Archive for July, 2011

Time to plant those seeds.

* Entry written by Dru Taylor
Dave Enright, who held a fundraiser and bought this tractor, posing with his son after a job well done.
I dont normally write stuff like this but this story is lovely. A couple of weeks ago we put an advert up in the BCCJ “We Care Japan” website for a tractor to help the people start growing their own fruit and vegetables in Minamisanriku AND within a few days a total stranger Dave Enright and his lovely family Mariko Sage and Airi from Hakuba answered to say they had organised a fundraising reggae event.
 Using the money they raised from the event, they went right out and bought a tractor which they delivered last week to OGA who are doing amazing things. After 2 days of talking and organizing with a lovely guy from the Joyful Honda home centre ( he worked all day thursday helping us even though it was his day off ) my wife Kyoko got a unbelievable price. 
On Saturday (actually 2 o`clock sunday morning as it became another epic journey/day) we managed to deliver 1400 seedlings to OGA for AID, 500 tomatoes, 500 peppers, 300 okra and 100 aubergine seedlings, along with the tools and poles for the tomatoes. 
We started planting on Sunday morning before having to leave to get the rental truck back to Chiba and now Peter of OGA, and the local people have been planting the rest. 
This story is the start of something fantastic in the rebuilding of Minamisanriku to get the people working making money but mostly seeing a future. Many people have worked hard to make this happen so I bow my head and thankyou all.

Announcing the FVJ Community Forums

 I’d like to take this opportunity to announce the Foreign Volunteers Community Forums. Although created by Max Hodges a little while ago, I have to admit that I’ve been a little slow on the ball to promote and encourage discussion on the Forums. 
Although most of the FVJ discussions have been taking place via Facebook, there is a lot of information that gets regularly buried under newer threads. That is why the FVJ Discussion Forums have been designed from the ground up to provide a much easier system to interact, plan and organize activities.

These forums are designed to be a friendly and valuable place for like-minded people interested in playing a role in Japan’s disaster recovery efforts to share ideas and opportunities and get connected to and inspired by others.

FVJ Community Forums run on a brand new platform with some snazzy features. We think the design and functionality is very contemporary and fresh and, most important, it feels more social than other systems. A few of the many cutting-edge features include:

-Social Engagement – An intuitive “like” system makes users feel appreciated for their contributions, while integration with Facebook and twitter allows easy registration and sharing.

-Recent Activity Stream – Allow you to easily see all the recent happenings on the forum, beyond just the messages posted. You can follow other members to get your own personalized news feed showing the content you want to see.

-Alerts – Make it easy for you to stay up-to-date with relevant updates. You’ll receive alerts when someone quotes your post or responds to a status update, when you receive a new trophy, and more.

-Private Conversations – are like private threads. Nobody can see your private conversation, not even the administrator. Now here is the cool part; you can invite as many people to your conversation as you like, sort of like three way calling. Go here to start a conversation or click on a persons avatar to invite them to converse. Or access conversations from your inbox above. You can also invite in more people from the conversation thread (you will see the Invite More link over on the right hand side of the conversation).

We look forward to your participation in making the FVJ Community Forums the most valuable destination possible for Tohoku relief volunteers.

You can register with your Facebook account: