank transfer through AYUS:
Bank: Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank
Account: (normal) 0689965
Account name: Ayus Bukkyo Kokusai Kyoryoku Netowaku
Mika Edaki <firstname.lastname@example.org>
3-4-22 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku
AYUS was established in 1993 as an international cooperation NGO with a Buddhist spirit as its foundation in order to open our eyes to the reality of the world and to tackle various problems such as human rights violations, conflict, environmental deterioration, injustice and poverty. AYUS is made up of Buddhists who have come together, regardless of sectarian affiliation, to decisively confront suffering and to never lose sight of the interdependence (engi) with those on the other side of the world. With the temple as a base for practicing this law of interdependence, AYUS seeks to re-enliven regional society and to connect the NGOs of a region together. In this way, people, region and world are connected in an effort to promote peace and humanity.
AYUS sees itself as an NGO for NGOs. Japanese NGOs are in a vulnerable situation and need to establish a strong organizational base. In order to make civil society a reality, AYUS deals with the root of Japanese NGO society by financially strengthening NGO organizations. One part of this strengthening of NGO organizational capacity is AYUS’ emphasis on confirming the effectiveness of overseas cooperation projects. To this end, AYUS provides financial support for NGO project evaluation. Further, AYUS creates and distributes evaluation materials accumulated from the experiences of numerous NGO activities to NGOs.
AYUS also directly supports activities to promote peace and the protection of human rights, such as for Palestinian children, migrants infected with HIV, children on the Korean peninsula, peace activities by Buddhists, and cooperation with the No-War NGO Network. AYUS creates study tours for learning at sites of NGO activities, both domestically and internationally, and helps to send specialists to NGO training activities. AYUS produces a newsletter every month to introduce the work of its members and the NGOS that it supports.