Raised: 94%
 

Target: £311,131.00
Raised so far: £292,425.00

Fully funded

Great news - this project has reached its funding target. Thank you to everyone who donated. Search for another cause to support

Project run by

Mercy Corps, Portland, United Stateshttp://www.mercycorps.org

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Response to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Working with our longtime partner, Peace Winds, Mercy Corps has rushed teams to the most devastated areas in Japan with shelter materials, water and other relief items.

What is the problem the project is addressing?

Shortly after the triple disaster in Japan's Tohoku region, Mercy Corps & PlanNet Finance Japan studied the impact of the disasters' impact on small businesses. Of those small businesses that were destroyed, over 70% were unable to access financial resources to restart their businesses. Government business recovery programs have focused on large industries. Small businesses, which are cumulatively the largest employers in Tohoku, have faced challenges in accessing the capital needed to recover.

How will this project solve the problem?

With that assessment, Mercy Corps & PlaNet Finance Japan entered into a unique partnership with a local bank to support small business recovery along the Sanriku Coast. We offer several programs to local entrepreneurs including: Start-up grants, Re-employment grants, Loan Interest Subsidies, & Disabilities Accessibility Grants. We estimate that over 500 jobs have been created or supported by the program so far. Other tsunami-impacted locations are being investigated for inclusion in the program.

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

In the longer term, we aim to continue to help affected families rebuild their lives through economic recovery. We will continue to provide equipment and funds to quickly rebuild businesses in four coastal communities of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures (Minamisanriku, Kesennuma, Rikuzentakata and Ofunato). Mercy Corps and Planet Finance Japan are expanding the project in the tsunami-affected area helping to revitalize even more communities including Minamisoma.

Jun 13 2013

Our final update on the recovery in Japan

Carlene Deits

In March, we passed the two year anniversary of the devastating tsunami that rocked the Tohoku region. During that time, we reflected on the aid provided in those two years and we want to share just a few accomplishments because of you:

  • With our long-time partners Peace Winds Japan, we gave vouchers to local people instead of handing out goods and food which allowed families to buy what they really needed.
  • From the voucher program, we moved on to keep keystone industries in the area going such as reopening the dock-side fish market in Ofunato.
  • Shortly after, we provided start-up and re-employment grants which have reached more than 200 businesses and employed 1,000 people (with the help of NGO PlaNet Finance and Kesennuma Shinkin Bank). 

Live affected by the tsunami have been improved because of you. Thank you. 

Though we will continue our long term efforts in the region, we will no longer be doing a project page through GlobalGiving. If you would like to still donate to the mission of Mercy Corps through GlobalGiving, we encourage you to change lives through our Help Turn Crisis Into Opportunity project. You can also continue to follow our progress in Japan and see our other programs in the country as well. 

We are truly thankful for your generous contributions and for continuing to care two years after the catastrophe. You have helped the people of Japan get back on their feet quicker!

With gratitude,

Carlene

Mar 15 2013

Last day to have your donations matched! See the difference you've made!

Carlene Deits

Thank you so much for all the support you have given to the citizens of Japan. Their stories of survival and struggle are harrowing, but their spirit and dedication to resuming their lives and businesses are inspiring. We want to share with you a couple of stories to show how your contribution has made an impact.

Much like anywhere, the key to reviving these communities was to jump-start its small business sector. Through our partnership with PlaNet Finance and generous donors such NVIDIA and people like you, we have been able to provide financial tools to small business owners, help them re-open their doors, provide jobs within their community and restore badly needed flow of goods and services

For instance, Ryota Nagashima - a bakery-owner from Minamisanriku, lost everything in the tsunami. While living in a temporary shelter, Mr. Nagashima spotted a bag of donated flour and immediately had an idea to make pancakes for his fellow shelter dwellers. Mr. Nagashima, with support from a Mercy Corps grant, reopened his bakery and hired two full-time positions. Today he is again famous for his creations, and his shop and products have drawn tourists from all over the country.

Then there is the story of Tsutomu Onodera - a former fish merchant whose business, along with the entire fishery infrastructure perished in the tsunami. Driven to help restart this vital product supply chain, Mr. Onodera, with the help of the re-employment grant from NVIDIA started a co-op fresh food market where small vendors gather to sell their produce and fish.

Ryota Nagashima's and Tsutomu Onodera's businesses are two examples of the 219 enterprises that this Mercy Corps program has reached - because of you - totaling over 2,600 people. But most importantly, 100% of the businesses that we have supported are still in business. At this rate, we plan to keep granting to businesses through 2014!

We could not do this long-term rebuilding without donors like you, so thank you! This is the last day to have your donations matched by Global Giving at 100%. Help us double the impact for the people of Japan and the rebuilding of their businesses. 

With gratitude,

Carlene Deits

Mar 10 2013

Get your donations matched by 200%!

Carlene Deits

For the next 36 hours only, Global Giving will match any of your donations by 200%! 

That means that for every $1 you donate, $2 more will be added on.

