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【JPN Relief-11】 "I Never Imagined that I Would Smile Again" (Report 5)
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On May 2nd, the team members were back at Takata High School (Hirota building) in Rikuzentakata city, where they did activities the day before yesterday, with nine other volunteers (from left picture; members praying in a gym after cleaning up, removal a car carried by tsunami).
They divided themselves into five teams, each taking one room. There was mud and trash everywhere, with some salvageable and some broken furniture. The school teachers asked them to try and save anything that could be used again, so they carried out whatever furniture could be salvaged, and wash it. Water is very scarce still in Rikuzentakata and it is still being brought in by tankers, so they had to be very careful with how much water they use.
Ms. Saya Ono, a member of Muster Peace (Kansai University) said, "Because of our cleaning up activity, I hope many families can leave evacuation centers and return their homes. If this becomes a good chance to make communities stronger, it will be worth it."
A habitat staff was at Fukushino Sato, a centre for physically challenged people, which now houses 70 tsunami evacuees and was speaking to Mr. Hosoya (he says he'd prefer not to give his first name, or be photographed) and his son, Mr. Yumeto Hosoya (left picture).
When the earthquake struck, Mr. Hosoya was in his barber's shop, getting a hair cut. He heard the tsunami warnings, and ran next door. His neighbour, a fisherman, told him to get on his boat and that they'd sail out to sea. Mr. Hosoya and his neighbour stayed out at sea on the boat overnight, and returned to Ofunato the next day. They were unable to return to where the boat has previously been stationed, but eventually found somewhere to land.
Mr. Hosoya wants Habitat staff to pass on a message on his behalf: "Natural disasters happen and we cannot change that. After the tsunami I had no money, house, or anything to eat. But people unknown to me sent food and clothes. They wanted to help us. Do not forget that you are living in a world with others that care and wanted to support you."
"I never imagined that I would smile again, or feel love again. Knowing that other people wanted to support us though, I felt a human connection. Feeling that human connection, I can stand up and smile again."
Tomorrow is the final day for the first volunteer team. The volunteers participated in this volunteer for assisting evacuees who suffered from this situation. They have received various feelings of evacuees and will face the final day tomorrow.
◆ Back Number
2011.05.01 What Habitat Volunteers Bring to the Victims
2011.04.30 Children Return to a Cleaned Gym
2011.04.29 Volunteers Taking Action in Tohoku
2011.04.28 First Volunteer Team Heads Out to Tohoku
2011.04.19 Toiletries Delivered to Ofunato city, Iwate
2011.04.13 Toiletries Delivered to Soma city, Fukushima
2011.04.10 Thousands Support HFH's Response in Earthquake-Hit Japan
2011.04.04 Campus Chapters Fundraise for Rebuilding Japan
2010.03.31 Donation from APP Japan
2011.03.14 Donate to Help Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Victims