ASIA NOW ―アジアの現場から

Asians helping Tohoku 2012 #S1

picS1-01.jpg

11 volunteers from Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand and Korea joined volunteer activities in Tohoku from August 17th to 20th. They helped local people working in fishery at Ishinomaki city in Miyagi prefecture.

We are posting pictures on our facebook page.



◆DUNG from Vietnam◆
picS1-01.jpg

Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
I also went to Ishinomaki as a volunteer in the end of July last year, 2011. Everything seemed to be changed surprisingly. Last year, Ishinomaki city was unclean with huge garbage everywhere; the traffic was little and rarely the car could be seen; especially we could not see many smiles of the local people, so our group's leader told us do not make any funny things before them who were suffering the great loss. However, this year, I could see the absolutely different imagines of the city, it is so tidy and clear, massive rubbishes were collected to the certain areas; besides I saw many new houses, shops and stores were raised at the old foundation and the traffic was became significantly more crowded; above all I could see the peace and smile on the faces of the people here.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
Last year, our volunteer's work was mainly to clean and clear the beach at Tashiro Island and Ishinomaki city. However in this year when everything became tidy, our new task was helping the local fishermen to recover the raising system of oysters which all were damaged by the giant tsunami. The work were not so hard, we only had to make a small hole in the middle of the shell that had been bought from Hokkaido, after that the fishermen will put it together like a chain of shell. The chain would become the place for oysters' eggs living and growing. Nevertheless, according to what I heard from the organizer of this program, our work is not only to restore the fishing system but also to have a mental meaning. In fact, the people in the area is almost aged, from 60 or above, and living far from their offspring. Therefore, earning more money by selling some fish or oysters is not so important with them than the feeling that they know many people is still paying attention and hoping to help them. It is the most wonderful meaning of our volunteer program.

Q: What did you learn from Tohoku and what would you like to suggest to your country people in case of natural disasters that might happen in your country?
My country, Vietnam, also have a long coast, about 3,300km, so that it is possible happening the same disaster as the big tsunami in Tohoku. In the trip, I heard about the truly story from the man of JEN (Japanese Emergency NGO, the organization that was responsibility for accommodation and transportation of our volunteer program in Ishinomaki); he is the person who directly saw and struggled with the tsunami when it flowed through the city. He told that, at the moment, he received the alarm about the tsunami several ten minutes before but when he drove his car with family to try to go to the higher place, the traffic jam was occurred in every street, so they left the car and run by foot to the safety location. After that, they had to stay 3 days in the top of a mountain and wait for the supplies from the government's helicopters with the ration for a person in 1 day is 1 Onigiri (Rice ball). Therefore, in my opinion, to deal with the disaster, besides improving the alarm system, more importantly we must have practices with the plans for the worst situations, such as traffic problems, evacuation places, food supplying...

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
The disaster could be occurred anywhere at any time, helping the people in the area is not only the responsibility of the local government but also the obligation of the international community. Let do for the world unity.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆NANA from China◆
picS1-02.jpg

Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
I was amazed by the recovery speed of the Tohoku area. Last September, I also joined the volunteer program organized by ACC21. We went to Rikuzentakata city, Iwate prefecture. That time we helped with the cleaning of the Tsunami stricken houses. I remember clearly I was astonished by the bad effect caused by Tsunami. And at that time, the local people there were still immense in the grief of their loss of their family or family members.
However, through this year's volunteer trip, I found that the local people in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi prefecture are really living a happy and busy life. They are very optimistic with their future life. They are working really hard to recover their fishery and factory. I hope their fishery and manufacturing factory can recover soon.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
We were divided into small groups to help the fishermen to drill holes in the shell of sea fan. My group members were working for a local family. The family member was really hospitable. He urged us to have a rest in the middle of our work and he prepared many kinds of cool drink for us. He was willing to share his family story with us even though sometimes we couldn't understand his dialect.
The local fishermen also took us to the water area where they cultivate fish and oyster. They explained to us about the details of their job and I'm really happy to know that what we did really meant a lot to them.
The local women group prepared really delicious fish food for our lunch every day. I really appreciated for that.

