Japan Society announced today an additional eight grants totaling $1.6 million from its Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (JERF). This latest announcement brings total allocations from the $12.5 million fund to $7.2 million distributed to 19 organizations representing 25 projects that directly serve people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.
“As we approach the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, we are pleased with the swift allocations and immediate use of the funds for people in need,” said Motoatsu Sakurai, President of Japan Society. “Over half of the money we’ve received has now been allocated. Moving forward, we will continue to look for opportunities to fund effective projects, including those that serve rebuilding and economic recovery in the region.”
The latest round of allocations supports six new grantees and two previous grantees. Projects range from orphan care, evacuee services and healthcare for people still living in temporary housing, to education workshops throughout Tohoku, promoting creative arts from the region, building a community center, and summer camps for children in Fukushima, which continues to cope with its nuclear crisis.
The organizations receiving grants are:
Ashinaga, which provides educational and emotional support to Japanese children who have lost one or both parents for any reason for the past 40 years, will use JERF funds for a range of programs that provide needed emotional support for children from Tohoku.
Association for the Corporate Support for the Arts conducts research, surveys and seminars to build partnerships between business and the arts. Their grant will support the “Hundred Festivals Revival Fund” to revitalize local festivals and folk entertainment in Tohoku, which play a vital role in bringing communities together and preserving local cultural heritage.
Japan Civil Network for Disaster Relief in East Japan (JCN), a network of 600 organizations that provide support to survivors of the 3-11 earthquake and tsunamis, will support evacuees from the Tohoku region, many of whom find themselves isolated, by aiding information sharing and networking among the approximately 200 organizations helping former Tohoku residents scattered from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
NPO Jibunmirai Club partners with Young Americans, an American nonprofit group, to bring Japanese and American youth together through popular musical workshops that instill respect, self-esteem, teamwork and the discovery of one’s potential. Using their grant, and in partnership with local Japanese boards of education, workshops in Tohoku will reach over 3,000 students in 20 schools.
Studio for Cultural Exchange was founded to promote cultural exchange activities between Japan and the U.S. Their Voices from Japan: Despair and Hope from Disaster is its first collaborative project and includes traditional Japanese tanka poetry written by survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. Their JERF grant will help share the project in the U.S. and beyond.
Tumugiya is a newly established organization based in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, that works to provide economic, social and community support in Tohoku. Their grant will support building “Oshika House” on the Oshika Peninsula, which will serve as a base for community organizations and enterprises in the village.
Two organizations received their second grants from the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund:
The Japan Primary Care Association continues the Primary Care for All Team (PCAT) project to undertake medical relief work in the region. The new grant supports PCAT teams—multidisciplinary healthcare teams headed by doctors—who provide medical care in temporary housing and to those in need in their homes.
Supporting Union for the Practical Use of Educational Resources, in partnership with Abukuma NS and the implementation committee of the Let’s Protect the Kids in Fukushima Program, will again provide opportunities for children from Fukushima to participate in summer camps in 2012.
For a complete summary of organizations and projects supported by JERF to date, visit http://www.japansociety.org/earthquake. A video detailing work of grantees prior to this announcement can be found on Japan Society’s YouTube page (Link: http://youtu.be/CJSExJxUzZE].
In December 2011, Mr. Sakurai discussed Japan Society’s relief efforts and projects supported by the fund. “This is a very long term process,” he said, noting reconstruction could take up to 10 years. “At the beginning obviously the immediate need was emergency relief: soup kitchens, shelters, etc. Into the future at the same time we started to prepare projects that have longer term implications related to job creation and economic recovery.”
The Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, launched on March 12, 2011, has received $12,539,363.49 as of March 5, 2012 from over 22,000 individuals, companies and foundations. Contributions have been received from all 50 states, and nearly 60 countries around the world. One hundred percent of the fund goes directly to support people affected by the disasters.
In March 2012, the Japan Center of International Exchange (JCIE) released a special report about U.S. giving to Japan in response to the disasters. It is estimated that Americans raised $630.2 million for the Tohoku region – the largest amount from any single country. Japan Society appears sixth on the list and is the only organization not traditionally focused on grant making or relief work. More information on this is available at http://www.jcie.org/311recovery/usgiving.html.
Those wishing to donate to the fund can go to www.japansociety.org/earthquake or mail a check to Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, New York, New York 10017; Attn: Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Checks should be made payable to “Japan Society” and indicate “Japan Earthquake Relief Fund” on the memo line of the check. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From March 6-20, Japan Society presents One Year Later: Commemorating the One-Year Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami, marking the anniversary of the disasters in Japan with a series of events to remember those lost, examine the progress of Japan’s recovery, and explore prospects for the future. In addition to several panel discussions throughout March, Japan Society hosts a day of reflection on March 11, including a moment of silence presided by Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki at 2:46pm; a mini-exhibit of children’s artwork from the Tohoku region; doll making for children living in the affected regions; documentary screenings, including recent Academy Award nominee The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom; Memory: Things We Should Never Forget, a photographic exhibit illustrating the disaster’s human tragedy and the optimism and resilience of local people struggling to rebuild; and art and craft making events for families to share with children in Japan.
Japan Society is an American nonprofit committed to deepening mutual understanding between the United States and Japan in a global context. Now in its second century, the Society serves audiences across the United States and abroad through innovative programs in arts and culture, public policy, business, language, and education. For more information, visit www.japansociety.org or call 212-832-1155.