Update from PWA’s Mari Poorman

July 29, 2011 – Already a month has passed since I’ve been in Japan, but it doesn’t feel that long.  There is so much to do here, and it takes time.

Good news! I’ve been busy with the temporary housing relief program in Iwate prefecture, where Peace Winds supports people moving into temporary housing.  Since April, we have helped more than 20,000 people settle in their new homes.  These people have been so thankful to receive household supplies from Peace Winds.

Pending news! One obstacle is that many people are staying at evacuation centers because they cannot afford to live in temporary housing.  Residents in temporary housing need to pay for food, clothes, water, gas and electricity on their own.   It may be 80 degrees inside, but people will not turn on the air conditioners because of costly utility bills.  Peace Winds is working with local governments and NGO partners to address these issues.  Please support our efforts to assist those survivors who remain in evacuation centers, unable to afford to move into temporary housing.

Good news! I am also assisting in our economic recovery programs.  Peace Winds recently held a ceremony at Minamisanriku Fish Market after we supplied some of the necessary equipment and goods to reopen the fish market.  Now there are fish coming in daily and fishermen have a place to bring their catch and start earning income.

Anxious news! Aftershocks are still happening often.  Some are big enough that we feel them in Tokyo.  It’s hard to imagine how the people in Tohoku cope with this.  Trains, train stations, stores and offices in Tokyo are on power saving mode due to the energy situation resulting from the nuclear accident.  The Peace Winds Japan office is close to 80°F!!

Good news! We are grateful for Japanese “volunteerism in Tohoku”—it’s helping pull the country together.  Also the women’s soccer team winning the World Cup helped too!

Praiseworthy news! Thanks for your support to Peace Winds America.   It is so good to ensure that funds are directed to reach those most in need.  Bless you!

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