Sep 3

This article titled A Perspective on Helping Japan Disaster Victims recently appeared on the website, written by Jeannie McKinney (Hokkaido, 2010-11) who is currently doing an internship for the Knoxville, TN office of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE).

Link to original post:

Here’s an excerpt:

“Post-March 11th, the amount of willingness and enthusiasm, good will and generosity that came from abroad as well as at home, was honestly overwhelming. I was living in a small town in Hokkaido, the northernmost island and prefecture of Japan, at the time of the disaster, in an area that experienced nothing but a few tremors and shakes. But somehow, my community of 13,000 generated so many donation packages within the first few weeks after the disaster that our three little post offices had trouble handling the increased mail traffic. Instead, postal workers had to set out collection bins in their lobbies for the Japan Red Cross to come and pick up on their own.”


“The problem is that there is only so much individuals can do on their own, without any direction or instruction from organized groups – especially without advice from the country’s government. Post-Katrina, the biggest complaints here in the U.S. were the slow reactions of the local and federal government to respond. Though nonprofits and volunteer groups were first on the scene, there was only so much they could do without bureaucratic support.”

“The same can be said for Japan right now, both in disaster areas as well as radiation areas.”


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