Q: What did you learn from Tohoku and what would you like to suggest to your country people in case of natural disasters that might happen in your country?
The Tohoku area did a really good job in reconstruction from my point of view by comparison of two times' volunteer experience.
I think it is very important for Chinese government to educate people how to behave when disasters happen. The quick and correct reaction when facing unexpected disasters can really save a lot of people's life while a wrong reaction can really be fatal. Also, the rescue after disasters should be quick and efficient. The NGOs also should participate in an organized way.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
Japan is an amazing country in many aspects like electronic technology and animation production. It's a country worth travelling. If you want to experience a totally different culture. Please come to visit Japan. And if you are interested in volunteer activity, I think Japan is also a country which is willing to welcome volunteers from all over the world.
Don't afraid of the language barrier and make the first move, Japan will not fail your expectations.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆BUGEN from the Philippines◆
picS1-03.jpg

Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
Though it's only been a year and half after the disaster, the people in Tohoku were on their way to recovery and to returning to their normal lives.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
The people were very accommodating. Our Otoo-san and his family were very kind. And I felt that they were thankful to us for visiting them and volunteered to learn and to help on their work. I was also surprised when we asked our Otoo-san's daughter, Yuki, if she knows everyone from their neighbor and she answered yes. How I wish it's also the same in Tokyo.

Q: What did you learn from Tohoku and what would you like to suggest to your country people in case of natural disasters that might happen in your country?
Their discipline, their unselfishness and care for the people in their community.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
We can never be prepared for anything that will happen but we can always ready in helping each other.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆VISAL from Cambodia◆
picS1-04.jpg

Q: 災害後1年5ヶ月が経った東北の状況について、どのような印象を持ちましたか。
私は災害後1年5ヶ月が経った東北の地に立つことができました。道路整備や復興活動が見られますが、まだ瓦礫が残っています。また、震災で破壊した建物や空地などもそのままで、復興に遅れています。

Q: 東北ボランティアでの経験とその感想を聞かせてください。
今回、私は漁業復興支援プログラムに参加させて頂きました。人々の暮らしに欠かせない海、そしてあの3.11に2万人の人々の命を奪われた海。私は海で作業した時、複雑な思いをしました。
私は、現地で出会ったおじいさんに「海が好きですか」と質問しました。おじいさんは「好きだよ、数十年間海で働いてきたよ」と答えてくれました。もし、私の家族か友達の命を奪われたら、もう二度と海が好きにならないのだろう。しかし、被災地の人たちの明るさ、海への愛情が変わらなかったことが感じられました。
短い期間でのボランティア活動ですが、被災地の人たちに少しでも協力できて本当に嬉しかったです。

Q: 東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害についてあなたの国の人々に何を伝えたいですか。
世界の小さい島国である日本は、毎年台風や地震、津波などの自然災害がやってきます。それでも、日本人は、国難を乗り越えていただけではなく、世界を救ってきました。私の母国であるカンボジアをはじめ、困窮している国に支援を行ってきました。それは、日本人がお互いに助け合って生きていくという知恵を持っているではないかと私は思います。
私は、いつかカンボジア社会も日本のように「競争して生きていく」社会ではなく、お互いに「分け合い、助け合い、支え合って生きていく」社会になることを切望しています。

Q: 世界の人々へのメッセージ
3月11日の大震災以降、放射能問題も含め、日本は「危ない」と考えている外国人の友達がたくさんいます。しかし、誰が言おうが、私はどこでも体験できない、互いに「助け合う・支え合う」日本社会で生活できて誇りに思っています。日本に留学できて本当に良かったです。

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆CHIAN from Thailand◆
picS1-05.jpg

Q:災害後1年5ヶ月が経った東北の状況について、どのような印象を持ちましたか。
皆さんの協力のおかげで全ての災害地がきれいになりましたが、悲しみは忘れられないと思います。被害者の皆様を応援しています。

Q: 東北ボランティアでの経験とその感想を聞かせてください。.
かきの漁業の勉強になりました。美味しいかきを提供できるやりがいを感じました。出会った人々の皆様が優しいです。災害地を復興する気持ちがいっぱいです。かきを食べるたびにこの経験を思い出すと思います。

Q: 東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害についてあなたの国の人々に何を伝えたいですか。
明日何の問題が起こるか何が遭うか誰も知らないので、後悔しないように今日はやるべきことをちゃんとしてください。

Q: 世界の人々へのメッセージ
今日、あなたは何か人助けをしましたか?

