Volunteer work at Miyagino ward Volunteer Center At present in Sendai, the Social Welfare Council bridges government and residents, through 4 Disaster Volunteer Centers. We went today（29th）to the volunteer center in Miyagino Ward, and the 7 of us did the following work.
Helping those move out of Sendai：There are elderly people living alone who have had to move away from Sendai. We helped them sort their belongings, and dispose of things. A great amount of electrical items, furniture, and rubble are piled up as “earthquake garbage”.
Cleaning houses：We helped clean the home of a disabled woman who lives alone.Many people said they want someone to talk with, and I sensed that it is not only the work we are asked to do, but also communication that is important.
Providing information on emergency loans
Need for mid to long term support
The people we visited are not those who are left without any means of life, but many of them are in a vulnerable position in society, and the disaster has accentuated their difficulties. With the prolonged effects of the disaster, the type of support we gave today will become greater.
Yuusuke Yoshioka and Kimiko Akita（SCF Volunteer）
(Earthquake garbage dump・The scene at Hinodecho Park）
Today again, we worked in Shichigahama with the Sendai YMCA and folks from Lutheran Gakuin University. Going for the first time to Shichigahama, I was left speechless by what I saw of the disaster.
We first went around to each house, hearing what they needed and then distributed supplies. In some areas that were less damaged, and people were prepared, they had enough supplies, but some places needed supplies and water.
Shichigahama’s Disaster Support Center has a lot of supplies, and so I felt some frustration, and wished that they could be distributed as soon as possible. In hearing directly from the residents, I was made to think about what considerations are necessary and how we can be of help. Also there are requests from other areas as well, so I hope we can coordinate with other organizations to meet those needs as well.
（The situation in Shichigahama）
（The large quantities of relief supplies at Shihigahama Volunter Center）
（Carefully looking up residences on a map）
At Ishinomaki Eiko Kindergarten which was hit hard by the tsunami, water was restored yesterday (28th) and the kindergarten resumed today (29th).
Parents will have to drop off and pick up their children for a while.
As the playground is full of mud from the tsunami, most activities will be indoors.
Many houses in Ishinomaki do not have electricity or water, and many houses were taken away by the tsunami. There are many families who have lost their homes and are in deep sorrow. Plans for graduation and entrance ceremony are still unclear. The kindergarten principle Pastor Minoru Kobuna, after consulting with his teachers, decided to start the kindergarten even in the midst of difficulties for the sake of the children and parents. Only half of the children were able to come back on the first day, but we were able to see the smiling faces of the children after 18 days.
We at the Tohoku Disaster Relief Center started digging the mud out of Ishinomaki Kindergarten playground. We do not know how long it will take for the kindergarten to return to its original shape, but we are determined to continue to work toward that end.
We ask for your prayers and support.
Takafumi Sato（SCF Volunteer）
Starting today (29th) our accommodation of out of town volunteers is in full swing and we began volunteer work in Ishinomaki area.
Today most of our work involved removing mud from the playground of the Eiko Kindergarten at Ishonomaki Eiko Church.
The tsunami hit even this area 3 kilometers from the coast (over 2 kilometers from the bay). Due to area flooding, 1600 people were isolated in the emergency shelter at Ishinomaki Koubunkan High School (next to the Eiko Church). When the water level receded the church/kindergarten playground was still flooded. However, the building was safe, so they opened up the facility as a shelter and also started to accept relief supplies from other churches.
On the 28th, water service was restored and kindergarten started up again today. However, the playground is still full of mud and beat up. The volunteer work to restore the playground began today. There being a paper pulp factory in Ishinomaki, we worked to remove the pulp and fill into sandbags along with the mud mixed with sewage and sea water. In no time over 40 sandbags were filled.
（mud with pulp）
The playground is still bumpy but the area around the slide is cleaned up so the children were enjoying playing on it. One child came up to me and said “I am glad we can play on the slide now, but I don’t like the jungle gym cause it’s still muddy!”
“Sorry, we’ll make sure it is cleaned up so you can play on it tomorrow” I answered, and the child went back to the slide smiling. I want to work hard again tomorrow so the children can play safely in their playground.
（the mud filled and bumpy playground）
（mud even on the benches）
Removing mud is a mountainous task in the areas near the church. We plan to continue to concentrate our volunteer work on mud removal in areas surrounding Ishinomaki Eiko Church and Kindergarten, Ishinomaki Yamashirocho Church as well as at church members homes.
We need more hands. It is filthy and hard work, but we invite you to volunteer!
Takafumi Sato (SCF Volunteer）
（The sign reading SOS 1600 still remains at the Ishinomaki Koubunkan high school）