An Update on Kumamoto Fundraiser
To Friends of Tortoise,
I want to provide an update on the situation in Kumamoto, as well as an update on the decided recipients of our fundraiser.
As mentioned in my previous blog, my friends and family are safe.
My parent’s house suffered damages, but the structure is no longer at risk of collapse and my family has returned to sleeping in their home.
After more than 2 weeks since the quake, gas lines remain disconnected for most residents of Kumamoto. Many people cook with table top gas stoves. To my relief my mother is able to find the joy of simple cooking during this difficult time.
Water lines were returned to most areas last week and my sister no longer has to worry about her son’s diaper rashes anymore. Great news!
Despite being turned back on, water lines are still not completely stable and randomly stop during the day and residents must stock up on as much water as possible while the water lines are connected.
Supermarkets in my parents’s neighborhood have started opening for business. Since the buildings are damaged, items for sale are lined up in front of the store. Markets are selling mainly packed food, canned food, instant noodles, bottled drinks, and alcohol. Not much fresh food yet. Although my father is super happy to be able to drink beer!
My friends have mostly started going back to work. Mainly to clean up the mess from the earthquake. Most preschools however are still closed due to weak water lines and facility damages, and my sister is taking her son to work.
Some of my friends who lost their homes are now living with relatives until the city is able to build temporary houses for earthquake victims.
Under such a devastating situation, people in Kumamoto are trying very hard to return to their normal life even while experiencing more than a 1,000 aftershocks since the 7.0 quake.
Posted below are images contributed by my friend, Hirata – all taken after the quake. He has photographed kids playing soccer at the park and enjoying beautiful spring flowers. I want to help bring back more smiles and joyful moment like this.
A list of decided recipients of donations:
We are planning to give of the donations to “Rescue Dog Association” in Kyushu.
Kyushu is the southern part of Japan and Kumamoto-prefecture is part of Kyushu.
The rescue dogs from this association have saved victims from collapsed buildings after the Kumamoto earthquakes.
For the remainder of the donations, I am currently researching the situation by talking to local Kumamoto friends and their networks. The city has received many donations from around the world, but are facing logistical issues, and dealing with an understanding amount of confusion and disorganization after the quake.
There are still 37,000 people living in the city facilities who definitely need more help.
I am contacting people who are personally arranging food trucks to the neediest areas in Kumamoto prefecture, as well as individuals organizing support for mothers who need help to take care of their young children when they return to work.
I plan on giving the collected donations to the organizations and individuals mentioned in this blog directly, but before I do, I will also make sure that they are still providing the necessary services when the time comes for me to return to Kumamoto. Since the situation in Kumamoto is changing daily, and new groups and organizations are stepping in to assist the region, I will do my best to keep up to date on those changes, and offer our final donation in a way that will provide the greatest and most positive assistance for those most in need.
It will be greatly appreciated if you could support our event. Please join our fundraising event May 14th and 15th.
Thank you for your thoughtful mind,