Oct 20


Below is the official press release (in English and Japanese) announcing the recipients for JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund to the media in Japan.

FYI, a lot of hard work has gone into this process, using our JET contacts, bilingual and bi-cultural abilities to identify appropriate and worthy uses for the approximately $75,000 raised by the JETAA chapters in the U.S.

JETs and JET alumni should be extremely proud of the ways we’ve been able to support Japan in the wake of the 3/11 crisis. Many larger organizations have faced significant challenges in finding appropriate grantees, due in a large part to a very different and smaller Japanese non-profit sector that continues to grow and evolve in new ways. Our quasi-Japanese expat community of 55,000+ JET alumni spread around Japan and the world has been uniquely positioned to help meet these challenges.

Also worth noting is that the JETAA International meeting is taking place this week in Tokyo. JETAA representatives from each country are attending and will be participating in a JET-led volunteer effort in Rikuzentakata with the help of JET Paul Yoo, founder of volunteerAKITA and The Fruitree Project. JETAA International Chair Shree Kurlekar (former JETAA New York Vice-President) and other representatives will also be speaking with the Japanese media.

Thank you to JETs, JET alumni and Friends of JET everywhere who have contributed to the fund, volunteered their time, volunteered their translation and other skills and supported Japan in many other ways as well.

Ganbarou Nippon!




JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund

In its 25-year history, more than 55,000 people from 60 countries have participated in the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program, developing strong ties with communities around Japan. Thanks to the years they spend in Japan, it is fair to say that JET participants come to view Japan as their second home, and most continue to maintain active connections with Japan after leaving the program. The most common way for JET alumni to stay connected is through the 50+ chapters of JET Alumni Association (JETAA) worldwide, which bring alumni together to share their experiences and to promote ties with Japan in their home countries.

Even JET alumni who did not have friends and family in the Tohoku region were deeply moved by the tragedy that unfolded there. In response, all 19 chapters of JETAA USA came together in March 2011 to launch the JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund to support educational needs of communities in the disaster zone. Since March 11, the fund has raised $76,000 (5.8 million yen) from the U.S. JET alumni community.

Rikuzentakata and Ishinomaki have special significance for JET alumni since two of their colleagues lost their lives while teaching and living in these communities. Therefore, JETAA USA has decided to donate funds to programs in these two areas, with a primary focus on educational initiatives in Rikuzentakata. The aim is to improve the prospects of students who have been affected by the disaster, carry on the spirit of the JET Program and give back to the country that found its way into the hearts of JET alumni. Grants are being made for the following initiatives:

Hope for Tomorrow support for university applicants from Rikuzentakata ($25,000)– The costs of university entrance exams are a heavy burden for Japanese families and can be especially formidable for families affected by the disaster. Hope for Tomorrow, a new nonprofit organization, will defray exam fees and/ or associated travel and lodging costs in order to support Takata High School (located in Rikuzentakata) students applying to university. JETAA USA will financially support this program in Rikuzentakata.

Rikuzentakata tutoring project ($20,000) – Students in Rikuzentakata have been through traumatic experiences and lost considerable class time. The nonprofit organization Youth Empowerment Iwate, in cooperation with other groups, is launching a new initiative through which university students will provide extracurricular tutoring for middle school students while also using these sessions to lend a sympathetic ear to students who may feel intimidated discussing their concerns with older adults.

Rikuzentakata City education project ($10,000) – A special grant is being made to support JET-related activities and English teaching in the town.

Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund ($5,000)– The Taylor Anderson Fund is supporting a range of innovative programs in Ishinomaki, where JET Taylor Anderson taught and lived, including the exchange programs for local students and “reading corners” at elementary schools.

JETAA USA supporting JET participants ($10,000)– JET-run organizations and programs such as volunteerAKITA (which has been mobilizing JET participants to provide disaster aid since mid-March 2011) have responded to the disaster and recovery efforts. Individual grants are being made to help them sustain their disaster-related activities.









Hope for Tomorrow進学支援プログラム($25,000高校生の大学受験費用は一般家庭でも大きな負担となっているが、被災した家庭にとっては背負いきれないほどの負担となる。Hope for Tomorrowは新しく立ち上げられたNPOで、高田高校の学生を対象に大学受験にかかる旅費や宿泊費などの諸費用を支援する活動を行う。


陸前高田市内教育プロジェクト($10,000 JET関連の活動と英語教育を支援するための特別寄付を行う。





JETAA北部カリフォルニア支部(本部サンフランシスコ市):募金イベント“Japan Relief Fundraiser”を、ホテル・カブキのO(オー)居酒屋ラウンジにて実施。150人以上の参加があり、寄付と抽選が行われ、地元紙にも取り上げられた。

JETAAミネソタ支部:募金イベント“Japan Benefit Party”を、居酒屋・基(Moto-i)(海外初の店内で醸造した日本酒を提供する店)で実施。DJ、ライブ音楽で会場を盛り上げ、サイレント・オークションが行われた。





 全世界の元JET参加者のうち、約半数が米国人であり、米国にはJET同窓会(JET Alumni Association, JETAA)が19支部存在する。各支部は、全てボランティアベースのメンバーにより運営され、元JET参加者のネットワークを維持・強化し、文化・交流・教育事業やチャリティ事業等の実施を通じて、日米関係の一層の深化を図っている。米国JET同窓会の活動の詳細、同会震災復興支援基金への寄付はこちらから: HYPERLINK “http://www.jetaausa.comwww.jetaausa.com

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