ASIA NOW ―アジアの現場から

Asians helping Tohoku 2012 #S7


11 volunteers from Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Cambodia, India and Malaysia joined volunteer activities in Tohoku from September 28th to October 1st. 8 volunteers helped local people working in fishery at Ishinomaki city in Miyagi and 3 volunteers helped junior high students learn English at Otsuchi town in Iwate.

We are posting pictures on our facebook page.



◆ESPIE from Philippines◆
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Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
The remnants of tsunami were still visible but I felt that life was back to normal. People were scarred by the experience but they already moved on with their lives with hope.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
I was dispatched in Otsuchi, Iwate-ken and I had a chance to watch the video of Junior High School students preparing for their entrance exams. While watching it, I felt that the seed of hope is alive with the young people of Otsuchi. Despite the very traumatic experience they had, the students tried their very best to study hard in order to pass their exams. Through the help of the staff of Katariba, they made it possible for the students to continue dreaming even if they have lost many things in their lives. And their dreams are alive! They want to be somebody someday. And this is a big hope for Otsuchi. The young people asked the adults what they can do to contribute for their community even in a small way. It is a sign of hope that they want to rebuild their community. On the second day, we were asked to do manual work. We joined other groups and worked together under the heat of the sun. People that we worked with came from other parts of Japan also. I am impressed how organized they can be in implementing this volunteer work. Lastly, I am very touch by the people working in Katariba. I felt their dedication and their passion helped the young people of Otsuchi to move on. They encouraged the students to be back on track by sharing their talents, skills and time.

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 disaster drill is already imbibed to everybody in Japan. In times of disaster, the Japanese people knew by heart what they are supposed to do in the real situation. The people did not add chaos to a very chaotic situation because there was no panicking and the people themselves put order even if there was no government official to pull the string. I hope that we Filipinos will learn from the very young age how to protect ourselves in terms of disaster by engaging ourselves to a regular disaster drill and imbibe it to our heart as well.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
The devastation of earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku is beyond our imagination but Japanese people have proven to the world how their preparedness in the disaster helped them to overcome this very tragic disaster.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆GON from Vietnam◆
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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
今、東北は復興して、災害野のゴミは全部片付けられて、光景はきれいになりました。

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。
出会った地元のあべさんによると、津波はとても怖かったそうです。災害で亡くなった 人々が気の毒です。一時的な塾で教えているボランティアの先生たちは熱心して、 昼ごはんを食べながら、授業のために一緒に会議しました。それはとてもすごいと思います。また、学生たちは楽に頑張って習っていました。みんなは将来きっと合格できるだろうと思います。

Q:東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害について貴方の国の人々に何を伝えたいですか。
東北ボランティアに参加して初めて、日本人の精神はとても強いのが分かるようになりました。みんなと一緒に頑張って、お互いに助け合います。したがって、どんな大きな問題でも解決ができます。

Q:世界の人々へのメッセージ
希望を失わないでください。
Don't afraid of the language barrier and make the first move, Japan will not fail your expectations.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆Dung from Vietnam◆
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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。
 私が岩手へ行ったのは、災害からもう1年半が経ったところでした。まだ瓦礫が残っていましたが、道路は奇麗に片付けられました。家もあっちこっちに建て直されました。地元の人々も普通生活に戻りました。ですが、道路に車も人も少なかったので、なんか悲しい感じがしました。

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。
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。牡蠣の殻の開けられた穴を鉄線で結ぶという作業でした。作業をしながら、牡蠣の育ち方を教わって、とても楽しかったです。私は、体の調子が悪かったので、みんなは気を遣って、一日目の午後に休ませました。おばあさんは薬をあげるだけではなく、私がゆっくり休めるように家まで連れて行きました。地元のみんなさんは優しくて、私が自分もあの大きい家族の一員になったと感じました。本当に感謝しました。

Q:東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害について貴方の国の人々に何を伝えたいですか。
今回のボランティア活動にいろいろなことを勉強しました。災害の恐ろしさに怖くて、逃げることができません。みんなの心を繋がって、一緒に立ち上げるべきです。それは、ベトナムに一番伝えたいことです。

Q:世界の人々へのメッセージ
いつ災害がおきるかと、わからないので、時間を無駄使いしないで、周りの人、家族に気を遣いましょう。みんなと一緒ならば、なんでも乗り越えられます。

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆Diem from Vietnam◆
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Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
The place we came ( Ishinomaki ) has become much more cleaner, but still I saw broken cars, damaged houses, school....which showed us a lot about how bad the disaster was. Besides that, although the government still doesn't encourage people to come back to their home but I saw many houses were in rebuild. In general, the place looks like it has almost recovered from the disaster.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
In Ishimomaki, I helped the fisherman putting the shells through a string so that they can use that to raise up the oysters. We were divided into 4 groups and each group is led by 1 or 2 local people. The work was easy and we did have a great time working and talking to the local people. Most of the local people we met was old (I guessed they let the old people do this easy work and the young people have to do harder one). They were really nice and asked a lot about group member's hometown. Also, they explained to us the process of raising oyster and even took us to the ocean by boat to show the real oyster farm. It was the first time I hear and see such things. It will become one of my unforgettable experiences I think. Furthermore , the local people also treated us the local food which was so so good. I will not forget those nice grandmom and granddad there.

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?
Seeing these nice local people trying so hard to earn a living and recover the place, I really admired them. The power of human is so great, even natural disaster can't stop us from moving on .Although there is so much pain, but still we can overcome it. This is what I has learned from the Tohoku Volunteer and also what I want to tell the people in my country. We can't predict exactly about natural disaster but I do believe that we can overcome it.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
Lets come and see how Japanese people have recovered from the disaster you will be surprised by seeing how the things go back to the track. Staying and see the news is not enough, go and see by your eyes, feel by your heart you will know that the greatest wonder of the world is nothing else, but human.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆SANDY from Philippines◆
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Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
I think Tohoku is already on its way to recovering. For me, some parts of the place don't look "wiped out" but rather seem like they are just untouched. However, when I talked to the NPO workers there, I found that the people there still had many emotional problems..

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
I was assigned in Otsuchi, Iwate. Otsuchi is one of the areas which was hardest hit by the tsunami. On our first day, we worked with the Katariba NPO and interacted with students in English. Katariba operates a "cram school", which is a review school for students who are going to take the university exams. According to them, some students said that they prefer to study in the cram school because the walls in their temporary homes are too thin that they can hear their neighbors. I was very surprised to know how much money Katariba spends for these kids. They have a bus which picks up the kids every day. I got to talking to some students there and two students showed us pictures of what the city looked like before the tsunami. The city was lined with houses and buildings and the beach near their area, Kirikiri Beach, looked very beautiful. Now, there is just an empty space where the buildings used to stand and the beach is now lined with debris. One girl wrote that now she hates the beach because it took all the things that she loved. We may think that they should feel lucky to be alive but perhaps nobody but them can understand what it must be like to call a place with so many bad memories your home. Despite what these kids have gone through, I was very touched to see that they are also trying to move past their sad situation. Katariba showed us a video where many of their students have decided that instead of receiving help, it is about time that they start helping their community. For instance, they organized some activity which involved old people. Some of them also expressed the desire to become a fireman or a nurse so they can help others.

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?
There, I realized two important things: 1) it is difficult to restore destroyed buildings after a disaster but it is more difficult to restore the self-confidence of the victims, 2) it is not just important to provide a school building or a place to study for students, but those places should provide an environment where the students can learn comfortably. In my country, the concerns after a disaster are mostly related to money: i.e., providing enough homes, clothes, etc. Careful attention should also be paid to the personal well-being of the victims, especially young people whose mindsets can be easily changed by a disaster.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
After1.5 years, much remains to be done in Tohoku. As volunteers, we cannot help the tsunami victims solve all their problems but our acts of kindness, however small, help them in their struggle to get over their bad experiences during the disaster.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆SUBHA from Malaysia◆
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Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
I went to Kitsunezaki in Ishinomaki, Sendai. After 1.5 years I could see that many improvements and rebuilding have been done. It is impressive that so much has been done to rebuild Ishinomaki within such a short time. There are still marks of the disaster left such as the abandoned school building but given time Ishinomaki will have a new image.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
I was at Kitsunezaki for 2 days. I was engaged in working at the fishery and was taught to arrange the shells for oyster breeding. We get to meet and talk to new people daily as the volunteers were assigned to different homes each day. All the locals and volunteers would gather and have lunch together. It gave us an opportunity to interact with the locals. They were very kind and treated us like their family. They even brought us on the boat to see the oyster and fish breeding site. The locals were mostly elderly people who still had to work very hard. It was sad to see that there were very less local youngsters working at the fishery to help out the elders. I observed that the act of interacting with them actually has an equal use to them as doing actual work itself. Interacting gives them the moral support they need to get on with life. Seeing them working hard to get on with their lives after such a disaster teaches us, the volunteers some points to ponder about life that there is always hope even when every door seems to close on you in the darkest day of your life. It was a very good experience.

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?
Natural disasters are unpredictable and unavoidable. Preparation to face such disaster would help to a certain extent. It is important to try and rebuild quickly after a disaster so that the people do not lose their spirit to live. It is also important to work together in a tight-knit community like the people of Kitsunezaki so that we can help each other and tasks get done faster when there is teamwork. We also must keep interacting with the affected people so that they know that we care and they have not been forgotten. We can help them get through by giving moral support.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
It is never too late to lend a helping hand to those in need. Volunteerism provides an opportunity for us to do something out of the ordinary, learn new things and broaden our perspective on life. The people of Tohoku are waiting for your friendly visit. The work is not hard at all and they will treat you like family. Interact with them and share interesting stories with them. It is an experience you will cherish. A shout out to ACC 21 and JEN for the well organized volunteer program. I hope this program will be continued in future and I thank you for the wonderful experience.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆VUTHA from Cambodia◆
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Q:What impression did you have on Tohoku after 1.5 year of disaster?
I can not believe how people in Tohuku area have built their confidence under huge disaster pressure and I really respect their motivation and hard-working, though they still had a nightmare of earthquake and tsunami.

Q: Please describe your experiences and tell us your reflection of them.
During my work, they emotionally explained situation as they experienced and made me impossible to believe, as I watched news in TV. Though I volunteered to help them, I am very warming welcome with their heart as there is nothing happening in the past. I love the time to eat crap and raw fish, piercing shell for oyster farm, etc. I do love their emotional communication and face to talk with me, as I can not properly communicate with them in Japanese language.

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?
Calm and diligent work is among the main things I learned from them. Though they faced such a huge disaster, their charming face and calm hearting really move my heart to share this experience to my people in Cambodia.

Q:Your message to the people of the world.
Disaster occurred everywhere, only the strong internal mind can deal with all kind of problems.

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)

◆KI from China◆
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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。
3.11東日本大震災からもう1年半経ったのですから、被害地に行く前に、そっちもうだいぶ復旧されたと思いましたが、今回実際に被害地行ったら、事実はそうではありません、がれきや被害された建物まだいっぱい残されています、津波に流された車もそのまま集まってあります。さらに、地元の漁業や農業に巨大な被害を受けましたから、被害地の皆様が一生懸命復旧作業を頑張っていますが、地震前の状態に戻るまでまだまだ長い道があると思います。

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。
今回のボランティア活動によって、被害地の人々(浜の人々)と近距離に接触しました、地元の人々の楽観な生活態度や頑張る精神に本当に感動しました。今回の津波によって、浜の漁業に巨大な影響をかけ、海産もの全部流されました。このような自然災害にあっても、現在の浜の人々が積極に復旧作業を続き、あきらめずに頑張っています。 ボランティア活動の途中で、地元のおじいさんといろいろ話しました、一番感心したのは、おじいさんは養殖海産が流されても、ゼロからやり直そうという言葉です、このような決心や不屈の精神があるからこそ、被害地の人々が自然災害をのりこえて、最後の復旧が実現できると思います。

Q:東北ボランティアから何を学びましたか。また、自然災害について貴方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何を学びましたのはやはり地元の人々の不屈の精神です。私の国の人々に伝えたいのは、たとえ自然災害があっても、被害を受けえても、絶対に諦めずに頑張る精神が一番大事です。

Q:世界の人々へのメッセージ
人生の途中できっといろいろな困難があります、どのときでも希望を心に刻み、諦めずに頑張りましょう。 さらに、必要な時に、自分の力を出し、できる限り、他人を手伝いましょう。

>>Message in Mother tongue (PDF)