Here's a breakdown of how much a 200% match means for your donations:

  • $10 you donate becomes $30
  • $25 you donate becomes $75 
  • $50 you donate becomes $150
  • $100 you donate becomes $300

You have already made such an impact in the lives of many, and we thank you for that. This is one more way you can help the citizens of Japan continue to recover and rebuild from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit them in 2011. Even a small donation can make a huge difference!

Global Giving will continue to match your credit card or Paypall donations until March 15th, but the next 36 hours is the only time (until March 11th, 2013 23:59 PM EDT (March 12th, 12:59 PM JST)) they are matching at 200%! 

Your donation will support small businesses and provide access to capital and advice to revive the local markets and provide jobs to others. 

Thank you for continuing to care about those in Japan. We could not do our ongoing work without you!

With gratitude,

Carlene

 

Feb 28 2013

Have your gift to Japan matched by GlobalGiving! Today!

Carlene Deits

Just like you haven't forgotten about what happened in Japan, neither have we!

Starting today, for a limited time, just for the next two weeks (March 1st-15th) every donation you make to Mercy Corps' Japan Earthquake and Tsunami project will be matched by GlobalGiving at 100% up to $1,000.

Though the situation in Japan may not make the news anymore, the people there are still in need. It is only through continued support from donors like you that has allowed them to rebuild their lives. Mercy Corps has been there from the start with immediate life-saving care, and we will remain there to provide long-term solutions. 

Help us to honor this two year anniversary of the devastating tsunami and earthquake by making a donation and having your gifts matched today.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at fundraising@mercycorps.org.

With gratitude,

Carlene Deits

 

Dec 31 2012

Best Mercy Corps photos of 2012!

Carlene Deits

As we ring in the New Year, we spend time reviewing what has been done in 2012. Because of you, we at Mercy Corps were able to do some real life-changing work this year!

You are the reason Mercy Corps has expanded our small business program that has already created over 500 jobs in Japan to another area affected by the tsunami. Mercy Corps and our partner PlaNet Finance Japan are working with another bank, Abukuma Shinkin Bank, in the town of Minamisoma to offer reemployment and startup grants and loan interest payments for small businesses. Minamisoma not only experienced the force of the earthquake and tsunami, but it is only 20-30 kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and half of the city is inside the evacuation zone. Of the surviving population, many have left because of concerns about exposure to radiation. The triple disasters had a devastating effect on businesses and recovery in Minamisoma has been much slower than other tsunami-affected cities. In this difficult environment, because of you, there are signs of recovery and interest in restarting businesses. Thank you.

We like to see the people our supporters like you have impacted, and I bet you do too. Over 17,000 photos were collected from around the world this year and we would like to share some of them with you!

Check out our slide show of the ten best images from 2012 from our worldwide programs and witness photos of:

  • Mercy Corps training women to mediate land conflict in Guatemala.
  • Wiam, a seven-year-old girl living with just a suitcase and a cardboard box of belongings in the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan.
  • Thirteen-year-old Donatien playing a traditional game. He and his family fled to this new village during attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army in the Central African Republic.
  • Jhon, during his training as a mechanical engineer in our rehabilitation program in Colombia. Jhon escaped life as a child soldier with the FARC militants.

And many others!

These images capture the resilient and strong-willed spirit of those we work with just like those in Japan, but there is still so much to be done.

As you consider your end-of-year giving, I encourage you to donate to a Mercy Corps project through Global Giving. Continue to support this one or pick a different project to make a lifesaving difference for families in need:

With you, in 2013, we will continue to make it a brighter, healthier year for families in the world’s most desperate places. With your support, we can make it happen - together!

In gratitude,

Carlene Deits

Dec 21 2012

You made change possible!

Carlene Deits

While crises happened last year in Japan, and the consequences continue even today, you have helped to save and change the lives for many men, women, children - and whole communities - in this part of the world.

Because of your compassion and generosity we were able to achieve so much in 2012. You made change possible!

The accomplishments shared below are a testament to the more than 70,000 donors (including you!) who’ve made this work possible. Because of you this is what we were able to do in Japan as well as other parts of the world:

  • Our loans helped 193 Japanese entrepreneurs get back to business and provide jobs after their enterprises were damaged or destroyed by the 2011 tsunami.
  • In Niger, more than 23,000 people — many of them severely malnourished children — got the food they needed to survive the Sahel’s devastating drought until the next harvest.
  • In Iraq, we taught 5,500 women to read — and learn their rights in a newly democratic country.

To show our appreciation, we have put together a slideshow to share how much we were able to accomplish because of your contribution. Check out how you have changed and transformed lives!

And if you haven't received a free 2013 Mercy Corps calendar we still have some left! Just e-mail your address to fundraising@mercycorps.org and we will happily send you one!

On behalf of the millions of people our work has touched this year, thank you!

In gratitude,

Carlene Deits

 

Nov 30 2012

Just a few hours left to have your gift matched!

Carlene Deits

Good News! The deadline has been extended but you just have a few hours left!