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆LEE from China◆
picS1-06.jpg

Q:災害後1年5ヶ月が経った東北の状況について、どのような印象を持ちましたか。
災害の跡はまだあちこち見える。特に廃棄された部屋と車が印象に残った。災害でデストロイされたハウスは修繕されていないし、壊された車は所属が確認できないので修理されていないまま放置された。それらの主人は死んだか、引っ越したか分からない。ただ物を見て、ものさびしさを感じた。

Q: 東北ボランティアでの経験とその感想を聞かせてください。.
私たちの仕事は漁師を手伝い、殻に孔を開ける作業だった。その殻を鉄線で結んでから海に入れて、来年牡蠣が出てくるらしい。いつもスーパーで牡蠣を買うので、その生産過程は全然知らなく、恥ずかしかった。地元の人々は優しくて、料理を作ってくれたり、海に出て魚を見せたり、水産品のことを教えてくれたりして、楽しいし、勉強になった。

Q: 東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害についてあなたの国の人々に何を伝えたいですか。
東北ボランティアからたくさんのことを学んだ。災害から生きている人たちは辛いことをわかった。部屋が壊れたし、家族もいなくなった。しかし、災害から生きていくのは大事だ。自然災害は避けれない物だが、普段の予測システムを重視し、災害程度を最低限にすべきである。かつ、災害から生きている人々は頑張って生きていくべきである。自分の手でもう一度家を作る。

Q: 世界の人々へのメッセージ
東北の人々が震災振興を頑張っている。東北の人々は自分の力で東北を災害から変わらせ、成長させている。世界の人々はもう一度東北にいて見てほしい。私たちは力が小さくても、少しだけでも災害地の振興に貢献すべきである。

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆CHOTO from Thailand◆
picS1-07.jpg

Q:災害後1年5ヶ月が経った東北の状況について、どのような印象を持ちましたか。
私は震災発生時にも日本にいましたし、その後一ヶ月ほど母国に帰って日本に戻ってきましたから、震災から日本はどれだけ被害を受けたのか、地元の人はどれだけ大変だったのかはニュースを通して、毎日見ていました。しかし、大変なときにだからこそ日本の様々ないいところを見ることができました。日本人の思いやり、助け合いなどを身近に見ることができました。あれから一年間が経って、最も大きな被害を受けた一つの地域である石巻市は国内・海外の人々、皆の様々な形の支援で元気が戻ってきたと感じました。

Q: 東北ボランティアでの経験とその感想を聞かせてください。.
私は今回初めて東北ボランティア活動に参加させていただきました。長年ずっと大好きな日本という国と、たくさんの日本人の方々にお世話になったので、少しでも日本の力になりたいと思っていました。
今回の活動ではカキの収穫のために用いられるカキの家を作る作業にやらせていただきました。具体的にはホタテ貝に穴を挙げる作業をやっていました。地元の皆さんは私達に親切に接していただき、大変お世話になりました。
今回の活動に通じて、色々な体験ができ、今後の人生の宝物になったと思います。

Q: 東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害についてあなたの国の人々に何を伝えたいですか。
自然災害はいつか起きるのか予想不可能なものです。今回の日本で起きた震災後の対応の仕方、人の冷静さ、思いやり、助け合いを世界中に大絶賛されました。タイ人の方々にも是非見習って欲しいなと思いました。

Q: 世界の人々へのメッセージ
どれだけ些細なことでも、決して意味の無いことでなはく、一人一人の力の重ねで、大きな力となりますので、人のためになることなら、恥しがらずに迷わずに、すべきことだと思います。

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆BYE from Thailand◆
picS1-08.jpg

Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
At a glance, the tsunami physical repercussions were still obvious. Remains of automobile clutters were piled up in endless stretches and empty houses along the sea side were nothing but a common sight. However, on a closer look, the town was resilient and people were busy getting on with their lives. Supermarkets were full of daily grocery shoppers and pachinko sites were in its full bloom of liveliness. Although it was obvious that there is still a need for an ongoing recovery from the March 11th disaster, but the morale of Tohoku people is high, with the Japanese characteristic 'gambatte' attitude that is more impressive than ever.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
Because the tsunami washed away the natural oyster shells that are crucial in oyster farming industry of Ishinomaki people, Hokkaido imported hotate shells, were instead used as substitutes. The work we were engaged in was to simply make holes on these hotate shells so that they can be tied together and returned to the sea. The work may seem insignificant with no immediate effects, but I believe this is what recovery is about. It is a long process where only little steps will get you there.
Over the course of three days, I was honored to be a part of the community where people were incredibly kind and strong, despite all the hardship they went through. Each day they worked as hard as the day before and everyone was helping each other out in every possible way they could. It was truly a community full of trust and hope and definitely people with the biggest hearts I had even seen.

