It has been 4 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake had struck Tohoku. People in the afflicted areas have started to take their new steps towards recovery from their temporary housing to their new homes.
Last year, APRICOT compiled a report containing its main activities that were conducted in a fiscal year that closed prior to the anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake disaster in March. Therefore, while it does not conform to the common annual reporting method, our report will again assume this same period as our fiscal year, and we will report our major activities that took place from March 2014 through the end of February 2015. This report will also include the financial report of the donations that we have received from our supporters during the said fiscal year.
In addition to the profits from the events hosted by APRICOT, the total donation (including interest) to APRICOT amounted to 810,470 JPY in the last fiscal year. This was more than double the amount of the donations that we had received in the previous year. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
As described below, in accordance with the objectives of APRICOT, the money was sent to those organizations that engage in providing mental health care in disaster affected areas. APRICOT will, together with you, continue its support activity for the children of the afflicted areas in Tohoku. We would like to seek for your continuous support and cooperation in the current fiscal year as well.
8/02~03 APRICOT EVENT: ASEAN Festival
Joined by the members of “Photo Tohoku,” the group that has been capturing the images of the families that were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, APRICOT’s face painting team raised funds for the children of Tohoku’s afflicted areas. Under the blazing sun in midsummer, while entertaining many children for 2 days at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, they raised 26,000 JPY.
8/07~11 “Mission Rose,” Summer Support Event
The members of APRICOT participated in “Mission Rose,” the mental health care support team in Tanohata Village, Iwate Pref., again this year. We gave a lecture to the counselors at the health center. Also, while visiting the meeting facility in the temporary housing community, we checked the stress level of the people who have left the temporary housing as well as those who are still remaining in the temporary housing community by listening to their voices.
9/24~25 ～ Stress Relief Class ～ & 〜 Parent/Child Play・Parent Meeting
Working with Fukushima Pref. Date City Health Center, APRICOT participated in the recovery support event that was hosted by “The Heartful Heart: Association to Nurture the Future.” “Come and Have Some Tea – Stress Relief Class” was held. For the audience that has many elderly, the APRICOT members taught relaxation methods to help relieve stress and consulted on their health. We aimed to relieve their psychological burden that is caused by the fear of radiation exposure as well as from the separation from their families and familiar communities to being refugees. APRICOT members not only helped but also learned through the event. Then “Parent/Child Play” took place on 9/25. A nurse hosted the parent/child play for the parents and children who gathered at Date Central Social Hall. The peer meeting with the parents was hosted by a clinical psychiatrist team. APRICOT members enjoyed being a part of the event along with the participating parents and children.
10/21 Finally, NPO APRICOT is established!
APRICOT’s application to be recognized as a NPO has been processed and completed!
As of October 21, “NPO APRICOT” is finally established.
10/30 ~11/4 “Mission Rose,” Autumn Support Event
Following the summer event, the members of APRICOT participated in the autumn event as well. The project to provide village-wide support, “Distribution of Roses”, was not realized in summer, but it was conducted at this time. The members and students visited each family and listened to their stories. The members also helped conduct a listening training workshop for those supporters who will actually counsel residents in the temporary housing community.
2015 2/25~26 〜Minamisoma Parent/Child Play・Parent Meeting
We had a preliminary meeting at the office of “The Heartful Heart: Association to Nurture the Future” on 2/25. We drove through Iidate Village where we could see piles of black trash bags that contained radioactive waste and stayed at an inn in Minamisoma. On 2/26, with the health outreach workers from Minamisoma City Health Center, we participated in the “Parent/ Child Play Event.” As the city is a shelter to many refugees from Futaba as well as Namie where the highest radiations were detected, various opinions on the country’s, as well as the individual’s, protection measures against radiations were exchanged during the peer meeting for parents. APRICOT members returned with the keen notion of the strong needs for further support for those affected.
NPO Heartful Heart: Association to Nurture the Future – 300K JPY
This NPO was established by the former chairman of the Fukushima Clinical Psychiatrist Association, Ms. Narui who has been working tirelessly for the children of Fukushima since the disaster struck the area. This one is a separate organization from the “NPO: Fukushima’s Children’s Emotion and Future Care,” which was launched last fall to provide resources such as informational and promotional activities from specialists as well as conducting surveys to support children of Fukushima. Rather, this organization focuses on actual support activity for the children.
This organization hosts “Parent/Child Play and Parent Meeting.” They also send teams to care for residents’ emotions upon requests from communities. They also provide “Wellness Enhancement/Spirit Improvement Business,” which delivers a total wellness program to care for both physical (including growth and motor function) and mental health of the each child with concerns for low-radiation exposures.
APRICOT travels to Date City and Minamisoma City to assist the organization, but nuclear material disposal issue remains unsolved in Fukushima, and the city remains in a traumatized state. They are in need of extensive support in the future as well.
Team “Mission Rose” – 500K JPY
Since the summer after the great earthquake, lead by Prof. Makoto Kuroiwa, volunteers of the counseling office of Meisei University have formed a group and have been supporting Tanohata Village in Iwate. It started with the students visiting each family with a public health nurse to greet them and give them a stem of a rose. However, today they work with the health center of the village to host a lecture on mental health, and they also offer support to local counselors each summer.
As the distribution of roses throughout the village became difficult, they made visits in summer and fall to complete this year. Those who moved out of the temporary housing are busy making new communities. To nurture children’s healthy spirit, there has to be healthy spirits of their families. There has been a strong resistance against mental health care in the village, therefore, while it is important to provide strong support to public nurses, it is also important to support the counselors at temporary housing community as well as social workers who are the windows to the community for counseling matters, so that the villagers can get involved in mental health care support directly.
APRICOT’s activity report for 2014 is as stated above. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We have also begun our activity for 2015. We will provide updates from time to time. Please wait for a little while for the next update.