You can make a huge difference in the lives of countless people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

GlobalGiving is still matching all donations (up to $1000 per donor) made to Mercy Corps’ Response to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami project until the end of today. The matching campaign ends on November 30, 2012 at 11:59pm EDT (13:59pm JST on December 1st) or until funds run out!

Donate now! Matching funds will go quickly! Tell your friends! Please encourage them to donate too!

The continued support from donors like you allows the people of Japan to rebuild their lives with dignity and options.

Mercy Corps has worked to provide life-saving basics to help people in desperate need, help children recover and heal from trauma, and continues to advance economic recovery by supporting fish markets, providing business loans, and supporting fishing associations.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at: fundraising@mercycorps.org. Also email me with your mailing address for a free 2013 Mercy Corps calendar.

Domo arigato for your support.

Oct 31 2012

Support Mercy Corps' Efforts in Japan: Donate During the GlobalGiving's Japan Matching Campaign!

Carlene Deits

Good News! You can make a huge difference in the lives of countless people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Beginning at 12:01am EDT on November 1, 2012 (13:01 pm JST on November 2), GlobalGiving will be matching all donations made to Mercy Corps’ Response to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami project.

The matching campaign ends on November 15, 2012 at 11:59pm EDT (13:59pm JST on November 16) or until funds run out! Donate now! Matching funds will go quickly! Tell your friends! Please encourage them to donate too!

Here are some quick facts you should know about the campaign:

  • All donations will be matched 100% up to $1,000 per donor;
  • There is a maximum of $100,000 in matching funds. Once funds have been depleted, no more donations will be matched. But donations can still be made to help the people of Japan rebuild their lives; 
  • GlobalGiving will match through Nov 15, 2012 or until matching funds run out.

The continued support from donors like you allows the people of Japan to rebuild their lives with dignity and options. Mercy Corps has worked to provide life-saving basics to help people in desperate need, help children recover and heal from trauma, and continues to advance economic recovery by supporting fish markets, providing business loans, and supporting fishing associations.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at: fundraising@mercycorps.org. 

Domo arigato for your support.

Oct 26 2012

Our Thank you gift to you: 2013 Calendar

Carlene Deits

Thank you for your support. Because you have put your caring into action to Mercy Corps through GlobalGiving, we are able to make a positive impact on lives affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. To show our appreciation, we'd like to give you a Mercy Corps calendar as a thank you and daily reminder of how you are changing lives!

Because of you, Mercy Corps is able to offer several programs to local entrepreneurs of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures including: 

  • Start-up grants: grants of up to JPY 1.5 million (~$20,000) support new businesses and services in the tsunami-affected towns. 
  • Re-employment grants: provides up to JPY 100,000 (~$1,250) per month per employee for one or two employees per business for a year to support the re-employment of those who were laid off by the disaster. The grant covers roughly half of the salary of the employee. These grants help cash-strapped recovering businesses to re-employ staff and quickly revive production.
  • Loan Interest Subsidies: pays the interest on loans averaging JPY 10 million (~$125,000) through a two year grace period during which no principle payments are due. The program encourages existing businesses – many of which are still paying off loans for businesses that were destroyed in the tsunami – to borrow the capital necessary to re-build.
  • Accessibility Grants: grants of up to JPY 1 million (~$12,500) facilitate accessibility for people with disabilities, either as entrepreneurs, customers or employees. 

We could not offer these programs without you!

To receive your free 2013 Mercy Corps wall calendar, please send an email to fundraising@mercycorps.org with your mailing address! Your address will not be used for any other purpose than mailing you this calendar.

If you are a resident of the Portland, Oregon metro area, please keep in mind that Mercy Corps has several upcoming free events that we would love for you to attend. Tuesday evening on October 30th, we have team members share their stories from the field of how positive changes are being made. Please click here for details of this and other upcoming events and exhibits. If you'd like to attend or receive a monthly email of these events, let us know! This email address will not be added to Mercy Corps' bigger email list. 

Also, if you are considering donating to Mercy Corps, we would be most grateful if you donate in early November as GlobalGiving will be matching gifts for a short time to Mercy Corps' Response to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami project. Details will be in the next project report.  

As the end of 2012 quickly approaches, thank you in advance for keeping Mercy Corps in mind as a donation option to change additional lives for the better!

Again, thank you!

 

Aug 07 2012

Support Mercy Corps: Vote Now for Our Inspiring Photos!

Carlene Deits

We want to thank you again for supporting our efforts in Japan, and would like to take this opportunity to share with you what else Mercy Corps is doing on GlobalGiving...

We submitted three breathtaking photos from the field to GlobalGiving's annual photo contest, and two were chosen as finalists! Help us win $1,000 for our work simply by casting your vote by August 15th!

Just by clicking a button, you can help make a difference in the lives of others. It’s incredible how an action so small can have such a big impact.

Voting is easy - vote once for both of these inspiring photos by entering your email address. Then, check your inbox for the confirmation email from GlobalGiving. Only upon confirmation will your vote be counted.

