We are focused on Identifying Solutions. Our tactics allow us as first responders, to directly engage with survivors and facilitate on-going support - directly to community leaders and for the devastated community to draw on as they rebuild through the phases of recovery and revitalization.
Rise Up with Holiday Spirit - Santa Soul Train is part of the Place to Grow series of community workshops and events that support connection and recovery in post-disaster communities. A year-end celebration of the friendships and connections made throughout the year, and throughout the recovery. This year, we are partnering with Konishiki and his Rise Up initiative to encourage and inspire children during the holidays. Join us to help bring a bigger impact to Tohoku and Kumamoto. Click here to jump to Place to Grow website and see more details.
There is a a process to best practice for helping after a natural disaster. Our experience shows us that often times (not always) volunteers end up becoming another burden rather than the relief aid they intended. This is due to their lack of understanding of the region, its culture and the complexities of a social fabric. As we learned in Tohoku – waiting to see where the gaps between government support and community needs develop is when NPO’s and other supporters can best determine how and where to support – financially and with man power/in kind supplies.
Hoshi san's thoughts on Kumamoto.
"From my experience with 2011's earthquake, I learned the importance of planning when providing and receiving support/supplies at the time of disaster. Without advance coordination with the local community in the disaster-affected region, those good intentions of supporters could become a cause of problem for the survivors. I believe we should take some time to do more research, identify the needs of the local community, then provide the support on the ground once the urgency is controlled by the government."
OGA for Aid, having experienced "first response" in Tohoku will work with partners on the ground in Kumamoto, and sponsors here in Tokyo and overseas to send in a research and assessment team – with our experienced leaders from Minamisanrikucho a plan to support families in the long run will be established. Thank you for your continued support to create a world where survivors are inspired and connected throughout recovery.
O.G.A for AID and Hoshi-gumi, a women ‘s community group of Minami-Sanrikucho, are raising funds to support children and mothers affected by the Kumamoto earthquakes in the rebuilding of their homes and community. DONATE NOW
Volunteering can be a big investment of your time but it can be a life changing experience that brings you new skills, new outlooks on life, a renewed self confidence, an appreciation for what you have and also new friends.
Mayor Sato Jin of Minamisanriku-cho commented “When you see the smiles of local people at O.G.A's events, you know the reason why you continue. So if you can, always remember for whom you are doing what you do".
Our team has also discovered that this sense of responsibility and feeling of value that we get as volunteers by giving back –it doesn’t just apply to us - it is how survivors recover.
When we bring that energy to the survivors of the disaster in Tohoku - by continuing to be there for them when the attention of the world has moved on - we become a catalyst for passing on that inspiration and can-do attitude to the community when it matters most.
You can make a difference every day. From distributing essential supplies to underpriviledge communities to teaching and educating local residents to working on economic recovery projects there is much to be done and hands on support is appreciated and needed.
"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart"
"I always wondered why somebody did'nt do something about that. Then I relaized I am somebody"
"Stop wishing. Start doing"
"Of course I talk to Myself. Sometimes I need expert advice"
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