Raised: 92%
 

Target: £6,079,780.00
Raised so far: £5,600,933.00

Project run by

GlobalGiving, Washington, United Stateshttp://www.globalgiving.org

Projects provided by global giving

Projects on JustGiving are provided in partnership with GlobalGiving UK. Donations to projects are subject to the same 10% fee as they are on GlobalGiving. Find out how this works.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

The north coast of Japan was hit by a horrible tsunami after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake that occurred 80 miles offshore. This fund will support organizations providing relief and aid to victims.

What is the problem the project is addressing?

Tsunami waves caused major destruction in northern Japan. The death toll has now officially crossed 10,000 & more than 17,000 are missing Nearly 300,000 are in temporary shelter. We are working primarily with local Japanese organizations on the ground to provide support. These are listed on the "Reports" tab of this Fund. We will post more details of the specific use of funds as we receive them.

How will this project solve the problem?

This project will disburse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

What is the potential long-term impact of this project?

Major disasters always require a huge amount of international support to provide relief and long term recovery efforts. In the case of Japan, these initial funds will help survivors and victims get necessary services.

Oct 29 2014

Updates on projects continuing in Japan!

Dolly Ngo

A busy summer has come and gone for our various partner projects working in the field in Japan. Thank you for your continuous support of the relief efforts being done in Japan for the earthquake and tsunami victims! Through your support, various projects are able to help benefit the livelihoods of those affected by the disaster.

Parents were concerned about allowing their children to play outside because of the health risks of radioactivity that the earthquake may have caused, but Academy Camp has been a great outlet for children to engage in outdoor activities. During the summer, Academy Camp held camps for children living in Fukushima for them to enjoy the outdoors in areas with lower radiation levels. The children participants as well as the volunteers for the camps really enjoyed the wonderful experience that the camp provided because it was an experience that was full of kindness, warmth and bright smiles. Academy Camp also founded the first dragon boat team in Fukushima. The paddle boat practices are a great opportunity for the children to get mental and physical exercise as well as a time for the parents to be a part of their children’s new activity.

Architecture for Humanity continues to help local shops and businesses to recover and re-open to build a financial future for the communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami. In partnership with the MakiBiz RFP Program, Architecture for Humanity commenced their “Tamiko Abe” project that is to help a local aqua-farmer build a building for her to conduct her business. They recently held a Japanese ground-breaking ritual called Jichinsai for the new site, a ceremony that is held before beginning the construction of a building to pray for a safe construction.

There are many still living in temporary housing in Japan, but the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) has been holding events to improve the stress and mental health of those living in these homes. They have conducted aromatherapy classes, where many of the elderly were able to relax through botanical aromas, and also held fun soap making class where the participants got to interact with the others living in the homes. Because many living in the temporary housing are afraid that such events will go away and that those affected by the disaster will be forgotten, AAR Japan will do what they can to continue to hold these events to remind these people that they will not be left behind.

Thanks again for your continued support for those impacted by the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Your generous donations contribute to the amazing work that is being done by many of our partner organizations!

 

Jun 23 2014

Japan Matching Day Successes

Sylvia Lorenzini

Dear GlobalGivers,

Thank you to everyone who continues to support the on-going recovery efforts in Tohoku.  Your donations helped to continue to bring attention to these recovery efforts through a matching campaign at the three-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami. Matching campaigns of this magnitude do not come around often, but it was well worth it for this cause. Overall, $102,336 funds were raised from 783 unique donors! Out of the 32 projects that took part in this matching day, the top three performing projects all raised over $9,000 each without matching. Here are some updates from these organizations:

The Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund’s project Help Students, Families and Schools Recover raised $24,634 from 314 unique donors, making the final fundraising total, with matching, $49,203! This project is working to provide a public library and help the Asahigaoka Gakuen Children’s Home in Kesennuma. In the Fund’s latest report, donors were informed that over 100 books were donated by Ambassador Kennedy to the Taylor Anderson Reading Corner last November. Additionally, for the past three winters, the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund has provided children at  the orphanage in Kesennuma with Christmas presents and other gifts through a Christmas Wish program. All gifts were tailored to each specific child, and there was even a party where the children performed on stage for each other. While the project has not been fully funded yet, the organization wishes to thank all of its incredibly gracious donors. They would not have been able to raise nearly $50,000 in one day without you!

Fukushima Kids Executive Committee has been able to send children to Hokkaido through the project Bring Smiles to 500 Children of Fukushima. Through the Matching Day, Fukushima Kids was able to raise $12,920 from 25 unique donors, rounding out to a total of $24,840 including matching! Since the tragedy, Fukushima Kids has helped over 3,200 children escape to Hokkaido to relax and play outside, instead of being trapped in the disaster-stricken Fukushima. The organization has seen great improvement in the children who have participated in the program, and many wish “when I become an adult, I want to repay the favor to the people who helped me”. Keiko, a mother two, feels so touched that so many around the world have helped Fukushima survivors like herself. She says because of the program, she is no longer “caught in the bitterness of a victim mentality”.

Academy Camp’s project School of Fun for Children in Fukushima also performed very well in the Matching Day. In just one day, Academy Camp raised $9,120 from 51 unique donors, and $18,200 in total! Similar to Fukushima Kids’ work, Academy Camp strives to help the children of Fukushima who are forced to stay indoors because of the disaster aftermath. This project brings roughly 40 children of all ages to areas with lower radiation to allow them to play, learn, and team-build all outside. In their latest report, Academy Camp told the story of a student volunteer from the last camp on Lake Inawashiro, Fukushima. The student described how they all learned how to use an AED and do chest compressions for someone who is choking. They also went out in E-boats on the lake and experienced the beautiful outdoors. The student ended the report by saying “I hope that more people will know about this camp and share the enjoyment with a large number of people together.” Thanks to donors like you, these kids continue to have meaningful experiences they might not otherwise have had a chance to have.

Because of these three organizations, many affected children and families have been able to recover from the travesty of the Japan earthquake and tsunami three years ago. Even though it has been three years, there is still much more work to be done to improve the lives of these individuals. All of this progress, however, would not be possible without all of you - keep up the great work!

Mar 10 2014

Japan #3YearsLater: Gratitude in the Form of Photos and Stories.

Mari Seto

"I'm thankful for the chance for kids in Fukushima to become independent."

Today, to commemorate the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, we invite you to see the faces and read stories from people, like Keiko, above, who have been affected by your donations: 3yearslater3-11.tumblr.com.

To date, you and other GlobalGiving donors have helped fund more than 35 organizations doing relief and recovery work. You helped Project YUI set up a nursery home in Ishinomaki, so that mothers will have time to look for jobs. You supported OISCA International with their re-forestation project in Natori City.  You sent ETIC funds to send entrepreneurs to help revitalize small businesses in Tohoku.  You should feel proud that you’ve helped contribute to  the incredible accomplishments that these organizations have made toward re-building homes, lives, and communities in Japan.

Furthermore, because the work of recovery and community re-building in Tohoku continues,  we are announcing one final matching campaign for Japan recovery organizations.  GlobalGiving will match your donations to Japan projects at 100% from March 10th, 11am EDT (March 11th, 0am JST) until $100,000 matching funds last. Please consider supporting organizations that are doing amazing ongoing work in Japan.

If you would like to share a recovery story that you're thankful for, please join us in posting your #3yearslater story on Facebook, twitter, or instagram this week. Here's how:
   Step 1: Write on a piece of paper, "I'm thankful for...." (and fill-in the blank!)
   Step 2: Take an un-selfie of yourself holding the paper
   Step 3: Post to Facebook, twitter, or Instagram using the #3yearslater hashtag

Once again, we’d like to thank your very generous support over the last three years.  Although this will be our last matching campaign for Japanese organizations, dollars raised through this fund will continue to be allocated to our partners in Tohoku, and the vital work will continue.

Warmly,

Mari Seto and the GlobalGiving Team

 

 

Jan 10 2014

Amazing accomplishments of the two grantees from the Fund!

Mari Seto

As we welcome the new year, we have exciting updates from two of our partners that received grants from GlobalGiving’s Tsunami and Earthquake Relief!  

Association for Aid and Relief Japan (awarded $500,000)

Since 3.11, AAR Japan has continuously been providing support for people with disabilities in Fukushima.  AAR Japan set up many facilities where they provide working opportunities for persons with disabilities.  Some of the funds contributed to repairing and reconstructing these facilities, so that workers can work comfortably.

Another major focus for AAR Japan has been to create an environment to maintain mental and physical health of the people living in temporary housing complexes and subsidized housing.  They have organized social events for towns and communities, and overnight field trips for children.  As days that the evacuees spend in the temporary housing complexes become longer, it is important to reduce the stress among the communities.  Creating an opportunity where people can bond will help the community grow bigger and stronger.

With the funds you helped provide, AAR Japan also installed playground equipment and delivered bottled water to nurseries and kindergartens in Fukushima.  For more updates, learn from here!

ETIC. (awarded $500,000)

Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC.) is an organization that sends young aspiring leaders to Tohoku, where they can help the local leaders to grow their business or organizations.  As of June 2013, they selected and sent 157 fellows to work in Tohoku.  

