Emergency Aid during the Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster

Call for Cooperation for Emergency Fundraising for the Eastern Japan Earthquake

“Coming Together to Support All People to Be Secure”

UPDATE on April 9th from Rev. Jin Hitoshi – Director of Zenseikyo

Rev. Gakugen Yoshimizu (Jodo Pure Land) helps out

On April 4th, I made the rounds of the temporary shelters for displaced persons of the tsunami in Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate provinces. Today is the 9th and I am in Fukushima. The day before yesterday in Sendai there were some aftershocks. The next day first thing in the morning I saw many people waiting in at a gas station but still some were turned away when they ran out of gas. Due to the insecure conditions from the disaster on March 11, there are many people who must wait at gas stations. Due to aftershocks in Ishinomaki City in Mayagi province and in other places, the buildings for evacuation have been damaged and many people have had to move from these shelters. Even now the aftershocks are ongoing. To the extent that I could see, a minimum of daily resources at the shelters at present are for the most part complete. While there is food that has begun to be thrown out, there is a severe limit to the chance to eat a normal hot meal. Every individual has one small tatami mat (2m X 1m) space for themselves, yet almost all are enduring this with great patience. Still they are facing a future of great unsurity. There are people who are experiencing flashbacks at night and there are concerns about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

These are the following needs that people have in the disaster areas.
1. Receiving hot meals
2. Provision of materials for working like thick rubber gloves and boots as well as dust resistant masks.
3. Offering of places to take a bath
4. Natural forms of mental care like offering tea and talking.
5. Playing for extended periods with children.

Please make contact with disaster management headquarters, volunteer centers, and temples with local connections about how to support and enter the disaster areas. Please understand that the needs in these areas are constantly changing and that aid for living comes in various forms.

Original Posting from March 21
To all the many victims of the disaster, we would like to express from our heart our deepest condolences as well as our deepest sorrow for those who have perished during these days.

We would like to pass on information about the afflicted areas that continue to suffer from the unprecedented massive earthquake of magnitude 9.0 as well as the incident at the Fukushima nuclear reactors that have added a second anxiety to the people living in that area. As it is March, the northern part of Japan has been experiencing intermittent bouts of intense snow that have caused further stresses to those waiting for aid in shelters and must be very hard on their spirits.

As time passes, the situation of the suffering is gradually becoming clearer, yet the lifeline system is at present incomplete. Thus we have been considering what we can do to aid both materially and emotionally the rehabilitation that is without a doubt needed. In this way, Zenseikyo has established an Eastern Japan Earthquake Emergency Fund. We are also accepting volunteers to engage in material and emotional rehabilitation work. Those who are interested should fill in and fax or e-mail a volunteer entry sheet to our office.

Our office is also collecting information on the present situation, which all of you remain concerned about, to proceed with necessary aid to the disaster areas. For those persons in the disaster areas who are presently living amidst turmoil and suffering, we are gathering together the energy of all Zenseikyo members nationwide to first provide aid to the children in these areas. In this way, we ask for your cooperation and support.

Plan for Aid:
●Delivery of necessary material resources to the disaster areas.
●Dispatch of various types of volunteers.
●Implementation of both material and emotional support at youth centers near the disaster areas in Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures.
●Provide a place to receive applications for aid from victims of the disaster.
●Train and dispatch individuals to provide emotional care for victims, for the long term if needed.
●Provide aid in order to increase the Quality of Life of children in the disaster areas.

To make a donation through Zenseikyo by bank transfer:
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
SWIFT Code: SMBC JP JT
Branch Name & Code: Mejiro (677)
Account: 0920876 (ordinary)
Account name: Zenkoku Seishonen Kyoka Kyogikai
Branch Address: 3-14-1 Mejiro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0031

Contact: Rev. Jin Hitoshi – Director <jin-jin@zenseikyo.or.jp>
Tsukiji AI Building, 5F
3-7-5 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku
Tokyo 104-0045
TEL: 81-3-3541-6725
FAX: 81-3-3541-674781-3-3541-6725

About Zenseikyo 全青協の日本語ページ:
The Zenseikyo Foundation & Buddhist Council for Youth and Child Welfare was established as a legal foundation in 1963. It is a cooperative entity bringing together more than 60 different Japanese Buddhist denominations focused on the prosperity of young people and their wishes for the future.

At first it promoted Buddhist youth associations and Sunday schools with the intent to have youth become intimate with Buddhism from a young age. Since then, we have developed various activities to help youth develop strong identities that will not be swept away by the vicissitudes of social change.

There are a number of youth issues which have come to concern Zenseikyo from bullying to school dropouts to youth crime and so forth. As Buddhists, we always consider carrying out our work with youth first in mind. Journeying together with them, we support those who carry out activities for the welfare of youth.

Zenseikyo also provides research and opinions on methods to get Buddhist temples active in society and to support young people. We have developed and promoted “Temple School Non-Profit Programs” that cultivate youth while connecting with local communities. Zenseikyo also offers training courses for telephone counseling and life-lines for youth; serves as the host for the Tera Net EN network of nationwide Buddhist temples that offer support services and refuges for troubled youth; and runs the Rinbutsken Institute for Socially Engaged Buddhism.

 

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