The photo with the most votes by noon EDT on August 15th wins, so vote now!

Don’t forget to share that you’ve voted to help Mercy Corps on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Help us spread the word! 

Without people like you we would not have these heartwarming stories to share. Thank you so much for your continued support. 

 *****************************************************************

The photo above shows Santou Hamidou rejoicing in Niger. She received two goats from Mercy Corps in December 2011, and now she can breed them. She’s been feeding her family with milk from the goats, and by selling the kids, she can buy more food for her six children. The hunger crisis across the region is worsening, but she has the means to lead her family through this hardship. Santou’s smile makes it clear: a little help can go a long way. 

Vote for the photo of Santou Hamidou with her new goat!


Afghanistan is one of the world's toughest places to be a woman. Conflict and cultural repression have denied them education, careers, safety and equal rights. But Mercy Corps’ INVEST vocational training center in the Helmand province has enrolled more than 900 women who are learning English, computers, sewing, embroidery and calligraphy. The photo below shows one of these resilient women. 

Vote for the photo of the woman with the sewing machine! 

Aug 01 2012

New Oars: Fishermen resume harvesting profitable species

Carlene Deits

Along the tsunami-ravaged coast of Minamisanriku, abalone and sea urchins are an important source of income for local fishermen. Unlike other sea crops, these bottom-dwelling creatures are neither cultivated nor caught with nets, but caught by hand and with spears. In order to harvest these high-value species, fishermen need to be able to approach without a motor, using oars

However, all the oars in Minamisanriku were lost or destroyed in the devastating tsunami in 2011. Replacing this resource allows fishermen to restart earning from the bottom-dwelling species, and improve their livelihoods.

Mercy Corps was asked by our partner agency, Peace Winds Japan, to provide funds to create 50 oars. In the end, the combined efforts of both Mercy Corps and the International Rescue Committee provided 200 paddles to fishermen from the Shizukawa Fishing Cooperative. Also benefiting from this program were two local carpenters who gained additional income by finishing the woodwork and adding protective coating on the oars.

Thanks to ongoing support from donors like you, these resilient fishermen will be able to harvest abalone and sea urchins starting this November and continue on in the future!

Jun 12 2012

A gift that changes lives in Japan

Carlene Deits

Mercy Corps continues to aid Japan's recovery by partnering with two local groups to establish the Sanriku Tomodachi Fund for Economic Recovery. This new program will provide grants and subsidies to small- and medium-size businesses with less than 20 employees before the Tsunami. The three-pronged approach will provide one-year long employment subsidy for a minimum of 50 jobs, encourage up to 25 local start-ups, and provide free-interest subsidies to promote post-tsunami reconstruction. The new fund begins accepting applications from businesses this month.This fund was established because of donations from you. Thank you.

As the holiday season approaches we would like to encourage you to continue supporting our efforts around the world by making a donation to Mercy Corps on behalf of a loved one. Make a donation in honor of someone special and get them a gift they will never forget. 

Through GlobalGiving, it’s easy to make this meaningful gift. Just select the ‘gift in honor of’ tab under the orange ‘donate’ button on the left side of the donation page. Choose how you want the recipient of your gift to know that a donation has been made in their honor. Designate the amount you would like to give and hit the ‘donate’ button. Then customize the card as you’d like! 


Also don’t forget to redeem any Global Giving Gift Cards that you may have received this year. Mercy Corps has many important projects that we could use your help with.

And, if you make a donation of $50 or more before the end of the year, we would love to thank you by sending our beautiful 2012 Mercy Corps Calendar. Just forward your email receipt and provide us with your mailing address to fundraising@mercycorps.org.

However you choose to give to Mercy Corps this year, know that your gift will help people living in some of the toughest places in the world lead more productive, safe, and healthy lives.

From all of us here at Mercy Corps, thank you and Happy Holidays!

Jun 12 2012

Mercy Corps Fact Sheet on Japan March 16, 2011

Randy Martin

From Randy Martin, Director, Global Emergency Operations, Mercy Corps:

I'm on my way to Japan to support the emergency relief efforts of our partner, Peace Winds. But I wanted to take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you for what you're doing to help people affected by this terrible tragedy. Your contribution is helping get vital supplies into the hands of families made homeless by last Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.

Peace Winds has been delivering relief supplies to evacuated families in the tsunami-devastated city of Kesennuma. They've sent large shelters, dozens of tents, tarps, blankets and food including bread, instant rice, apples and oranges.

I've worked side by side with Peace Winds' relief teams, including after the massive 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran. They are as experienced and effective as any aid group I've encountered.

I'll be supporting Peace Winds' efforts in whatever way I can, and paving the way for additional Mercy Corps emergency responders to bolster relief efforts.

Again, on behalf of Mercy Corps, Peace Winds and the families you are helping, thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Randy Martin


Randy Martin
Director, Global Emergency Operations

May 14 2012

Biodiesel enterprise fuels Japan economic recovery

Randy Martin

If you had never visited Japan’s tsunami-ravaged coast until now, the bleak landscape where homes and businesses once stood would be sobering.