Fellows are recruited through an online website, and ETIC. received 454 applications to date.  After the Fellows are selected, they go through an intensive training process, and later they are sent to projects where the Fellows are matched based on their past experiences and skills.

Fellows are placed in various locations throughout Tohoku.  For example, Akane is placed in Kesennuma, where she manages the logistics for a regional energy development project.  Shiro is located in Onagawa, where he helps to revitalize local businesses like hotels through his past experiences of sales and marketing.  Yuya is managing the tourism projects in the city of Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture.  Fellows’ work have been widely popular among the local communities, and the demands for their work are increasing in Tohoku.

ETIC.’s work is widely popular in Tohoku, and they plan on continuing this program for the coming years.  Responding to the needs from the local community, they are expanding their plan from “200 Fellows in 3 years” to “300 fellows in 5 years.”  They are also planning on focusing on “innovative” projects that can be expandable to other areas, to revitalize Tohoku local businesses and communities.  To read more about their updates in the future, learn from here!

We’d like to thank you again for your overwhelming support for the past two years and 10 months.  Although there is less news coverage about the aftermath of earthquake and tsunami, there are still people who struggle every day to recover what they had before 3.11.  GlobalGiving is committed to supporting long-term recovery of the Tohoku area, and we are thankful that you are too.


 

 

Oct 14 2013

What have our new partners been up to in Japan?

Mari Seto

In the last report, we shared with you a new exciting group of grantees from the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.  Let us share what the new partners have been up to today!

Friends of El Sistema Japan (FESJ)

 We awarded Friends of El Sistema Japan (FESJ), an organization that provides musical education and opportunities for students in Fukushima, $100,000.  With those funds, FESJ invited instructors from Venezuela and inspired students like Marina.  Marina joined a summer orchestra class, and by the end, she led a 90-person orchestra as a violinist.  

Here is Marina's comment after the concert; "I've never had this kind of learning opportunity. Teachers from Venezuela were so helpful to making me understand how to solve the problems which I had encountered. I really feel I am better at playing violin than ever before. Well, I am surely different from what I used to be and I am now proud of myself…” For more updates from FESJ, click here to learn more!

On the Road

We awarded On the Road $100,000 to build a “Long Beach House” in Ishinomaki.  On the Road started to build a space for the community members to bond, and many commercial space including a guesthouse, where tourists and volunteers from outside the prefecture can stay cheaply.  We hope this facility will energize the local community!  For more updates from On the Road, learn from here.

OISCA International

Finally, we awarded OISCA International $150,000 for a reforestation project in Natori City located in Miyagi Prefecture. When tsunami hit, 100 hectares of forest was lost - but with the help from the local community and the government, OISCA International is restoring the damaged area in the next ten years.  They have recently received a new 4WD from their corporate partner that allows the team to make trips to the field more frequently.  We hope this will boost their activities to plant the black pine seedlings.  For more updates from OISCA International, learn from here.

We at GlobalGiving really appreciate your long-term interest in the recovery efforts in Japan.  We have awarded grants to 19 organizations to date, and we are supporting many more through fundraising activities on GlobalGiving.  Your contribution to this fund is making all this possible.  Thank you very, very much!



 

 

Jul 26 2013

New support for Japanese organizations

Britt Lake

More than two years have passed since a 7.2 earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan, and you have helped raise over $10 million through GlobalGiving to support more than 25 organizations working directly in Miyagi, Iwate, and more recently, Fukishima. 

In March 2013 I returned to Japan with GlobalGiving’s president and co-founder, Mari Kuraishi, to visit the rebuilding efforts that your funds have supported. Two years after 3.11, much has changed. Where a year ago lights were dimmed even in Tokyo and everyone talked obsessively about how to be ready for the next big one in the national public media, now a sense of normalcy has returned to places like Tokyo not directly affected by the disaster. Even in Tohoku, the piles of debris that had covered the landscape just a year before were gone, and in their place were empty fields.

But a lot of things, especially in the depleted and torn up coastal communities are not back to normal, and there is no question that whatever emerges for the Tohoku area, it will have to be a new normal. For one, the question of economic viability—already sharp for the Tohoku communities that even before the tsunami had been aging more quickly than the rest of the country—has become truly acute. This is still no resolution on the very basic question of where people will live—will they be allowed to rebuild on the pieces of land they own so close to the flooding areas?—and people’s main assets are locked up in limbo, stifling bottom-up economic recovery. What this means on a day-to-day basis is that many families are still living in cramped temporary shelters. There is as yet no timeline for people to move into more permanent homes. In Fukushima, the problem is compounded by the fact that people have to decide whether they want to move back to their homes near the nuclear power plant explosion or abandon everything they own.

In this context, we have ended up supporting a two pronged approach in our final grantmaking for the recovery efforts in Tohoku. One, we have found a couple of promising projects working on finding viable alternative economic activities in Miyagi, and would very much like to see them succeed. Two, we have continued to provide ease for the elderly, the young, and the disabled who cannot leave or build out new ventures, in the hope that the communities will be revitalized over time to take care of them all.  A list of our most recent grants are at the bottom of this letter.  We hope you’ll watch over their evolution and champion their progress.

We’re looking forward to updating you on the progress of these newest grants in the coming months. 

Thank you again,
Britt

P.S. The Japanese Red Cross Society recently put out a list of the top countries that donated to the relief effort here.  According to this study, if GlobalGiving were a separate country, we would be the fourth largest donor.  Thanks for your generosity!

 

Mar 11 2013

Thank you for helping Japan - Two Year Anniversary

Mari Kuraishi

This is a personal message from Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving.

To the generous donors of GlobalGiving's Japan Relief Fund,

This coming March 11th will mark the two-year anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.   A year ago, Britt and I visited our partners' project sites.  While we were happy to see that the projects were making remarkable progress, we were also overwhelmed by the sight of the damage that the earthquake and tsunami brought to Tohoku.

Japan still has a long way to recover, and our partners on the ground are working hard to help rebuild the communities affected by the disaster.  With your donations, children in Fukushima can go to summer camps and play outside without worrying about radiation.  We supported our partner who ran special career sessions for junior high school students in Tohoku, so that they will continue to be motivated about their future.  We sent young entrepreneurs like Naoko to Tohoku so that they can start businesses to revitalize local economic growth.  I believe that the youth that you have helped through our fund will become  the next generation of leaders.  

I personally would like to thank you for supporting the recovery effort.  I am touched how you continuously contributed to the fund throughout these past two years.  Today, I'd like to ask you to consider giving again.  To honor the two-year anniversary, GlobalGiving is running a special matching campaign for projects that are working in Tohoku.  We are matching your donations 100% from March 1st to the 15th, and on March 11th, we are matching the donations 200%.   

Donate

I appreciate you standing with us for supporting the Japanese people.  On this day, I hope that you will join me reflecting on the loss the people have gone through and the ongoing recovery efforts.

Warmly,
Mari

Jan 30 2013

Your donations are creating amazing changes!

Mari Seto

Dear GlobalGiving donors,

First of all, we are happy to announce that the matching campaign for Tohoku relief-related projects in November was a great success!  20 organizations raised more than $70,000. We thank you again for your generous contributions!  We are planning on holding a similar campaign in March, and we will keep you updated as we confirm the specifics.
Today, we would like to share the achievements that one of our partners, AAR Japan, has made with your donations. AAR Japan received $500,000 from Tsunami Relief Fund for their activities in Tohoku.  Here are the highlights:
  • Reconstructing workshop facilities so that displaced people with disabilities could start earning income again -  In the first half of the project period, AAR Japan rebuilt the lighting system for Keyaki Workshop, an employment supporting center for persons with disabilities, which provide working opportunities for 112 persons with disabilities.  Their works include food delivery to the elders, making and delivery of lunchboxes.  
  • Organizing community events at the temporary housing complexes in Fukushima - AAR Japan have been organizing community gatherings events and overnight field trips for elementary school.  Since July,about 560 people participated in the events.
  • Providing radiation detectors so that people can check radiation levels of food they are consuming - As soon as the dosimeters arrive to the venue, AAR Japan plans on distributing the equipment to workshops that produce organic vegetables.
  • Building playgrounds in temporary housing units - AAR Japan installed equipments for playgrounds located in temporary housing complexes in Fukushima Prefecture since September.  They are now used by 640 children in Fukushima, and because of the equipments, they are exercising a lot more!
  • Providing bottle water to nurseries and kindergartens - There is a high demand from nurseris and kindergartens for safe drinking water in Fukushima.  AAR Japan has been providing safe bottled water for 4 kindergartens and children in temporary housing.
 
Thank you for your wonderful support!  These achievements were not possible without your contributions!

 

Oct 31 2012

100% Donation Matching for Japan recovery!

Mari Seto

Dear GlobalGivers,

We are very excited to announce that starting today, November 1, we're matching your donations dollar-for-dollar toward qualified projects that focus on  long-term recovery in Japan.  