Q: What did you learn from Tohoku and what would you like to suggest to your country people in case of natural disasters that might happen in your country?
From my volunteering experience, I learnt that people are the most important driving force of any project. If Thailand was ever to face a natural disaster, I wish that Thai people would have the same strength as the Tohoku people and be able to put the needs of the people in front of their own.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
Even in the midst of this chaotic world, willingness to help out transcends all cultural and language barriers. I encourage everyone to give and volunteer in any possible way they can. Giving does not only benefit those in need, but I ensure you that it will also be a rewarding experience for those who give.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆GLADYS from the Philippines◆
picS1-09.jpg

Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
When we first arrived in Ishinomaki City, I looked at the surroundings and thought that the damage could not have been that awful since a lot of shops are already back in business. However, as we stayed longer in Tohoku and were able to talk with the locals, I realized that Ishinomaki City was indeed one of the areas severely damaged by the tsunami. We saw the vacant lots where houses used to stand, the empty buildings with shattered windows and broken doorframes, and the piles of debris left by the tsunami still undisposed of. Together with this realization came my admiration for resilience of the people of Ishinomaki City. Even with the damages brought about by the tsunami, they are still trying to get back on their feet.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
We were assigned to help out in Kitsunezakihama, a small fishing village less than an hour away from our lodging in Ishinomaki City. We were told to make small holes in shells, the first step in oyster farming. The finished shells would then be brought to the port to be joined together with wires, and then submerged in the sea. The people of Kitsunezakihama will wait for two years before the oysters could be harvested.
What we were asked to do was manual labor. We made holes again and again under the heat of the sun with only a plastic mat for our protection. However, as exhausting as it might sound, we had lots of fun. We chatted with our "otousan" while working, and learned about the long wait before oysters can be harvested. We were served fresh fish for lunch, for which we were very grateful to the obaasans who prepared them every day we worked in the port. We also made new friends, with whom we worked, prepared dinner, and played card games after a long day in the fishing village. I think I might have received much more than I have given after joining this volunteer program.

Q: What did you learn from Tohoku and what would you like to suggest to your country people in case of natural disasters that might happen in your country?
We must never underestimate the power of nature. Earthquakes and tsunamis are natural disasters and therefore cannot be prevented nor avoided. For the people of Kitsunezakihama and Ishinomaki City, living with the sea is their way of life, the source of their livelihood. When the tsunami struck, it took away everything: their oyster farms, their boats, their houses, even their lives. However, even if they lost all their material possessions, they continue depending on the sea. They have to start from scratch again, but after seeing foreign students volunteering to help and cheering them on, they seem to be more hopeful in starting their lives anew.
In my home country, many lives are often lost when typhoons strike because of the stubbornness of the people. Instead of choosing to evacuate to a safer place, they choose to stay in their homes with their material possessions. I would like my fellow Filipinos to realize that their lives are much more important than their furniture and electrical appliances. Like the people of Kitsunezakihama and Ishinomaki City who lost all their possessions to the tsunami, the victims in typhoon-struck areas will be able to gain back their material possessions in time. We, Filipinos are known for our resilience as well. We will eventually bounce back, just like the people in Tohoku did.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
In the face of natural disasters, we, human beings, are all equal. Nationalities, therefore, do not matter. Languages may act as barriers to communication, but actions speak louder than words. A simple act as making holes in shells would go a long way, especially for the people of Kitsunezakihama who lost everything to the tsunami. We, foreign students might not have been able to understand everything the locals said, but I am sure we understood their willingness to start again, and they understood our sincerity in helping them do so even in the smallest ways.

◆EUNPA from Korea◆
picS1-10.jpg

Q:災害後1年5ヶ月が経った東北の状況について、どのような印象を持ちましたか。
災害の映像を見たことはありましたが、実際に現地に行って、その恐ろしさを初めて知りました。それまでは、映像だから被害の様子などを少し大げさにしているのではないかと思っていました。しかし、山のように積み上げられた車や、流された小学校などを自分の目で見て、本当に怖かった。まるで、お化けの町のように感じました。早くきれいな町に戻れるように祈っています。

Q: 東北ボランティアでの経験とその感想を聞かせてください。
私は牡蠣の養殖場で採苗を手伝いました。そこで出会った漁師さんは、津波によって今まで皆で大切に育てていた牡蠣が全部流されてしまい、とても悲しい思いをしたという話をしてくれました。短い期間でしたが養殖の手伝いをしてみて、船や専用の道具が必要なこと、そして牡蛎を育てるのにはとても手間がかかることを知りました。そういった大変さを知ったことで食べ物に対する感謝の気持ちを持つようになりました。
また、普通では見ることができないカツオや牡蠣の養殖場を見せてもらい、こんなものが人に作れるのだと、人間の偉大さに感動しました。
初めは石巻の人たちの話し方(訛り)が怖く感じたのですが、話してみると優しくて、今でも連絡を取るくらい仲良くなりました。
これからボランティアに参加する皆さんもこのことを知ってください。

Q: 東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害についてあなたの国の人々に何を伝えたいですか。
このボランティアを通して、自分がまだまだ子どもで、どれだけ我儘だったかということに気づきました。
石巻の人々は、悲しいはずなのに、疲れているはずなのに疲れた顔を一切せず、相手を気遣って良い言葉を掛け合っていました。また、一緒にボランティアをした人たちも、それぞれ仕事があって大変なはずなのにこのボランティアに参加していて尊敬しました。その人々の姿から、自分も将来仕事に就いたとき、こんなふうに周りの人たちを幸せにできるように仕事ができたら良いと思いました。自分の人生を考えるきっかけにもなりました。
韓国では、ほとんど地震はありません。このように大きな津波の被害に遭ったこともありません。発展のためには開発も必要ですが、いつも人間は自然とともにあるということを忘れないようにしましょうと伝えたいです。

Q: 世界の人々へのメッセージ
たくさんの人と関われば、幸せはもっともっと大きな幸せになります。悲しみは、分け合って小さく小さくなります。
世界中の皆さん、さあ一緒に歩みましょう!!

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆NGUYEN from Vietnam◆
picS1-11.jpg

Q:災害後1年5ヶ月が経った東北の状況について、どのような印象を持ちましたか。
第一印象は奇麗です!何もなかったので奇麗でした。津波で破壊された村には名のない草ばかり伸びていました。もう村とは呼べないでしょう。「このへん前は家がいっぱいあったよ」や「あそこは駅でした」などとJENのスタッフが案内してくれたが、自分の目には信じられなかったです。駅と言われたところもただホームのようなものしか残っていなかったです。
そして、若者がいない!地域のパワーですが、私たちが見えたところ、ボランティア以外には若者がいませんでした。訪ねてみると「震災後皆都会に引っ越してしまったりしたよ。向こうでは仕事があるからね」との答えがもらえました。分からなくもないですが、地元を復興するには若者がいないと実現できないでしょう。
時間経つのが早かったです。日々忙しい私たちの中には1年5ヶ月前のことはもう忘れてしまったか、薄い記憶しか残っていないかもしれません。しかし、今回のボランティアで実際今日の石巻を見て、震災後の傷跡で心痛むのはもちろんですが、この地方の将来には非常に心配です。

Q: 東北ボランティアでの経験とその感想を聞かせてください。
地元のお母さん、お父さんの笑顔に一番感激しました。まるで実家の両親のように暖かく迎えてくれました。ボランティアに行くと言うよりも地元に帰った雰囲気でした。来日以来何だか現代の日本人がやや冷たいイメージを持っていましたが、石巻に来た瞬間その思いが吹っ飛ばされました。ボランティアに行って本当に良かったと思います。

Q: 東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害についてあなたの国の人々に何を伝えたいですか。
3.11の災害ははかりきれないほど大きかったが、ボランティアであった石巻の人々を見て、まるで何もなかったように、前向きで元気いっぱいでした。どんな困難があったとしても前を向かって歩くことが一番勉強になりました。自分の国であるベトナムの人々も頑張って欲しいと思います。私たちは日本で学んだ知識と肌で感じた日本人の精神や団結力を母国の発展に貢献する約束をします。

Q: 世界の人々へのメッセージ
日本と言えば車、テレビや電気製品の品質が世界一と言うイメージが強かったかもしれないですが、それよりも日本人の素晴らしい心と強い精神が一番尊敬しています。一度でも来て、肌で感じてみて下さい。これは本当のにっぽんです。