Jul 10

Japan Society (NY) Allocates Additional $2.1 Million with 5th Round of Earthquake Relief Grants

Via Shannon Jowett, Director of Communications for Japan Society in New York:  

“With recovery and rebuilding expected to take 10 years or more, Japan Society announced the fifth round of grants from the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, focusing on economic and community revitalization and mental health services. Full details below.”

Japan Society Allocates Additional $2.1 Million with 5th Round of Earthquake Relief Grants

New York, NY – Japan Society announced this week the fifth round of grants from the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (JERF), supporting eight organizations, seven of which are first-time grantees. With additional grants totaling $2,131,000, this latest announcement brings total allocations from the $12.9 million fund to $9.4 million distributed to 27 organizations representing 34 grants that directly serve people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

“While progress has been made sixteen months after Japan’s triple disasters, the work is far from over,” said Japan Society President, Motoatsu Sakurai upon the announcement.  “As the hard work of recovery and the complex process of rebuilding moves forward, we continue to put emphasis on areas where we see great need and where we think our support can have long-term impact: mental health services and economic and community revitalization projects.”

Sakurai told Reuters in a profile of the Society’s relief work earlier this year that focus should be on local entrepreneurship and lasting sustainable projects. “It is very, very evident in Japan this recovery process will continue for more than 10 years,” he said.


The latest grant recipients are:

ETIC trains young social and business entrepreneurs all over Japan.  This third grant supports ETIC’s Fellow Program, which matches fellows with specific expertise, such branding or IT, to businesses, entrepreneurs and NPOs to help businesses or organizations start new or expand and grow.

Fukushima Organic Agriculture Network is a network of organic farmers, agricultural scientists, consumers and wholesalers in Fukushima Prefecture that promotes organic farming. They will work on decontamination of local farmland and implement programs that improve farming in Fukushima.

Ganbatte 365 works with organizations in the disaster affected areas to help them tell their stories of recovery and renewal through video, provides additional communication services to NPOs and other groups, and teaches children technology and presentation skills through storytelling.

Japan Community Cinema Center, which brings quality, community-based film programs to regional areas throughout Japan, will provide cultural and emotional support and unity to Tohoku through small and large-scale screenings of classic and contemporary films.

Japanese Society of Certified Clinical Psychologists is an association of certified clinical psychologists with organizations in all 47 prefectures in Japan, which serves and educates clinical psychologist.  Funds will support psychological support programs in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

Kokoro no Sodanshitsu is a collaborative effort of medical professionals and spiritual leaders to provide psycho-social support to those affected by the 3-11 disasters through toll free telephone consultations and “Café de Monk”, a radio program aired in Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate Prefectures, also available on YouTube.

MAKOTO supports and trains entrepreneurs in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures and started the Council of Supporting Entrepreneurs for Recovery, which brings together organizations, government officials, corporations and universities interested in supporting entrepreneurship in Tohoku.  Makoto will use JERF funds to establish and manage Cocolin in Sendai, a co-working and support facility for entrepreneurs.

Rias no Mori works in Ishinomaki on restoration and community-building efforts in a way that takes into consideration the area’s educational, environmental, economic and welfare needs.  Funds will help establish the Satoyama Activity Center, offering educational and recreational programs.

For a complete summary of organizations and projects supported by JERF to date, visit http://www.japansociety.org/earthquake. In June 2012, the Society premiered a short video highlighting work of three of the JERF grant recipients, including JEN, which supported four fishing villages on the Oshika Peninsula in Ishinomaki; the Japanese Medical Society of America in collaboration with Iwate Prefecture University Medical Center delivering of mental health services to Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture; and the Supporting Union for Practical-use of Educational Resources and its partners to organize and implement the Fukushima Kids Camp.

The Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, launched on March 12, 2011, has received $12,961,232.61 as of June 5, 2012, from over 23,000 individuals, companies and foundations. Contributions have been received from all 50 states, and nearly 60 countries around the world. One hundred percent of the fund goes directly to support people affected by the disasters. Those wishing to donate to the fund can go to www.japansociety.org/earthquake or mail a check to Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, New York, New York 10017; Attn: Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Checks should be made payable to “Japan Society” and indicate “Japan Earthquake Relief Fund” on the memo line of the check. For additional information, emailjapanrelief@japansociety.org.

Japan Society is an American nonprofit committed to deepening mutual understanding between the United States and Japan in a global context. Now in its second century, the Society serves audiences across the United States and abroad through innovative programs in arts and culture, public policy, business, language, and education. For more information, visit www.japansociety.org or call 212-832-1155.

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