We work with 20 organizations that are helping Japanese people recover from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.  For example, ETIC helped Naoko rebuild a shopping area that had been destroyed. The new shopping area is now revitalizing the local economy.  In Minamisanriku-cho, Architecture for Humanity is about to finish up rebuilding a workplace for fishermen in the tsunami-stricken area.  You can read more updates directly from the field here.  Your donations have made it possible for our partners to restore the communities.  Thank you!

Although our partners have made great strides toward long-term recovery, there is still so much more to be done.  We invite you to take advantage of this great opportunity to double the impact of your donations toward these important projects. 
Thank you again for your support,
Mari Seto and the GlobalGiving Team

 

Sep 10 2012

Updates from Tohoku!

Mari Seto

Summer has come and gone in Tohoku, and our partners made a lot of progress in the field.  Their activities included providing fishermen oars, running a summer camp for children in Fukushima, and rebuilding community houses.  We'd like to thank you once again for your generosity in donating to the Tsunami Relief Fund that is supporting our partners to do incredible work in Tohoku.

Here are some of the activities our partners accomplished over the summer:
Peace Winds America
Peace Winds is restoring livelihoods and accelerating economic recovery by supporting fishing cooperatives and their members.  In 2012, Peace Winds and cooperatives in Minami-Sanriku are working to support the seasonal needs of fishermen.  Most recently, Peace Winds and the cooperative leaders developed a plan to enable abalone and sea urchin fishermen to return to work. Peace Winds and the cooperatives are targeting fishing equipment support to 500 Minami-Sanriku abalone and sea urchin fishermen.  To support Peace Winds’ activities, GlobalGiving awarded them an additional $150,000 to provide fishing sheds to families in Minami-Sanriku.

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan)
AAR Japan has been working in Tohoku area to support the disabled, rebuild communities, and provide medical services.  Recently, GlobalGiving funded AAR with a grant of $500,000 to support these activities in the nuclear-affected area of Fukushima as well. In Fukushima, AAR Japan runs activities such as organizing community events at temporary housing complexes for young and old to get together and overcome isolation, preparing contamination-free playgrounds for children, and reconstructing social welfare facilities for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly.  To learn more about their project in Fukushima, please click here

Safecast
Safecast is a global project working to empower people with data, primarily by mapping radiation levels and building a sensor network, enabling people to both contribute and freely use the data collected. After the 3/11 earthquake and resulting nuclear situation at Fukushima Daiichi it became clear that people wanted more data than what was available. Safecast has been building a radiation sensor network comprised of static and mobile sensors actively being deployed around Japan.  They installed 3 million data points so far, and planning on installing more.  Safecast received an additional grant of $100,000 to help them scale the production of radiation monitoring devices.


ETIC
ETIC is training and matching 200 young aspiring entrepreneurs (fellows) with 100 social business leaders that are heading reconstruction efforts to rebuild Tohoku through economic empowerment in three years (from Jun 2011 to Mar 2014). ETIC recently summarized fellows’ activities into a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q643Ls1Ti40&feature=youtu.be.  GlobalGiving is continuing to support these young entrepreneurs for the next two years with an additional $500,000 from the fund.

If you would like to read additional updates, please visit our Japan Relief and Recovery updates page. Thank you so much for your support and your continued interest!

Jun 20 2012

Exciting Update!

Katherine Sammons

We would like to thank you for your continued support; grants are still going strong! Because of donors like you we are excited to announce the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund’s recent allocation of $425,000 to 3 projects working to reconstruct and strengthen communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami.  

Here are some project highlights:

Fukushima Kids Executive Committee

Due to the dangers caused by the damaging of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant children in the area are unable to play outside. The Fukushima Kids Executive Committee is working towards restoring playtime by hosting summer camps in Hokkaido for children in the Fukushima area. Getting kids outside during their vacation time and restoring play lightens the children’s spirits in a time of uncertainty. Having opened in 2011, Fukushima Kids’ Summer Camp is excited to open again for the summer of 2012 and is hoping to reach 1,000 kids. Thanks to your generous support Fukushima Kids Executive Committee is receiving $200,000 in funding!

IsraAid

After the events of March 2011 persons living in danger areas were forced to move to temporary housing communities (kasetsu-jutaku). IsraAid continues to work with people of all ages living in temporary housing areas and is launching an exciting new youth leadership project, Rebuilding Lives-Investing in the Future, in Tohoku, Japan. The project aims to empower participants and build leadership, social innovation and social responsibility through a series of trainings, seminars and workshops, which focus on areas such as, leadership training, social program structuring and mentoring. We are excited to announce that IsraAid is receiving $100,000 in funding!

Telecom for Basic Human Needs 

During times of disaster radio often becomes an integral communication tool. Radio stations provide vital information to communities and lessen feelings of isolation. Though reconstruction of Japan’s devastated areas is under way the support and information radio provides is still valued in many communities. Having seen the effectiveness of radio stations and the important role they play in the recovery and rebuilding process of communities, Telecom for Basic Human Needs is working to turn disaster stations into permanent community-based radio stations. Thanks to your support Telecom for Basic Human Needs is receiving $125,000 in funding!

 

If you would like to read additional updates, please visit our Japan Relief and Recovery updates page. Thank you so much for your support and your continued interest!

Apr 25 2012

GlobalGiving report from Japan

Mari Kuraishi

During the first week of April, GlobalGiving’s president and co-founder Mari Kuraishi and director of programs, Britt Lake, visited the people and organizations that were supported by your donations to GlobalGiving’s Japan Relief and Recovery Fund.  Below is Mari’s account of the time they spent in the Tohoku region.

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As I sat in the train back to Tokyo thinking about the week I had just spent visiting GlobalGiving partners in the Tohoku region, three things stuck with me:

  1. The tsunami damage stretched for hundreds of miles up the Japanese coast north of Ibaragi prefecture all the way up to Iwate. For most of the trip we drove a car up the coast roads; as we would round a bend high above the coast, the road would then descend into a low lying flat area--and there would be the tell-tale signs of a vanished town: concrete house foundations. Sometimes we’d see ten or twenty foundations; sometimes they would stretch far into the horizon. Town after town after town, all low-lying communities were gone.
  2. People are rebuilding.  This rebuilding is almost always commercial structures – often gas stations, convenience stores, and pachinko parlors. In some instances entire factories have been rebuilt – a pulp factory in Ishinomaki was one of the most visible examples. The debris is all neatly piled and sorted, but it looms over the damaged areas in piles that are sometimes several stories high, clearly with no place to go. Residential housing, on the other hand, is in limbo. Many multi-story houses remain standing with their first floors gutted by the tsunami, but people still live on the intact second floors.  Other homes remain abandoned. In many areas the government has not given permission for residents to rebuild.  The lack of explicit permission to build does not yet amount to an outright ban, and no compensatory payments have been issued for people whose homes and business are in what will likely become no-build areas. 
  3. Many people are still living in temporary housing compounds.  These temporary homes are built from containers and are about 300+ square feet per household.  They are generally located far uphill and away from the coast, so people are now living quite far from where their homes were originally located.  The temporary housing placements were determined through a lottery system, so communities and neighbors are split up and are often located far from one another. People are making do by buying cars and driving to where their jobs, schools, or family are located. But for those who do not drive, the temporary housing compounds are a lonely place – far from anything familiar, and filled with people they have never met before the disaster.

We visited over almost a dozen organizations in towns and cities across Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.  Along the way, we delivered origami cranes and messages of hope from GlobalGiving donors like you. (Click to see how how the messages were created and then delivered.) We left every visit amazed at how people were beginning to pull their lives back together, but also daunted at the monumental tasks still left ahead.

We visited one temporary housing complex dedicated to families with special needs where a woman kindly invited us into her home. It was immaculate, but tiny.  The 300+ sq ft per-household size really hadn't hit me until we followed her in and found ourselves immediately in the main room.  It was a combination kitchen, living room, and bedroom, where her immobilized son was on the heated carpeted floor that she explained was essential to his avoiding joint pains that would cause him to cry out. She explained that the size was fine with just the two of them – it got a little crowded when her husband came home once every 3 months.  He works as a fisherman in the far south of Kyushu.  Despite the size and the location, she said was happy to be in the housing complex.  Because every household in the compound had a family member with special needs, they had actually known each other before the disaster through various service centers in the area, so they had a support network within the compound – something most other people didn’t have in their temporary housing.  She hoped the families could all stay together once more permanent housing was built.

In a temporary shopping center much further north, we went to a lunch pot in a food mall and, because Britt is vegetarian, got treated to a beautiful set course of , or Buddhist cuisine. It was the last thing I expected in a food mall, but there it was. The chef had owned a highly rated restaurant in the city of Otsuchi before the disaster that was destroyed in the tsunami. He had scraped together enough money to pay for some basic cooking equipment and set himself up in a temporary shopping center and he was beginning to make a living by cooking basic lunch foods for all the workers who had nowhere else to go.  He had been thrilled to show off his skills by cooking this special lunch for us.

At site after site, we came across young men and women who had deferred graduate school abroad, given up promising corporate careers at major multinational companies, or had given up jobs abroad in South Sudan, Paraguay, or Uganda to help rebuild their country.  Some had grown up in Tohoku, but others came north with no other desire than to serve. Japan is by-and-large a society with very rigid expectations and sense of hierarchy.  If you are successful, you attend one of a handful of good schools, then subsequently join the federal civil service, become a doctor or lawyer, or join a major multinational company. And when you do follow that path, there is a pretty long path of seniority to tread.  The people who were supporting and leading non-profits or social enterprises, on the other hand, were all getting to make substantive decisions about what made sense, what provided the highest value, and long term benefit to the communities where they lived.  Even more, they all seemed happy and fulfilled, if not somewhat exhausted. It was by far the most vibrant group of young Japanese people I have come across ever.

That gave me hope. Or, as a bumper sticker in Ishinomaki, said, "”It's tough to translate, as it's local dialect, but its spirit is closest to: "Don't mess with us, tsunami!"

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If you’d like to Mari and Britt’s accounts of each specific project they visited, you can read their postcards from the field on our Japan Updates page.

Mar 28 2012

Messages for Japan

Britt Lake

At the one year anniversary of Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami, we asked you, the GlobalGiving community, to write messages of encouragement that Mari, our President and I would hand-deliver to the people of Japan.  We collected more than 135 messages on Facebook and via text message, and last week our staff came together to fold origami cranes, to translate your notes into Japanese, and to assemble cards for people affected by the tragedy. (See some beautiful photos of the messages here.) 

Yesterday, after 14 hours of flying, Mari and I arrived in Tokyo ready for a busy trip to visit our partners on the ground.  Over the next two weeks, we will be meeting with the organizations and people who you have helped support with your donations to ensure that your dollars are having maximum impact on the people and communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

We are excited to report that we will be visiting almost every project that received support through the GlobalGiving Japan Relief and Recovery Fund.  We’re committed to keeping you informed of how your money has been spent, so a full list of the grants that were given in the past year is below:

 

Total Funds Disbursed

We’re also excited to tell you about three new grants that were just recently approved:

1) The International Medical Crises Response Alliance (IMCRA) will receive a grant of $100,000 to support direct onsite medical operations in Tohoku. IMCRA currently provides medical resource information, seminars, clinical toolkits and web-based operational platforms to clinicians, administrators, and populations impacted by the earthquake, tsunami and radiation disasters of March 11, particularly in the areas of radiation biology, dentistry in disrupted environment, geriatrics, and infectious disease prophylaxis.

2) Peace Winds received $149,932 to help fishing communities in Minamisanriku. Miyagi Prefecture.  This grant will allow them to accelerate economic recovery and create jobs through support to Minamisanriku’s two Fishing Cooperatives and their 800 members.

3) Project YUI was approved for $100,000 to support the establishment of daycare centers for children in temporary shelters including hiring local nurses and mothers as daycare center staff;  creating a “mom's community" for the mothers living in the same complex; and expansion to up to 15 sites by 2013.

And that’s not all – generous donors like yourself have donated an additional $2.3 million in the last four months!  We will continue to disburse those gifts to Japanese organizations working on long-term recovery over the next few months.  We have a busy few weeks ahead of us, but we feel privileged to be able to see first-hand the great work that you’re helping to make a reality and we'll continue to report back to you. 

Thank you again for your support and we invite you to leave a comment on the project wall if you have questions you'd like for us to ask while we are in Japan.

Warm wishes,
Britt and the GlobalGiving team

Mar 11 2012

Returning to Japan - One Year Later

Mari Kuraishi

This is a personal message from Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving. Mari, a Japanese national, is preparing to visit Japan following the 1-year anniversary of the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami.

To the generous donors of GlobalGiving's Japan Relief Fund,

As you probably know, today is the one-year anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. For the last several weeks my colleauges and I have been planning our trip to Japan to visit our project partners in the Tohoku area. Planning for the trip has made us all realize just how much has been accomplished in the recovery efforts since March 11, 2011, and also how much remains to be done. 

As we planned the logistics of our trip, I blithely expected we would be able to get to most places by train, because that's usually a pretty good assumption to make in Japan. But not this time. I assumed that hotels, restaurants, and other services would be operating anywhere we planned to be – but that’s not the case. It took many phone calls to uncover the fact that some trains still aren't even operating and lots of business are still closed in the Tohuku area, and that's when it hit home for me.

A year feels like a long time when you think of all the things accomplished since the great Tohoku/Kanto earthquake and tsunami. But a year is not enough for individual businesses to be rebuilt, for people's lives to be brought back to normal, or even for plants to grow back. 

I'll be going back to Japan in two weeks, both to visit my home and to thank all the amazing Japanese leaders who are still hard at work putting their communities and their country back together again. I’ll be meeting with people like Hatakeyama-san, a fisherman in Kesennuma who used your donations to buy ropes and build rafts to start oyster farming in his area. I'll be speaking with Japanese women from the civil sector about what it means to be Japanese, a woman, and a leader at this make-or-break time in the course of Japanese history. Finally, I’ll be seeing the cherry blossoms – symbols of hope and renewal – as they bloom again in Japan one year after the devastation. 

Each and every one of you has helped in some way. As I meet face-to-face with the people affected by the earthquake, I would be humbled to hand-deliver your messages of support. Will you please share a message of encouragement that I can deliver on your behalf? What questions would you like me to ask of the people who you have helped support? Please share your comments and questions on our Facebook post; I’ll read them, share them with the people I meet, and then I'll send an update when I return from my trip. 

Send a message to Japan

I'd also like to ask you to consider giving again on the 1st anniversary of the disaster in order to help more people like Hatakeyama-san re-establish their livelihoods. We are still actively disbursing your donations to local partners who are helping with long-term rebuilding efforts. 

There’s still a long road ahead for Japan, but we thank you for standing with the Japanese people in hope for renewal and recovery. I look forward to sending another update about your funds after I arrive in Japan. 

Donate

Warmly,
Mari

 

Jan 30 2012

A New Year starts for Tohoku

Mari Seto

In two months, a year will have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the communities of Tohoku.  It has been a terribly difficult year for those who lost their family members, friends, and homes.  However, because of your  donations, GlobalGiving's partners in Japan have contributed to a steady recovery in the region.  We would like to once again thank all of you for your generosity!

We continue to allocate funds to our partners in the field, helping them to give heaters to keep evacuees warm in their temporary housing, delivering daily supplies, holding events to keep the ties of the communities strong, and more.  We are planning on expanding our partnerships further, and we will continue to distribute your donations to organizations that will help the recovery of the region more directly.

Here are some highlights of the activities that our partners have accomplished with your support since our last report:

Associations of Aid and Relief (AAR Japan)

AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and health-related services, mobile clinics, sanitation services, psychological care, and community interaction & exchange events for roughly 3,000 people, focusing on persons with disabilities, the elderly, displaced people, and people staying in temporary housing in the disaster-affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. Through these comprehensive efforts, AAR JAPAN continues to support people in the disaster zone as they work to maintain both their physical and mental health.

Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN)

JEN continues to coordinate volunteer activities in wider community.  To date almost 4,000 JEN volunteers contributed to clean both public and private properties. In addition, JEN is now supporting fishermen who work in the  fish production industry who were forced to stop their business for nearly 7 months due to a shortage of tools and a lack of human resources. JEN is helping by providing financial and volunteer support to this community. JEN is reaching the remote area of Ishinomaki, an area that had been previously abandoned for months. JEN works to establish good relationships with locals, helping with both physical and psycho-social recovery. This holistic approach is essential in order to fight massive depopulation as the remote area, as the area was suffering from depopulation even before the disaster hit the area.

Peace Winds

Peace Winds is helping to keep 8,000 families warm this winter. Many of the temporary housing units in Iwate Prefecture lack adequate heat.  As temperatures cooled this fall, local governments identified 8,000 households that were vulnerable to the freezing temperatures.  Lacking funds, the municipal governments is partnering with Peace Winds to keep 8,000 families will stay warm this winter. 

Though much has been done, it will take more months and years to restore the communities back to where they were before March 11, 2011.  Your support is greatly appreciated.  If you would like to read additional updates, please visit our Japan Relief and Recovery updates page

Jan 27 2012

A New Year starts for Tohoku

Mari Seto

In two months, a year will have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the communities of Tohoku.  It has been a terribly difficult year for those who lost their family members, friends, and homes.   However, because of your  donations, GlobalGiving's partners in Japan have contributed to a steady recovery in the region.  We would like to once again thank all of you for your generosity!

We continue to allocate funds to our partners in the field, helping them to give heaters to keep evacuees warm in their temporary housing, delivering daily supplies, holding events to keep the ties of the communities strong, and more.  We are planning on expanding our partnerships further, and we will continue to distribute your donations to organizations that will help the recovery of the region more directly.

Here are some highlights of the activities that our partners have accomplished with your support since our last report:

Associations of Aid and Relief (AAR Japan)

AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and health-related services, mobile clinics, sanitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events for roughly 3,000 people, focusing on persons with disabilities, the elderly, displaced people, and people staying in temporary housing in the disaster-affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. Through these comprehensive efforts, AAR JAPAN continues to support people in the disaster zone as they work to maintain both their physical and mental health.

Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN)

JEN continues to coordinate volunteer activities in wider community.  To date almost 4,000 JEN volunteers contributed to clean both public and private properties. In addition, JEN is now supporting fishermen who work in the  fish production industry who were forced to stop their business for nearly 7months due to shortage of toolsand low human resources. JEN is helping by providing financial and volunteer support to this community. This indicates that JEN is reaching the remote area of Ishinomaki, where were abandoned by delivering the support for months. Aiming to establish the good relationship with locals for both physical and psycho- social recovery. This is essential to avoid the depopulation as the remote area were suffering from it even before the disaster hit the area.

Peace Winds

Peace Winds is helping to keep 8,000 families warm this winter. Many of the temporary housing units in Iwate Prefecture lack adequate heat.  As temperatures cooled this fall, local governments identified 8,000 households that were vulnerable to the freezing temperatures.  Lacking funds, the municipal governments is partnering with Peace Winds to keep 8,000 families will stay warm this winter. 

Though much has been done, it will take more months and years to restore the communities back to where they were before March 11, 2011.  Your support is greatly appreciated.  If you would like to read additional updates, please visit our Japan Relief and Recovery updates page

Sep 23 2011

Six months later: Japan rebuilding continues

Britt Lake

Dear friends,

Six months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated communities throughout Japan, donors like you are still helping to improve the lives of survivors who are rebuilding their lives.   From supporting lunches for schoolchildren to constructing community centers and repairing fishing boats, your funds are making a difference where it is needed most.

During the first few months following the disaster, we directed your support to meet the immediate needs in Japan’s affected areas including food, shelter, and medical care.  Now we’ve shifted the focus to long-term rebuilding in communities, including job creation, community development, and nuclear safety.   

We are proud of our partnership with high-impact organizations in Japan that are passionate about the work they’re doing to rebuild Japan. Last week, GlobalGiving and GlobalGiving UK sent $600,000 to three organizations working to rebuild the local economy and civil society through business and youth involvement.  We’re excited about these organizations; here’s how they will use your donations in their rebuilding efforts:    

Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC) - $310,000

ETIC’s Disaster Recovery Leadership Development Project  pairs socially-aware, entrepreneurial-minded young leaders with local leaders and businesses with the dual goals of creating jobs in the disaster-effected area and developing Japanese leaders.  $210,000 will fund the work of ten fellows who will collaborate with local organizations.  The remaining $100,000 will be disbursed by ETIC in small grants to the local non-profits and businesses working to rebuild the Tohoku region where fellows are placed.

Ashoka: Youth Venture Japan - $250,000

A recent survey in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures found that 87.4% of youth want to do something to help their local communities in the disaster-affected area.  Ashoka will use $250,000 to establish a Youth Venture program in local high schools that encourages passionate students to develop community recovery projects.  Ashoka will also engage local adults to act as panelists and mentors for the students.

Durable Social Innovation Asia (DSIA) - $40,000

In an effort to help economically rebuild the Tohoku region, a $40,000 grant will help connect small- and medium-sized businesses in the tsunami-affected area with well-established companies. The business partnerships will support Tsunami recovery through finance, technology, knowledge and human resource support.

If you’d like to read more detailed updates directly from the ground, we encourage you to visit our Japan Relief and Recovery updates page. 

We’re grateful that donations are still coming in, and we will continue to distribute them to high-impact rebuilding efforts around Japan. Thank you again for your support and we will continue to update you on the impact that your donations are making in the lives of women, men, and children in Japan.

Warm wishes,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving team

Jun 21 2011

Rebuilding Japan

Britt Lake

In areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March, thousands of people continue to live in evacuation centers.  With so much rebuilding to do, the government still hasn’t reached places like the small seaside village of Yubigahama, where debris sits uncleared and roads remain impassable.  The Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), supported by your donation to the GlobalGiving Japan Relief Fund, recently set up six container houses in an area where 80% of the surrounding town was devastated by the tsunami.

As volunteers and residents helped to set up the container houses, Ms. Suzuki, one of the new residents told AAR: “Right now, four families are living in this evacuation center. I never thought I would care about the lack of privacy, because we have known each other for so long.”

Ms. Suzuki moved into her new container house after two months of living in the evacuation center with four family members.  “Living together for two months has been mentally exhausting. We don’t have any space to discuss family matters privately. I’m really thankful just to have a space for our families to sleep on our own.”

AAR plans to set up another 24 container houses in the area, and has had requests to set up additional container homes in Minami-Sanriku and Ishinomaki.

Architecture for Humanity is also working to rebuild communities destroyed by the tsunami and earthquake with support from your donation to the GlobalGiving Japan Relief Fund.  In Motoyoshi, Miyagi, Architecture for Humanity is completing a covered wooden deck made of timber salvaged from the tsunami to serve as the center of a future marketplace.  Several local businesses that lost their storefront have already signed up for spots at this market.

Click on the video link below to see the construction site and hear from the team carrying out the project.

Thank you again for your support to people like Ms. Suzuki, who now has a home for her family.  Stay tuned for our next update, where we will announce some important new rebuilding activities that are being supported through your donations. And you can always read additional updates directly from our partners in Japan on GlobalGiving's "Updates from Japan" page.

May 05 2011

Looking Forward

Britt Lake

Nearly two months after Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, here at GlobalGiving we are shifting the focus of our funding from emergency aid to more medium-and long-term support for people affected by the disaster. Our continuing priority has been to support Japanese organizations and citizens who are managing their own recovery processes, and over $3 million of your donations have gone towards these efforts.

For example, support through Japan Platform helped to supply over 100 Japanese volunteers including local teachers, parents, firefighters who worked together to clean up and re-open Kesennuma Kindergarten.

Although some families and teachers are still staying in the Kesennuma schools as shelters overnight, classes have resumed during the day. "I could not wait for this day to come," said one of the children during a re-opening ceremony, "I was not able to meet my friends for a long time." The disaster relief funds helped provide packages of school supplies for the students and classrooms, allowing children to go back to school and to develop a normal routine again.

Our Japan Platform partners are also supporting other much-needed services for survivors, including legal advice for citizens of the Iwate prefecture. Legal counselors are helping victims answer tough questions like, "What do I do about the mortgage I have on a home that was destroyed by the tsunami?"

Thanks to your continuing generosity, this week we disbursed an additional $310,000 to support Japanese organizations in their medium- and long-term rebuilding efforts. These funds are going to:

We'll send another update in a few weeks to share the stories of how these funds were put to work. For the most up-to-date info on the Japan recovery fund, please follow us on Twitter (@GlobalGiving) or "like" our Facebook Page. In addition, you can read updates from our partners on GlobalGiving's "Updates from Japan" page.

give now

Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

Apr 14 2011

GlobalGiving's Continued Commitment to Japan

Britt Lake

Mercy Corps

Its hard to believe that it's been over a month since the earthquake and tsunami that took 11,000 lives in Japan. Thousands remain missing, and more than 170,000 people are living in evacuation centers where they are still relying on the Japanese government and aid organizations for basic necessities and medical support. Fuel shortages and cold temperatures have exacerbated the situation, and there continues to be a genuine threat of nuclear contamination to the air, food, and water. 

To date, GlobalGiving and GlobalGiving UK have disbursed more than $3 million to 14 organizations: Architecture for Humanity, Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), Civic Force, International Medical Corps, Japan Platform, Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN), Lifeline Energy, Mercy Corps, Peace Winds, Save the Children, Shelter Box, Shine Humanity, and Telecom for Basic Human Needs (BHN)

While GlobalGiving's partners continue to provide basic necessities such as food, fuel, and medical care, organizations have also begun to address the ongoing and future needs of those affected by the disaster:

  • Civic Force has partnered with local carpenters to build bathhouses, making it possible for individuals who have gone weeks without bathing to wash;
  • JEN staff and volunteers are removing sludge from public buildings and homes;
  • Peace Winds and Mercy Corps have teamed up to train caregivers to help children through the trauma of disaster;
  • AMDA has organized movies and sports events and provided exercise equipment to alleviate boredom and restlessness in evacuation centers; and
  • The International Medical Corps has partnered with local organizations to provide telephone counseling and training in psychological first aid.

Many of our partners have begun to develop long-term plans for recovery. Architecture for Humanity is committed to the physical rebuilding of communities, while Telecom for Basic Human Needs has developed a plan for reestablishing radio infrastructure in collaboration with Japan Platform. Others plan to provide long-term psycho-social and livelihood support to help impacted communities get back on their feet. 

Most of these organizations have posted their own projects on GlobalGiving’s site. If you are inclined to provide additional support, we encourage you to do so by supporting the project that resonates with you most. You can view these Japan relief projects on GlobalGiving.org and GlobalGiving.co.uk

Over the next six to eight weeks, GlobalGiving expects to continue to receive significant funds from corporate matching campaigns, cause-marketing promotions, and individual donors. On our blog you can read more about how GlobalGiving's corporate partners are contributing. In addition, GlobalGiving UK's partnership with JustGiving continues to provide an easy way for individuals and corporations to fundraise for disaster relief projects. Ocado, the home delivery company, used JustGiving's platform to raise £200,000 from staff and customers for Mercy Corps' project on GlobalGiving. 

These additional funds will make it possible for GlobalGiving to continue to support intermediate and long-term recovery efforts. We will continue to update you via email, although probably a little less frequently going forward. For more up-to-date info on our work, please follow us on Twitter (@GlobalGiving) or "like" our Facebook Page. In addition, you can read updates from our partners on GlobalGiving's "Updates from Japan" page. 

Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team 

Apr 05 2011

We Didn't Do It Alone: How You've Helped Make a Difference for Japan

Britt Lake

On Friday, March 11th, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella awoke in San Diego to an email from Ayumi Horie, her best friend of 30 years. Ayumi, a potter, wanted Kathryn’s support to organize an online art auction to raise money for survivors of the earthquake and tsunami that had just hit Japan. The two had always shared a love of Japan and art and decided to channel this passion to help those affected by the disaster. With the help of another long-time friend, Ai Kanazawa Cheung, as well as volunteers, family, and other friends, Handmade for Japan was born. Within two weeks, Handmade for Japan had mobilized the support of dozens of artists and galleries to host an eBay auction of 120 pieces of art. The auction raised more than $75,000 for GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, garnered media attention for the Japan relief effort, and attracted over 5,000 followers to the cause.

Ayumi Horie, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella and Ai Kanazawa Cheung plan via Skype.
Ayumi Horie, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella and Ai Kanazawa Cheung plan via Skype.

Like Ayumi and Kathryn, hundreds of other donors leapt into action after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, rallying support for the relief effort via GlobalGiving. From bake sales to t-shirt sales and celebrity events, the response has been amazing. For example, Anime fans and gamers have raised more than $80,000 hosting live video game streams, including Level|Up x iPlayWinner’s online "Fight for Relief."

High school and college students throughout the US banded together with fraternities, sororities, service clubs, and fellow classmates to organize events and host virtual fundraisers. University of Maryland Professor Larry Shinagawa organized a fundraiser in the DC area that raised nearly $25,000. And caring donors like you organized benefit concerts, comedy shows, garage sales, road trips, relay races, and even a Martian Marathon (whatever that is), raising thousands of dollars to help the people of Japan.

Joining these "everyday heroes" have been some names you might recognize. Singer Jack Johnson, actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ken Watanabe, and heavy-metal band Megadeth have all raised funds for GlobalGiving's efforts. And we are excited to count among our "tweeters" Katy Perry, Simon Pegg, Moby, Christy Turlington, Jaime Camil, and Star Trek's original Mr. Sulu, George Takai.

Businesses as diverse as Dell, Liquidnet, American Pressed Bakery, ClippieCollections, and Summerfield Childcare have donated and encouraged employees and customers to give. (See more on our blog.)

Gap Inc, a long-time partner of GlobalGiving, has been a standout among this generous crowd, having mobilized to support GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund from all directions, proving Gap Inc’s genuine commitment to doing what’s right:

  • Gap Inc employees are able to contribute to Japan relief efforts and have those donations matched through the website BeWhatsPossible.com. Employees of all levels, up to the founding family, have taken advantage of this opportunity.
  • The Gap Foundation has provided a grant to International Medical Corps and Save the Children via GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
  • The Gap Inc commerce websites, including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta, linked to GlobalGiving's Japan relief efforts for more than a week during March, leading to more than $70,000 from Gap Inc consumers.
  • There are currently Japan t-shirts selling in select Gap stores and online, from which proceeds will go to GlobalGiving's Japan relief efforts.
  • The Gap Inc Give and Get team made a donation for every employee who signed up for its March 17-20, 2011, sale.

From employees to corporate matches to inspiring its customers, the Gap Inc community has already donated or committed more than $500,000 of funding to our partners on the ground.

As a result of the generosity of those mentioned above and more than 34,000 individual donors, GlobalGiving disbursed an additional $500,000 to Japanese relief organizations on Thursday, March 31st. $100,000 was given to each of the following organizations: Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), Civic Force, Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN), and Japan Platform. In the coming weeks, we will continue to keep you updated about the work that these and other organizations are doing in Japan and to share stories of impact from the field.

Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

Mar 30 2011

Meet the Satos. You're Helping Them.

Britt Lake

Meet the Satos. You're helping them.

Mr. and Mrs. Sato are currently staying with 200+ other people on a high school gym floor in Mirami Sanriku Cho, a city in northern Japan. Their home was destroyed by the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami, leaving the couple trapped for nearly two days with about 500 other elderly individuals. Several weeks after disaster struck Japan, individuals like Mr. and Mrs. Sato are still relying heavily on aid organizations. Read Mr. and Mrs. Sato's full story.

Because of your generosity, GlobalGiving has disbursed more than $1.5 million to organizations on the ground providing basic necessities, medical care, childcare, and ongoing support to hundreds of thousands of people. We have received frequent reports, stories, and photos from our partners, which we have shared below.

Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) - AMDA's team of 88 — including volunteer doctors, nurses, and therapists — is working in evacuation shelters in Kamaishi City and Ohtsuchicho in Iwate Prefecture and Minamisanriku-cho in Miyagi Prefecture. In one shelter doctors reported seeing 50-80 patients daily. AMDA is using electric vehicles to deliver mobile clinic services to shelters and people's homes in remote areas. They are using other means to enter sites in mountainous areas where road access is difficult. Read updates on AMDA's website.

Peace Winds - In addition to ongoing relief work in Kesennuma, Peace Winds has expanded relief operations to Rikuzentakata and Ofunato in Iwate Prefecture and Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture.  Peace Winds continues to manage, ship, and distribute emergency relief supplies at evacuation centers in these cities.  In response to the severe cold in the northeast prefectures, Peace Winds, in collaboration with Civic Force, recently delivered 510 kerosene stoves and thousands of liters of kerosene to help heat evacuation shelters. Read updates on Peace Wind's website.

Japan Platform - Japan Platform, a network of Japanese NGOs, businesses, and local governments, is coordinating the work of 24 partner organizations, channeling funding and resources to them based on expertise and location. Japan Platform is providing grants and logistical assistance to its partners, which have responded to the emergency by offering medical services, daycare, internet access, and more. See where Japan Platform's partners are working.

Save the Children - Save the Children is operating nine "Child Friendly Spaces" in evacuation centers in Northeast Japan. This gives children, who are otherwise suffering from nightmares, anxiety, and boredom, the chance to laugh, play, and interact with other children. Read more about Save the Children's "Child Friendly Spaces."

Telecom for Basic Human Needs (BHN) - BHN has created seven internet access points throughout Iwate Prefecture, making it possible for those affected to access information and to connect with family. BHN has constructed a temporary internet infrastructure using a wireless mesh network. Now, BHN is working to repair radio equipment and organize community radio broadcasts detailing important information about safety and support services. BHN is also distributing wind-up radios to facilitate access to information.

International Medical Corps - Working closely with the Japanese government to fill gaps in the disaster relief effort, International Medical Corps is providing mental health services to disaster survivors and supporting vulnerable displaced groups such as the elderly, single women, and children. International Medical Corps has delivered packaged baby foods and medications including nasal sprays, antihistamines, and eye drops. They have also helped to improve communication between evacuation and coordination centers by distributing laptops, satellite phones, and walkie-talkies. Read International Medical Corps' update on GlobalGiving.

Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN) - Over the past several weeks, JEN has expanded its work into some of the least accessible areas that are still receiving little support, such as the towns of Minamisanriku, Higashimatsushima, Onagawa and Ishimaki. JEN has continued to assess needs in these areas and to distribute much needed supplies, including clothing, sanitary items, and fresh food. In the long-term, JEN plans to help individuals return home or resettle and ultimately rebuild a sustainable local economy and livelihood. Read updates on JEN's blog.

Civic Force - Civic Force has played a valuable role in facilitating the distribution of donated supplies throughout Northeast Japan. Earlier this week, Civic Force unloaded two four-ton trucks of rice donated through Yahoo! in Kesennuma. Last week, Civic Force distributed 19,000 pairs of shoes and socks donated by Nike as well as six four-ton trucks of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. Civic Force has also begun to plan for the construction of temporary shelters for families currently living in evacuation shelters. Read updates from Civic Force's website.

Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) - AAR continues to assess and respond to the needs of elderly and disabled individuals. AAR is distributing much-needed supplies — flashlights, food, water, and kerosene — to welfare facilities for people with disabilities, evacuation shelters, and makeshift refuges in Miyagi Prefecture and Iwate Prefecture. Read detailed updates on AAR's blog.

Lifeline Energy - Lifeline Energy is working with Oxfam Japan to distribute 15,000 Polaris all-in-one radio, light and cell-phone chargers by early April. Polaris radios, which access Japan's unique radio frequency, will enable disaster survivors to receive updates about support services, radiation levels, weather forecasts, and more. The LED light will help families navigate in darkness, and the cell phone charger will make it possible for people to connect. Lifeline Energy will be distributing Polaris radios to the elderly in Tohuku Kanto region. Read a recent update Lifeline Energy's website.

Architecture for Humanity - Architecture for Humanity, in collaboration with members of its Kyoto Chapter, is conducting door-to-door needs assessments in Sendai. This assessment is being used to inform Architecture for Humanity's long-term plan for rebuilding and recovery. Architecture for Humanity is working with design professionals to design safe and sustainable community buildings, health clinics, schools, and hospitals. Read updates on Architecture for Humanity's website.

To see all Japan relief updates, visit www.globalgiving.org/japan-updates.

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Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

Mar 25 2011

Second Update on How Your GlobalGiving Donation is Making a Difference

Britt Lake

Two weeks have passed since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan, and the needs are becoming clearer. This morning it was reported that the official death toll crossed 10,000. More than 17,000 people have been reported missing and 245,000 people are dependent upon evacuation centers for shelter after their homes and communities were destroyed.

Through your support, over $2 million has been raised for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, and GlobalGiving has been able to quickly send funds to partners on the ground that are providing medical and other emergency support to fill immediate needs.

Today we announced a second round of grants totaling nearly $1 million − $825,000 of which is coming from donations you’ve made to the Fund. This round of grants is being made exclusively to Japanese NGOs working on emergency relief. These seven groups, and the funding they are receiving from GlobalGiving, are listed in the chart below



Japan Platform and Peace Winds, two organizations we described in our last update, are receiving their second grants from the Fund. Descriptions of the five additional organizations receiving grants in this second round, and the work they are currently carrying out in Japan, are below:

Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN) - Japanese Emergency NGOs was founded as a coalition of relief workers with experience in overseas disasters. More than a decade ago, JEN became an independent NGO implementing disaster relief work. JEN is coordinating with local government and at the grassroots level to deliver blankets and food in the short term, and it has two teams in the affected areas assessing its long-term response.

Civic Force - Civic Force was founded with a specific focus on domestic emergency response in Japan. The team is currently sending ten trucks a day carrying supplies to 150-200 camps in the affected areas. Its initial focus was on blankets and shelter, but delivery is now focused on necessary medicine and food. In the coming months, Civic Force is looking to assist with long-term recovery, particularly around rubble removal and rebuilding in communities that were destroyed.

Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) - The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia, founded in Japan in 1984, began sending mobile clinics to provide medical relief to survivors in the first week after the disaster. More than 30 people on 10 teams have visited evacuation camps in two affected Prefectures, including doctors, nurses, and logistics experts. Almost all of the doctors are volunteering their time, so AMDA can use donations effectively to purchase medical supplies and get personnel and medicine to the afflicted areas.

Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) – The Association for Aid and Relief was founded in Japan in 1979, and now has offices in 13 countries with more than 200 staff around the world. AAR began distributing food and non-food items to survivors in affected areas just three days after the earthquake. AAR is focusing primarily on reaching the elderly and disabled, who may not be covered by the larger, government-supported evaluation camps.

Telecom for Basic Human Needs (BHN) - BHN was created by the telecommunications industry in 1992 to provide development assistance and disaster relief in the form of radio, internet, and other IT-specific support. Already, BHN has begun work to provide logistics for a mobile clinic in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture and to build an internet-based wireless mesh network in Iwate Prefecture. Funds from GlobalGiving will support BHN’s efforts to rebuild local community FM radio stations to broadcast local news, programs for kids, and English programs for foreigners.

In addition to the grants described above, we are also disbursing more than $100,000 of funds raised in the last week by organizations with specific Japan relief projects on GlobalGiving.org.

GlobalGiving UK will be sending an additional £10,000, split among four organizations: AAR, International Medical Corps UK, JEN, and Peace Winds.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to tell you how donations to the Fund are being allocated and share stories about the impact your contributions are making possible for the people affected by this disaster. Let us know on the project wall what you would like to hear about in these updates, and please read our blog for more context on our activities.

Our hearts continue to go out to the people of Japan, as well as to the tireless humanitarian workers and volunteers on the ground. We are honored to support their work. As you know, the needs are still great. If you are moved to provide more support please click below.

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Thank you again for your generosity,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

Mar 23 2011

How Your Donation Is Being Used To Help Japan

Britt Lake

All of us at GlobalGiving have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity that has come from people all over the world in support of those impacted by the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. Over 20,000 of you have donated time, energy, money, and ideas to help those affected by the disaster.

Today, just one week after the earthquake hit, we are disbursing $725,000 from GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund to six organizations already in Japan working on relief and long-term recovery efforts. You can see the exact allocation of these funds below.



We wanted to share with you more information about the organizations receiving these first funds and the valuable work that each is carrying out with the help of your donation.

Japan Platform - Japan Platform is an emergency humanitarian aid organization working with Japanese NGOs, the Japanese business community, and the Japanese government. Funds provided by GlobalGiving will be used to provide disaster coordination and financial support to the 18 Japan Platform partner NGOs that are responding to the emergency by providing short-term food aid, medical assistance, and tents, while planning a long-term response.

Peace Winds - Peace Winds is a Japanese organization that has focused on emergency humanitarian relief for the past 15 years. GlobalGiving funds will help Peace Winds distribute emergency disaster relief supplies - including food, cooking supplies, and blankets - to people at shelters in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture and to provide free satellite telephone services and mobile phone charging so that survivors can ensure family members of their safety and to check on family members in other affected areas.

Save the Children - Children are always among the most vulnerable during emergencies. Save the Children is working with children and caregivers to provide psycho-social support and materials and to establish Child-Friendly Spaces in affected communities in Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwata, and Ibaraki Prefectures.

Architecture for Humanity - Architecture for Humanity and its teams of professionals in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto are partnering with other organizations to mobilize around the long-term reconstruction effort. GlobalGiving funds will support communities and design professionals in the safe and sustainable rebuilding of community structures, health clinics, schools, hospitals and civic structures.

International Medical Corps - International Medical Corps has an emergency response team of doctors on the ground in Sendai, and is coordinating with local officials to fill critical gaps in the response efforts. These funds will help the group focus on reaching isolated coastal communities that were devastated by the tsunami and have yet to receive aid.

Lifeline Energy - Lifeline Energy is working with local partners to distribute wind-up and solar radios and specialized programming to non-Japanese speaking survivors, who are lacking access to critical information following the disaster. These radios are also equipped with flashlights and cell phone chargers and are designed for especially complex emergency situations.

GlobalGiving is committed to keeping you informed about the impact your donation is having on the ground. In the coming days, weeks, and months, you'll continue to receive updates about how these funds are being used and stories about the people whose lives you have helped change for the better. For additional insights into how GlobalGiving is handling donors' funds, read our Chief Program Officer's recent blog post.

Together, you are making a difference in the lives of so many in Japan.

Thank you,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

Mar 18 2011

How Your Donation Is Being Used To Help Japan

Britt Lake

All of us at GlobalGiving have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity that has come from people all over the world in support of those impacted by the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. Over 20,000 of you have donated time, energy, money, and ideas to help those affected by the disaster.

Today, just one week after the earthquake hit, we are disbursing $725,000 from GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund to six organizations already in Japan working on relief and long-term recovery efforts. You can see the exact allocation of these funds below.



We wanted to share with you more information about the organizations receiving these first funds and the valuable work that each is carrying out with the help of your donation.

Japan Platform - Japan Platform is an emergency humanitarian aid organization working with Japanese NGOs, the Japanese business community, and the Japanese government. Funds provided by GlobalGiving will be used to provide disaster coordination and financial support to the 18 Japan Platform partner NGOs that are responding to the emergency by providing short-term food aid, medical assistance, and tents, while planning a long-term response.

Peace Winds - Peace Winds is a Japanese organization that has focused on emergency humanitarian relief for the past 15 years. GlobalGiving funds will help Peace Winds distribute emergency disaster relief supplies - including food, cooking supplies, and blankets - to people at shelters in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture and to provide free satellite telephone services and mobile phone charging so that survivors can ensure family members of their safety and to check on family members in other affected areas.

Save the Children - Children are always among the most vulnerable during emergencies. Save the Children is working with children and caregivers to provide psycho-social support and materials and to establish Child-Friendly Spaces in affected communities in Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwata, and Ibaraki Prefectures.

Architecture for Humanity - Architecture for Humanity and its teams of professionals in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto are partnering with other organizations to mobilize around the long-term reconstruction effort. GlobalGiving funds will support communities and design professionals in the safe and sustainable rebuilding of community structures, health clinics, schools, hospitals and civic structures.

International Medical Corps - International Medical Corps has an emergency response team of doctors on the ground in Sendai, and is coordinating with local officials to fill critical gaps in the response efforts. These funds will help the group focus on reaching isolated coastal communities that were devastated by the tsunami and have yet to receive aid.

Lifeline Energy - Lifeline Energy is working with local partners to distribute wind-up and solar radios and specialized programming to non-Japanese speaking survivors, who are lacking access to critical information following the disaster. These radios are also equipped with flashlights and cell phone chargers and are designed for especially complex emergency situations.

GlobalGiving is committed to keeping you informed about the impact your donation is having on the ground. In the coming days, weeks, and months, you'll continue to receive updates about how these funds are being used and stories about the people whose lives you have helped change for the better. For additional insights into how GlobalGiving is handling donors' funds, read our Chief Program Officer's recent blog post.

Together, you are making a difference in the lives of so many in Japan.

