After the nuclear fallout occurred in Fukushima in the wake of the disasters of 3.11, we became concerned about the influence of radiation on infants, children, and pregnant women in the region, and came together as a group of parents and university faculty members from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Utsunomiya University. Along with student volunteers, we began this project in earnest in April, 2011. Since that time we have been contacting evacuees with small children and pregnant women from Fukushima to ascertain their needs and to respond in appropriate and meaningful ways. Some issues have been resolved by simply providing information we have collected about local support that is available, while others have required more extensive help like providing counseling or satisfying basic needs, such as food, housing, clothing, etc., by connecting families with other citizens who can provide donations directly.
We have also provided evacuation information and assistance to families in Fukushima who fear they will suffer bad effects from radiation, but who were unable to leave earlier for various reasons, and have been able to help many families successfully evacuate to Tochigi, Niigata, Tokyo, Miyagi, Saitama, Yamakaga, and other locations.
We have gradually expanded our activities over time, being joined by faculty members from Fukushima University, Ibaragi University, Gunma University, and by additional members at Utsunomiya University (within our sister project "Support Infants, Children, and Pregnant Women of Fukushima"), and have found partners to oversee activities in Niigata, adding up to five “hubs” outside Fukushima. Other individuals and institutions have stepped in to assist the project from time to time. For example, upon learning that many evacuee families in Kanagawa needed assistance with finding jobs, relocation, and legal and health services, the KIT Future Design Institute in Tokyo coordinated with mothers from the Yokohama International School community to collect furnishings and set up job interviews. Evacuees and families in Fukushima have been encouraged to learn that there are so many people who are willing to help, and have found relief by having the opportunity to air their concerns openly.
One successful activity program we have implemented is a series of "tea parties" for evacuees mothers in Tochigi, Ibaragi, Tokyo, Gunma, and Niigata, which provide a supportive atmosphere in which mothers who have been separated from their friends and relatives can relax, exchange information, and make new friends from Fukushima, while students and other volunteers babysit their children. Also, we have recently held an overnight camp in Tochigi for families from Fukushima, and have been supporting camp activities which bring children from Fukushima to Kamogawa in Chiba prefecture, as a strategy to reduce their exposure to radiation.
Since first putting out a call for donations last May, by the end of August, 2011, we had received \955,221 from 47 sources. This is only a little bit short of our goal of one million yen, and we thank everyone sincerely. Since September, 2011, we have expanded our support activities to a total of five "hubs," including support for families who have remained in Fukushima, and we anticipate the need to further increase our preparedness. We are applying for more external funding grants, but at our current pace of activity and funding it will be a challenge to maintain all five of our activity hubs. In this context, we would like to renew our request for your financial support.
How individuals in Japan can donate: 1) If transferring from a "ゆうちょ銀行" (yuucho ginko) ATM: 10050-78784561 「フクシマニュウヨウジニンサンプタイオウ」 （福島乳幼児妊産婦ニーズ対応プロジェクト/"Fukushima nyuujouji-ninsanpu taiou") (Please notify us by email in addition, if possible)
2) When transferring from another bank or ATM: ゆうちょ銀行 (yuucho ginko) Branch number: 019 Branch name:府中紅葉丘(Fuchu Momijigaoka) Checking account number: 0663428 (Please notify us by email in addition, if possible)
3) "Yuubin-furikae koza" (where transfer is made in person at the post office) 00100-2-663428 福島乳幼児妊産婦ニーズ対応プロジェクト ( Fukushima nyuuyouji ninsanpu niizu taiou purojekuto ) Please include your name, address, and any message.
Project in support of the needs of infants and pregnant women of Fukushima "Fukushima nyuuyouji ninsanpu niizu taiou purojekuto" Funada-Classen Laboratory Tokyo Univ. of Foreign Studies 3-11-1 Asahi-machi, Fuchuu-shi Tokyo 〒183-8534 Phone/fax (direct): 042-330-5260 email: Fukushimaneeds <@> gmail.com Project blog: http://fukushimaneeds.blog50.fc2.com/