We are grateful for the volunteers from all over Japan and overseas that are coming to the Center.
We require all volunteers to be covered by volunteer insurance. Prior to coming, please join the Volunteer Insurance Plan A (Disaster Type) at your local Social Welfare Council. It is an annual fee of 670 yen. For details, see our Japanese website .
Although it is possible to enroll in the volunteer insurance in Sendai, but it takes a day for the coverage to begin, so you would lose one day of volunteer activity, and the local offices have their hands full. We recommend that you get covered before coming. The coverage lasts from the day of enrollment until March 31st of the next year.
*There is some risk of injury from aftershocks and volunteer activity. The Center cannot take responsibility for accidents or injury. Those who wish to volunteer are responsible for themselves.
*Those who have applied in the past, please make sure you have reapplied for this year, as the fiscal year begins on April 1.
3 weeks have passed since the earthquake and the Center has many people and goods coming and going. Today we share with you a day from the center. Due to rainy weather today, (the 31st ) outdoor volunteer work was cancelled. We had volunteers cleaning the center and organizing thing inside. Sorting and organizing the many goods sent from all over Japan is important work.
（Sorting and counting the supplies）
There are other volunteers that help by cooking meals for the volunteers . This work is also valuable work for which we are thankful.
（Making meals for many people is a big job）
Communication and recording of activities on the blog is also important work. These volunteers would like to go out to the disaster sites to help, but stay behind at the computer to aid in communication.
（There are 5 computers set up on the table）
Volunteers gather at 8:30 in the morning and the go to their various work sites. At 4 pm they return to the Center, and a volunteer meeting is held. At the meeting, each group reports on the day’s activities and to share what they felt. Taking time to hear each person’s thoughts and feelings is an important part of the Center’s activities.
（Volunteers gather around the table to talk and share）
The situation at the disaster sites change every day and moment. New groups arrive at the Center and groups completing their service leave. Phone calls come in with information on supplies that will be sent, or for offers to send volunteers. All this information is posted on the white board.
（The multitude of messages posted on the board）
The Center is now focusing on volunteer work in Ishinomaki and Wakabayashi ward of Sendai. Many hands are needed in the work of digging out mud and rubble, and to clean up houses. We ask for the cooperation of many people.
Beginning volunteer work in Wakabayashi Sendai（March 30）
Many volunteers from all over the country are now gathering at the Disaster Relief Center as we our accommodation of out of town volunteers is in full swing. In addition, Sendai students who had evacuated or returned home are starting to come back to the Center.
Yesterday (29th) we started our volunteer work in Ishinomaki, and today (30th) we started volunteer activities in Wakabayashi ward in Sendai.
Our work site is a 30-minute bicycle ride from the Center. Today’s work involved carrying out mud and personal belongings from houses damaged by the tsunami.
Even areas as far as 2 kilometers from the coast were struck by a 1 meter tsunami, and even after the water has receded, there remains about 20 centimeters of mud.
This work was done by 3 students from the Sendai Student Center, 5 members of a team from Tokyo (a combined group from Student Christian Fellowship and UCCJ Nishi Tokyo Church) and one student from Doshisha University, and from the afternoon, 5 young people from Waseda Hoshien Yuai Gakusha and Waseda University YMCA joined in, making a total of 14 members working.
It was considerably difficult work, which led us to realize the magnitude of the tsunami damage.
Work in the community is still not being done by the Ward Volunteer Center, and those who suffered (many are elderly) and are staying emergency shelters, are “commuting” to their homes to remove mud and organize their possessions.
“We need as many hands as possible. Please keep coming”, is what they said.
It is difficult, dirty and dangerous work, but please consider coming to labor with us to help support those who have suffered from this disaster. We welcome you to volunteer with us.
（Loading supplies and departing from the Center）