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【Kumamoto-5】Thank you for supporting our Kumamoto relief programs
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Habitat for Humanity Japan has announced that it has completed its emergency relief programs for areas affected by the Kumamoto Earthquake, as of the end of July 2016. Habitat Japan is grateful for the support that they have received from individuals, companies and other organizations that assisted Habitat Japan's nearly 100-day-long relief activities in Nishihara, Kumamoto prefecture. The programs brought support to survivors of this major disaster.
It was April 14, 2016 when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit the Kumamoto prefecture and neighboring areas. When assessments were completed, it was revealed that housing in the area had suffered from massive damage.
Responding to this disaster, Habitat Japan sent two staff to the Kumamoto disaster area on April 21. They participated in damage assessment, and looked into the needs of local people in communities such as Mashiki and Nishihara, which have earthquake faults beneath them. While housing in both areas was severely damaged, Habitat Japan learned that Nishihara suffered from a labor shortage due to its small size. This slowed progress in setting up a disaster relief volunteer center, and also led to a shortage of personnel to support the management of such a center.
Therefore, Habitat Japan made a decision to support Nishihara and the center. Habitat Japan created a plan called "Youth for Kumamoto", and since the end of April staff and volunteers implemented urgent support projects through the following actions:
Management support for the Nishihara disaster volunteer center
Habitat Japan supported the operations of the center to respond to the needs of families affected by the quakes, and set up a support team focusing on housing. While the center collaborated with volunteers to help local people clean up their damaged houses, the team offered information on reconstructing housing. Setting up the team, Habitat Japan added another function to the center, acting as a bridge to connect skilled volunteers, including architects, and local people who had problems rebuilding their houses.
Support for volunteer activities by youth in disaster-stricken areas
The program created opportunities for Habitat for Humanity Japan campus chapter members to work as volunteers in the disaster-stricken areas. Habitat Japan not only responded to the needs of people in areas affected by the disaster, but Habitat Japan also mobilized campus chapter members across the nation to promote the fact that Kumamoto needed major assistance.
Within the period of about 100 days after the disaster struck, a total of 104 youth volunteers participated in disaster volunteer activities in Kumamoto prefecture.
Revitalize the affected community
Habitat Japan supported the rehabilitation of the Mantoku Community Center, which is located in Mantoku district, Nishihara, in Kumamoto prefecture. Mantoku is the second largest district in Nishihara where127 families were living before the Kumamoto Earthquake. By rehabilitating the center, people of the community can reconnect with each other, a starting point to revitalize their community.
Build a better living environment
Responding to the needs of those who had moved into makeshift housing units without storage space, Habitat Japan organized a craft workshop to create furniture with the help of volunteers and local builders. The event reminded people of the fact that close cooperation among volunteers and local residents, can help build a better living environment.
Habitat Japan completed these emergency programs by the end of July, thanks to the support and cooperation offered by Alwaleed Philanthropies, individuals, companies and other organizations as well as campus chapter members who joined volunteer activities at Kumamoto, and the on-the-street fundraising campaign.
Habitat Japan will continue to seek solutions to problems regarding housing, by working with partners at home and abroad, with campus chapters, individual supporters, companies and other organizations. Together we aim at creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
<< Thank you for supporting our Kumamoto relief programs>>
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