The idea of producing a calendar emerged as a means to raise funds in aid of those rebuilding the community. We raised over €5872.62 and participated in three aide projects in Tohoku.
Friend, composer and multi-instrumentalist Hoshi-san, originally from Shichigahama, organises activities and entertains many of the elderly locals in temporary housing. In April, one year on, Atsuko gave a demonstration at one of the shelters bearing Belgian chocolates and coffee.
Benefits (and chocolate) were donated to Iwate Relief Effort who focus on children, helping them reclaim lives after what they have seen and experienced, keeping morale up and thoughts occupied. School trips and campus activities were planned at Kiri Kiri Junior High School and Yoshizato Middle School in Otsuchi, and ceremonial flags were purchased for graduation.
Based in Ishinomaki, It’s Not Just Mud is a dedicated team of Japanese and international volunteers that formed in response to the Earthquake and Tsunami. Originally set up to help with mud and debris removal (hence the name), it has since grown and its purpose evolved. Now that much of the debris has been removed, with unfailing impetus they now focus on rebuilding the community. Your contribution helped fund their ongoing projects. They have a comprehensive website that shows the diversity of their work. Below, Then and Now, a poignant film about Ishinomaki by Paul Johannessen.
© Photos : Jean-Pierre Vander Elst