At the time of the disaster WJR immediately launched an appeal and has since raised a remarkable £185,000. We could not have achieved this without your overwhelmingly generous support, the incredible assistance of shuls and schools and the backing of 14 Jewish agencies and communal bodies.
This amazing display of community mobilisation allowed us to provide critical short term assistance to thousands of beneficiaries including:
· the establishment of three Child Friendly Spaces with Save the Children for up to 1,000 displaced children
· the purchase and distribution of hot food (sweet potato) and soap in Iwanuma, Watari, Yamamoto and Minami Soma
· the distribution of food and non-food items – originally drinking water and basic food items to individual homes, shelter homes, temporary housing complexes and evacuation centres but later including electronics, home appliances, cleaning tools and furniture as the needs of those affected evolved from everyday survival to rebuilding their lives
· purchasing basic equipment such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, heaters, dehumidifiers and other household equipment, and health-related items such as blood pressure monitors and scales for centres serving people with disabilities and the elderly
· soup kitchen services located close to evacuation centres providing nutritious meals to 2791 people in disaster-stricken areas of Tohuku.
· the reinstallation of water, hygiene and sanitation facilities damaged by the earthquake and tsunami at vocational training facilities for 77 people with disabilities in Marumori and Shibata, Miyagi.
· the construction of a pre-fabricated building, the re-instalment of electricity and the purchase of toys and educational materials at Care Home Megumi
· repairs to a minibus transporting 36 people with disabilities to a vocational training workshop in Shichigama Town
One of the beneficiaries of this assistance is Mariko, pictured above, whose house was completely destroyed by the tsunami. Mariko, a wheelchair user, feared for his life as he was alone when the earthquake hit and his home quickly started to fill with water. He was miraculously saved by his wife who returned home early from work and both were able to flee to safety. Mariko and Ami are currently living in a school gymnasium but through WJR he received a folding bed allowing him to sleep in comfort.
“Something as simple as a folding bed has meant the world to me. It is wonderful to know that there are people looking out for me throughout this nightmare. Thank you.”
Thank you again for all your assistance in helping make this project and our other initiatives in Japan, possible. This work is part of our commitment to the Jewish ideal of ‘Tikkun Olam’ – Healing the World – and the recognition of the significant impact UK Jewry can have in responding to humanitarian needs around the world such as we are currently undertaking in East Africa.
Population = 127,690,000
Life expectancy at birth = 82.6 years
GDP per capita = $33,804