Having watched the relief effort and the recovery, my visits back to the Tohoku region have been increasingly reassuring. In fact, my recent visit with partner colleagues was inspiring. We were there to witness the signs of recovery – and we found many. Thank you for your donation to make these improvements possible!

At a recent event organized by Kesennuma Shinkin, a local cooperative bank we’re partnering with to support small business recovery, 13 entrepreneurs were awarded grants. The recipients from Kesennuma and three neighboring coastal towns have used the funds to start new businesses in the disaster area. Their businesses run the gamut — from a day care center, a fish processor and a baker to a machine repair shop, a mulberry tea producer and an ice-making factory.

In only five months since its inauguration, this Mercy Corps program has funded the startup of 20 new businesses (like the three featured in this video) and supported the recovery of an additional 50 businesses through a loan subsidy program. Well over 300 jobs have been created in the process.

But the program does more than restore jobs — it recreates livelihoods and self-determination. Each of the entrepreneurs has an incredible story to tell and an important contribution to make.

Like Tomohiro Kashiwagi, whose repair shop was completely destroyed by the tsunami. Without a building or the capital to buy or build one, he and his wife, Akiko, are starting from the ground up with a completely new — and very innovative — business in their home. They are recycling cooking oil into fuel.

Kashiwagi has lined up a string of restaurants as a source of used cooking oil. He collects it and refines it using a machine that he bought with his grant. He then sells the fuel for use in converted diesel engines. It’s not only good for the couple — and good for the environment — it’s good for customers, as it sells for about 30% less than commercial diesel fuel. The city of Kesennuma, in fact, is Kashiwagi’s primary customer, having converted some of its garbage trucks to run on his recycled vegetable oil. He says they smell like fried chicken when they drive by!

It was a very moving day. Because of your support, the lives of hardworking entrepreneurs, their families and their community ar being transformed. Thank you.

Mar 07 2012

Mercy Corps Progress Report: 1 year later in Japan

Bija Gutoff

One year after the worst natural disaster in Japan’s history — the massive earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 — Mercy Corps continues to work with our partner agencies, Peace Winds Japan and PlaNet Finance Japan, to help the Japanese people rebuild. Thanks to your support, we have brought much-needed assistance to four towns where 148,000 people live and are recovering from the disaster. On their behalf, we thank you and offer this brief report of the progress they have made.

After the Disaster: Bringing Relief

In the first days and weeks after the earthquake and tsunami, our team focused on providing a wide range of relief items to survivors.

BASIC SUPPLIES

Mercy Corps and Peace Winds provided relief supplies — tents, tarps, blankets, mattresses, space heaters, kerosene, medical masks, clothing, bottled water, diapers, toilet paper, school supplies and food — to 42,000 people living in shelters.

VOUCHERS

We provided vouchers that 6,300 survivors used to purchase goods — food, clothing and other supplies — from local merchants. People prioritized their own needs while supporting local economies.

MOBILE SHOPS

We supported 15 mobile shops in two cities that brought goods to local people and provided a living for merchants in Rikuzentakata, where almost all commerce was destroyed.

BUS PROGRAM

We started a bus program that provided 7,330 rides to allow survivors to shop for basics and access essential services like medical care and banks, while boosting the business of damaged shops.

After the Disaster: Helping Children Recover

Mercy Corps recognized that the disaster was profoundly upsetting to children. Our programs, described below, helped 2,300 children and the adults in their lives heal from the trauma.

COMFORT FOR KIDS

Comfort for Kids builds up the ability of local communities to help children recover from the emotional effects of a large-scale disaster. We customized this program for Japan and incorporated activities for adults.

MOVING FORWARD

We partnered with Peace Winds Japan and Nike to introduce Moving Forward, a program that uses sports to help young people recover physically, socially, mentally and emotionally from traumas associated with disasters.

ART CARAVAN

We worked with a Japanese art therapy specialist to offer art activities to affected children. Art Caravan helps kids by letting them express themselves through creative play.

Looking Ahead: Boosting Economic Recovery

As the cleanup continues, our team has shifted focus to economic recovery.

SALMON HATCHERY

We provided equipment and funds to quickly rebuild the hatchery in Minamisanriku, which processes more salmon than anywhere else in Japan. Our rapid response allowed the hatchery to harvest eggs and raise fish in time for spring release. These fish will provide a huge boost — $8 million in annual sales as well as jobs — to the town’s economy.

FISH MARKET

We provided a generator, forklifts, fish tanks, ice storage and scales to help reopen the Ofunato fish market, which supports the fishing industry of the entire town. The market employs 20 people who serve dozens of fishermen and 100 vendors who buy, sell and process salmon and other kinds of fish.

SEAWEED PRODUCTION

We are supporting fishing associations in Minamisanriku to restart the production and processing of wakame, a seaweed staple of the Japanese diet. Wakame processing employs 400 local women who traditionally do this work. Mercy Corps helped purchase 100 sets of equipment — tubs and containers for boiling, cooling and preserving — to grow the seaweed and harvest and process the crop.

BUSINESS LOANS

Mercy Corps partnered with local groups to establish a fund that provides grants and subsidies to help small and medium-size businesses rehire workers and rebuild their operations. The program also supports the start-up of new local businesses.

Because of your donation, progress has been made and will continue. Thank you.  

Feb 15 2012

Women Back to Work as Seaweed Harvesting Begins

Sylvia Ross

The compassion of supporters like you has helped women get back to work in Japan - thank you.

Last week, I met Hiroko Mirura. In her early 60s, Ms. Mirura is a former scallop merchant, proud wife of a fisherman, and a strong female leader in the town of Minamisanriku. Hiroko's impressive life boasts many accomplishments, including being the only female board member of the town's powerful fishery association.

But last March, Hiroko's husband was swept away in the tsunami, and her house and business were decimated. Overcome with grief after losing her husband, she went into a deep depression for the next three months. She didn't eat. She didn't get out of bed.

Then one day, she decided that her drive to help her community was stronger than her grief. She wanted to do what little she could to mobilize the other grief-stricken women in Minamisanriku —and it turned out that 'a little' was a lot. She started hosting teas for the unemployed women in town, which led to a community candle-making venture, which led to the need for re-employment.

With a little help from Mercy Corps and Peace Winds Japan, and thanks to the generous support of donors like you and our corporate partners, she is transforming her community.

Today, Ms. Mirura is in charge of mobilizing the 400 women who have gained employment through Mercy Corps' wakame seaweed program.

Wakame seaweed is wildly popular food in Japan and around the world (I’ve already eaten it many times in only four days here). This northeastern coast of Japan is famous for its high quality wakame, but after the tsunami, cultivating, harvesting and processing of this valuable crop had all but ceased because the specialized equipment was washed away. Generously, Walmart donated 26 pieces of the wakame processing equipment, bringing the industry back to life.

I was lucky to arrive just in time for the beginning of the 12-week wakame harvesting season. Each morning at dawn, as the fishing boats return with harvested batches, a group of women gathers around a large metal tub ready to first boil the seaweed, then wring it, then dry it. It's a complicated and intricate process — and one that these women, and Ms. Mirura, are immensely proud of.

Mercy Corps programs are focused on recovery for hard-hit families and children.  We thank you for your ongoing support.

Dec 08 2011

A gift that changes lives in Japan

Carlene Deits

Mercy Corps continues to aid Japan's recovery by partnering with two local groups to establish the Sanriku Tomodachi Fund for Economic Recovery. This new program will provide grants and subsidies to small- and medium-size businesses with less than 20 employees before the Tsunami. The three-pronged approach will provide one-year long employment subsidy for a minimum of 50 jobs, encourage up to 25 local start-ups, and provide free-interest subsidies to promote post-tsunami reconstruction. The new fund begins accepting applications from businesses this month.This fund was established because of donations from you. Thank you.

As the holiday season approaches we would like to encourage you to continue supporting our efforts around the world by making a donation to Mercy Corps on behalf of a loved one. Make a donation in honor of someone special and get them a gift they will never forget. 

Through GlobalGiving, it’s easy to make this meaningful gift. Just select the ‘gift in honor of’ tab under the orange ‘donate’ button on the left side of the donation page. Choose how you want the recipient of your gift to know that a donation has been made in their honor. Designate the amount you would like to give and hit the ‘donate’ button. Then customize the card as you’d like! 


Also don’t forget to redeem any Global Giving Gift Cards that you may have received this year. Mercy Corps has many important projects that we could use your help with.

And, if you make a donation of $50 or more before the end of the year, we would love to thank you by sending our beautiful 2012 Mercy Corps Calendar. Just forward your email receipt and provide us with your mailing address to fundraising@mercycorps.org.

However you choose to give to Mercy Corps this year, know that your gift will help people living in some of the toughest places in the world lead more productive, safe, and healthy lives.

From all of us here at Mercy Corps, thank you and Happy Holidays!

Nov 22 2011

Thank You for Putting the "Giving" Back in Thanksgiving

Neal Keny-Guyer

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we want to thank you for your generous support of diaster relief in Japan.Your donations embody the spirit of this holiday season and serve as great reminders for all of us to be thankful for what we have and to be generous to those less fortunate. 

Your donations are are so important to what we do. Please watch and share this video of me expressing my appreciation.

Our lifesaving work is not possible without you. Please accept my thanks on behalf of our worldwide team and the millions of people we serve around the world.

I hope that you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving and a truly special Holiday Season.

Oct 13 2011

Japan: More than Six Months Later

Carol Skowren

More than six months since the massive quake struck Japan, Mercy Corps, with help from Peace Winds, continues to bring relief to people in need while also continuing efforts that include economic recovery and trauma support. Our projects because of your donations have helped 148,000 people who live in the four towns where we are working: Ofunato, Rikuzentakata, Kesennuma and Minamisanriku.

We are helping families that our moving out of shelters into temporary housing provided by the Japanese government by providing bedding and kitchen items. Watch a video of Mercy Corp distributing supplies hereWe have also helped more than 6,000 survivors by distributing vouchers that they can use to purchase supplies they need from local merchants. And since transportation remains a challenge we are helping merchants bring their goods to customers via mobile shops and we are providing people access to stores by running a bus program.

We are also working with fishing associations and chambers of commerce to help vital industries recover. For example, we helped a fish market in Ofunato resume operations by providing much needed equipment like a scales, forklifts, and fish tanks. The market now sells many types of fish including bonito a high demand fish in Japan. We are also helping fishing associations in Minamisanriku purchase essential equipment to restart the production of wakame, a seaweed staple of the Japanese diet. The processing of the seaweed will create jobs for local women who traditionally do this work.   

Mercy Corps is also working to help children and adults deal with the emotional effects of the large disaster. Comfort for Kids is an innovative program that delivers training, books, and pamphlets to parents and teachers designed to help children recover from trauma. To see a copy of the Comfort for Kids workbook in Japanese click here.

Arts and Sports Caravan, a program led by a Japanese art therapist, helps Mercy Corps build and strengthen communities by providing children with fun, creative activities that allow them to express their feelings. It also gives parents an informal opportunity to talk over tea and cookies and speak with trained staff.

Moving Forward, a partnership with Peace Winds and Nike, uses sports to help young people recover physically and mentally from trauma that they have suffered. 

Thank you so much for your continued support, without it none of these projects would be possible.  

____________________________

To support more projects like this, we recommend that you donate on October 19th. Here is why:
Starting at 12:01 am EDT on October 19th/9:01 pm PDT on October 18th, GlobalGiving is matching all donations at 30% up to $1,000 per donor per projectGlobalGiving has $100,000 available in matching funds. Matching will last until funds run out or 11:59 pm EDT/ 8:59 pm PDT (whichever comes first). Get your donation in early, as funds are known to run out.
Donations made on www.globalgiving.co.uk or any GlobalGiving corporate sites (including Nike, Global Action Atlas, etc) are NOT eligible for matching. But often gifts made through the corporate sites are matched by the employer, so don’t feel left out – you can still donate!
Feel free to support this or other Mercy Corps projects, including:
Jul 26 2011

What I saw in Japan

Roger Burks

Last month I visited some of the areas of Japan hit worst by the March tsunami. There, with your help, Mercy Corps and partner Peace Winds are still helping survivors.

I visited evacuation centers where hundreds of Japanese families continue to take shelter. I stood in the ruins of homes and businesses. And I heard plenty of hard stories.

But you know what? I also met folks with remarkable bravery and resolve. I saw lots of smiles. And I heard plenty of laughter — like the children in this video I shot of our Comfort for Kids program.

You are a big reason for their smiles and laughter. With your support, Mercy Corps has helped thousands of kids heal through art, sports and other playful activities.

Because of you, we're also helping communities recover by:

  • Supporting a mobile grocery store that travels to evacuation centers so displaced families can buy their own food.
  • Equipping local Chambers of Commerce with the support they need to rebuild businesses and small-town economies.
  • Helping hard-hit fishermen return to sea, which will restore jobs and help families begin again.

From the wreckage I saw, I can tell you there's a long way to go. But the ruins only tell one part of the story. The smiles of survivors and laughter of children on their way to recovery tell another.

On behalf of the people I met, and thousands of others in Japan who you're helping, thank you for your incredibly caring support.

Roger Burks

 

Sincerely, 
Roger Burks
Roger Burks
Senior Writer
May 12 2011

Japan Update: From relief to recovery

Mercy Corps Japan

It's been two months since a deadly earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan. Since then -- alongside our partner, Peace Winds -- Mercy Corps' emergency response team has been delivering food, water and other critical supplies to displaced survivors. Your support has truly made a difference after one of the worst disasters in recent memory.

Here's some of the important work we are and will continue to do in the coming weeks:

  • Continuing and expanding our Comfort for Kids program to provide psychosocial support to children
  • Delivering household goods and supplies to displaced families who are moving into temporary housing
  • Distributing cash vouchers to survivors to help them buy much-needed supplies at local stores, which also helps stimulate struggling local economies
  • Supporting hard-hit fisheries and fishing cooperatives to help the region's biggest industry to get going again destroyed local businesses with mobile shops 
  • Providing a bus service for survivors in Rikuzentakata to run to nearby Ofunato, where evacuees and other locals can purchase basic goods, and take care of essential needs like doctor or bank visits 
  • Boosting the capacity of local Chambers of Commerce to support local businesses

Rebuilding and restoring this part of Japan is an enormous task that will take a very long time -- but we feel proud to be part of a team that is leading that recovery. You're part of that team, too.

Thank you for your help.

Apr 26 2011

Send a message of hope to a child in Japan

Joy Portella

I want to personally thank you for supporting Mercy Corps while we respond to the earthquake and disaster in Japan. I’ve returned from the area and can tell you firsthand what a difference your gift is making to the survivors.

During my time in Japan I saw tremendous resilience. But I also saw overwhelming sadness and need. One image still haunts me. Amid a field of rubble as far as the eye could see, I spotted an older man sitting on a log in front of a roaring fire. He was blankly staring into the distance, not moving.

I introduced myself. He pointed sadly to a pile of debris and explained that’s where his house used to be. Now his family is staying with a neighbor. His children are having nightmares and he doesn’t know how to ease their fear.

As I listened to this survivor, I was so grateful that Mercy Corps is there to help him and his family with programs like Comfort for Kids.

Japan's earthquake and tsunami didn't just topple buildings — they shook lives. Japan's children are among those most affected by displacement and disaster.

Today, you can send a caring message to those children and this community, letting them know you support them in their time of need. It only takes a few minutes to write a few words that will mean the world to them.

Mercy Corps is launching our Comfort for Kids program in devastated areas of Japan to help the youngest survivors overcome their trauma. We will train parents, teachers and other caregivers how to guide kids through the healing process. Right now you can be a part of that: please take a moment to reach out and tell a child that you care about them.

I was especially thankful for people like you – oceans away – who have reached into your hearts to help. Together, we’ll help these courageous people through their time of need.

Thanks for all you do to help!

Sincerely,

Joy Portella

Communications Director

To follow Mercy Corps' efforts in Japan, click here.

Apr 02 2011

Japan Update: Helping the Littlest Survivors

Mercy Corps' Japan Response Team

Disasters like Japan's earthquake and tsunami devastate and disrupt lives — none more than the lives of children like three-year-old Kokowa.

After the tsunami, Kokowa's family was stuck on the roof of a building for three days. They had to be rescued by helicopter. Now they're living in a local gymnasium with dozens of other families, including 100 other children. Mercy Corps is helping provide food, heaters and other supplies to families — but Japan's ongoing crisis has left Kokowa and her family homeless, unsure of when or how they'll be able to resume their lives.

This disaster has deeply affected thousands of young lives. That's why, alongside our local partner Peace Winds, Mercy Corps is launching our Comfort for Kids program.

Comfort for Kids trains caregivers how to help children through the trauma of disaster. The Mercy Corps team has used this approach in places including Haiti, the U.S. Gulf Coast and China. Comfort for Kids is a priority here in Japan because the continuing stress of aftershocks, combined with grief and loss, make it critical to provide children with emotional support as soon as possible.

We're committed to helping families and businesses recover from this disaster — but it is especially important to bring help and hope to the littlest survivors: children like three-year-old Kokowa. Thank you for your support.

Mar 28 2011

Response update from Mercy Corps in Japan

Mercy Corps Japan Response Team

Japan is going through one of the worst -- and most complex -- emergencies in recent memory. An earthquake, tsunami waves and a nuclear crisis have destroyed cities and displaced thousands of survivors. But, with your generous support, we're rushing relief to them alongside our partner Peace Winds.

Here are the latest developments from our emergency response team:

Yesterday, we delivered 510 kerosene space heaters and 80 family-sized emergency tents to survivors who are braving frigid temperatures in northeastern Japan.

In all, the team has distributed the following supplies to families in four disaster-stricken cities:

  • three large shelters that can accommodate up to 100 people
  • 164 smaller tents that hold up to five people each
  • 1,720 blankets
  • 1,210 kerosene space heaters
  • 100,000 medical face masks
  • towels, mattresses, clothing and bottled water
  • 570 blue tarps for additional shelter
  • and food items such as bread, instant rice, apples and oranges.

Next week, we will begin providing post-trauma help to Japanese children using Comfort for Kids, a program that helps children recover from the emotional effects of a large-scale disaster. We've used Comfort for Kids in a variety of emergency responses, including the aftermaths of the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina.

Your support is making a lifesaving difference in the midst of this epic disaster. Thank you for your caring support and commitment to helping people in need.

Mar 17 2011

Mercy Corps Fact Sheet on Japan March 16, 2011

Randy Martin

From Randy Martin, Director, Global Emergency Operations, Mercy Corps:

I'm on my way to Japan to support the emergency relief efforts of our partner, Peace Winds. But I wanted to take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you for what you're doing to help people affected by this terrible tragedy. Your contribution is helping get vital supplies into the hands of families made homeless by last Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.

Peace Winds has been delivering relief supplies to evacuated families in the tsunami-devastated city of Kesennuma. They've sent large shelters, dozens of tents, tarps, blankets and food including bread, instant rice, apples and oranges.

I've worked side by side with Peace Winds' relief teams, including after the massive 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran. They are as experienced and effective as any aid group I've encountered.

I'll be supporting Peace Winds' efforts in whatever way I can, and paving the way for additional Mercy Corps emergency responders to bolster relief efforts.

Again, on behalf of Mercy Corps, Peace Winds and the families you are helping, thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Randy Martin


Randy Martin
Director, Global Emergency Operations