Thank you,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

Mar 16 2011

Hang In There Japan

Mari Kuraishi

This is a personal message from Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving and a Japanese national, about the disaster in Japan:

Friday March 11th passed in something of a blur. I woke up, heard about the largest earthquake ever to hit Japan, and started speed dialing my family and friends. Earthquakes happen frequently in Japan, so every couple of years I end up calling, "Just to make sure." But this time, I'd gotten an email in the middle of my night, immediately after the earthquake struck in Japan mid-afternoon, from a friend saying, "This might be it. If anything happens to me, please look out for my daughter." But all circuits were busy. OK, try again later. From the quick snippets of news I saw, neither my family nor friends were anywhere near the epicenter. "Later" eventually got to be too late for me to be hassling people who may have been through a big scare and may have just gotten to sleep. So wait until the end of the day here, when it would be morning in Japan. Distract myself with work.

But working at GlobalGiving requires us to be on top of disasters, and much of the day we were scrambling like crazy to figure out what the scale of the damage was, where our project partners in Japan were, and how we could make sure to channel the outpouring of generosity that was already hitting our servers starting first thing in the morning. So I became glued to livestreamed TV from Japan. I couldn't get away from it. Knowing all I do about how difficult it is for laypeople to help directly, it was difficult to resist the feeling that I needed to get on a plane back home. Maybe I could get through to my friends and family that way.

It's inevitable when disasters happen that commentators point out that philanthropists might want to wait until after the immediate relief phase is over. But as I kept up my stream of emails into Japan, checking on existing organizations we work with, and looking for the right new organizations, I've been struck by how everyone I have been communicating with is so heartened to hear that someone wants to help, that someone out there cares enough from thousands of miles away to reach out.

GlobalGiving is working hard to identify the best local partners on the ground to receive these funds. Already, our immediate disaster response partners are having an impact.

Save the Children is working to deliver psychosocial support aimed at children, establishing child-friendly spaces in affected communities, providing support to parents, teachers, and other key caregivers, and working alongside local communities to train volunteers in sounseling techniques to help children after this disaster. International Medical Corps has already put together relief teams and supplies and have been in contact with partners in Japan in the first day of the disaster.

In the coming days we'll continue to identify additional Japanese organizations providing relief following the earthquake and tsunami and will keep you updated by email about how the funds are used and the impact your donation is making.

I was glued to the livestream most of Sunday too. It was Monday morning in Japan and TV reporters were positioned at train stations to cover how people were getting back to work. But many stations unexpectedly were closed and people ended up waiting for taxis instead. Then, the litany of train lines that were not running came on–for close to 5 minutes. That spoke volumes. It only made me realize that I had an unspoken hope that life would start returning to normal–and it wasn't going to. At least for now. The city of Tokyo is at a virtual standstill. Friends in the suburbs are wandering around looking for ATMs with cash and stores with food. Rolling blackouts are finally being implemented. Everyone–including people who weren't directly affected–is going around in a daze.

And yes, I got through to everybody Friday evening. Everyone I know is safe. But to have thousands of people willing to help means more than I can say.

 

Note: The image of band-aid and Japanese flag was designed and donated to GlobalGiving to use by Robert Troutman. Thank you!

Mar 16 2011

Hang In There Japan

Mari Kuraishi

This is a personal message from Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving and a Japanese national, about the disaster in Japan:

Friday March 11th passed in something of a blur. I woke up, heard about the largest earthquake ever to hit Japan, and started speed dialing my family and friends. Earthquakes happen frequently in Japan, so every couple of years I end up calling, "Just to make sure." But this time, I'd gotten an email in the middle of my night, immediately after the earthquake struck in Japan mid-afternoon, from a friend saying, "This might be it. If anything happens to me, please look out for my daughter." But all circuits were busy. OK, try again later. From the quick snippets of news I saw, neither my family nor friends were anywhere near the epicenter. "Later" eventually got to be too late for me to be hassling people who may have been through a big scare and may have just gotten to sleep. So wait until the end of the day here, when it would be morning in Japan. Distract myself with work.

But working at GlobalGiving requires us to be on top of disasters, and much of the day we were scrambling like crazy to figure out what the scale of the damage was, where our project partners in Japan were, and how we could make sure to channel the outpouring of generosity that was already hitting our servers starting first thing in the morning. So I became glued to livestreamed TV from Japan. I couldn't get away from it. Knowing all I do about how difficult it is for laypeople to help directly, it was difficult to resist the feeling that I needed to get on a plane back home. Maybe I could get through to my friends and family that way.

It's inevitable when disasters happen that commentators point out that philanthropists might want to wait until after the immediate relief phase is over. But as I kept up my stream of emails into Japan, checking on existing organizations we work with, and looking for the right new organizations, I've been struck by how everyone I have been communicating with is so heartened to hear that someone wants to help, that someone out there cares enough from thousands of miles away to reach out.

GlobalGiving is working hard to identify the best local partners on the ground to receive these funds. Already, our immediate disaster response partners are having an impact.

Save the Children is working to deliver psychosocial support aimed at children, establishing child-friendly spaces in affected communities, providing support to parents, teachers, and other key caregivers, and working alongside local communities to train volunteers in sounseling techniques to help children after this disaster. International Medical Corps has already put together relief teams and supplies and have been in contact with partners in Japan in the first day of the disaster.

In the coming days we'll continue to identify additional Japanese organizations providing relief following the earthquake and tsunami and will keep you updated by email about how the funds are used and the impact your donation is making.

I was glued to the livestream most of Sunday too. It was Monday morning in Japan and TV reporters were positioned at train stations to cover how people were getting back to work. But many stations unexpectedly were closed and people ended up waiting for taxis instead. Then, the litany of train lines that were not running came on–for close to 5 minutes. That spoke volumes. It only made me realize that I had an unspoken hope that life would start returning to normal–and it wasn't going to. At least for now. The city of Tokyo is at a virtual standstill. Friends in the suburbs are wandering around looking for ATMs with cash and stores with food. Rolling blackouts are finally being implemented. Everyone–including people who weren't directly affected–is going around in a daze.

And yes, I got through to everybody Friday evening. Everyone I know is safe. But to have thousands of people willing to help means more than I can say.

Mar 15 2011

Hang In There Japan

Mari Kuraishi

This is a personal message from Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving and a Japanese national, about the disaster in Japan:

Friday March 11th passed in something of a blur. I woke up, heard about the largest earthquake ever to hit Japan, and started speed dialing my family and friends. Earthquakes happen frequently in Japan, so every couple of years I end up calling, "Just to make sure." But this time, I'd gotten an email in the middle of my night, immediately after the earthquake struck in Japan mid-afternoon, from a friend saying, "This might be it. If anything happens to me, please look out for my daughter." But all circuits were busy. OK, try again later. From the quick snippets of news I saw, neither my family nor friends were anywhere near the epicenter. "Later" eventually got to be too late for me to be hassling people who may have been through a big scare and may have just gotten to sleep. So wait until the end of the day here, when it would be morning in Japan. Distract myself with work.

But working at GlobalGiving requires us to be on top of disasters, and much of the day we were scrambling like crazy to figure out what the scale of the damage was, where our project partners in Japan were, and how we could make sure to channel the outpouring of generosity that was already hitting our servers starting first thing in the morning. So I became glued to livestreamed TV from Japan. I couldn't get away from it. Knowing all I do about how difficult it is for laypeople to help directly, it was difficult to resist the feeling that I needed to get on a plane back home. Maybe I could get through to my friends and family that way.

It's inevitable when disasters happen that commentators point out that philanthropists might want to wait until after the immediate relief phase is over. But as I kept up my stream of emails into Japan, checking on existing organizations we work with, and looking for the right new organizations, I've been struck by how everyone I have been communicating with is so heartened to hear that someone wants to help, that someone out there cares enough from thousands of miles away to reach out.

GlobalGiving is working hard to identify the best local partners on the ground to receive these funds. Already, our immediate disaster response partners are having an impact.

Save the Children is working to deliver psychosocial support aimed at children, establishing child-friendly spaces in affected communities, providing support to parents, teachers, and other key caregivers, and working alongside local communities to train volunteers in sounseling techniques to help children after this disaster. International Medical Corps has already put together relief teams and supplies and have been in contact with partners in Japan in the first day of the disaster.

In the coming days we'll continue to identify additional Japanese organizations providing relief following the earthquake and tsunami and will keep you updated by email about how the funds are used and the impact your donation is making.

I was glued to the livestream most of Sunday too. It was Monday morning in Japan and TV reporters were positioned at train stations to cover how people were getting back to work. But many stations unexpectedly were closed and people ended up waiting for taxis instead. Then, the litany of train lines that were not running came on–for close to 5 minutes. That spoke volumes. It only made me realize that I had an unspoken hope that life would start returning to normal–and it wasn't going to. At least for now. The city of Tokyo is at a virtual standstill. Friends in the suburbs are wandering around looking for ATMs with cash and stores with food. Rolling blackouts are finally being implemented. Everyone–including people who weren't directly affected–is going around in a daze.

And yes, I got through to everybody Friday evening. Everyone I know is safe. But to have thousands of people willing to help means more than I can say.