Archive for the ‘ Golden Week ’ Category

>Volunteering During Golden Week – Miyagi Prefecture

>Volunteer Centers in Miyagi are bracing themselves for the Golden Week Rush. There is a great deal of concern that the numbers of volunteers will overwhelm the VCs in terms of parking, availability of jobs, etc. If you are thinking about volunteering during Golden Week, if there is any possibility of delaying your activities until after the rush dies down, please consider doing so.
Tohoku will need many volunteers over the upcoming months, and your efforts will be most effective if you schedule them according to the VCs’ needs.

Here is a general updates on the status of the four VCs in Miyagi that have been accepting volunteers from outside of the prefecture:

Ishinomaki VC
is asking that volunteers coming during Golden Week register in advance.

Watari VC will not accept new volunteers from outside of the prefecture as of 5/1.

Iwanuma VC plans to continue accepting volunteers from outside of the prefecture, but there is great concern about the availability of jobs. The number of volunteers yesterday already climbed from 180 to 280. In the past, volunteers have been turned away at this VC or asked to wait when there has not been enough work to go around. There is also concern about the availability of parking and camping space.

Kessennuma VC
asks that larger groups register in advance and asks volunteers to bring extra gasoline in case local supplies are overwhelmed by the rush.

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>Volunteering FAQ from the Iwanuma Volunteer Center Blog

>

Volunteers wait in line to be matched with jobs at Iwanuma Volunteer Center

Interested in putting together a team to help with clean-up in Tohoku? Many volunteer centers are now accepting volunteers. If you’re considering heading up during Golden Week, please keep in mind that many, many other people have the same intention, and Volunteer Centers in Tohoku are likely to be overwhelmed by the influx. If you can, please postpone your activities to a time when VCs will better be able to accommodate your help. When the time comes, here is some information to get you started.

Many VCs only accept local volunteers, to discourage an influx of volunteers from afar who would tax resources such as food, water, gasoline, etc. However, a few of the hardest-hit municipalities are currently accepting volunteers from throughout Japan. The conditions for volunteering vary from VC to VC. Some require registration in advance, others permit you to just show up that morning (or afternoon) and be matched with a job. Some have areas for volunteers to camp or sleep in vehicles, others request that volunteers find lodging elsewhere.

Before setting out to volunteer, be sure you acquire up-to-date information from the VC where you will be working. Much of the information is only available in Japanese, and for this and other reasons, I highly recommend putting together a team with at least one member who is fluent in Japanese and English. Not only is it important that the VC and local people you are helping are able to communicate their needs to you, volunteers need to be prepared to cope with emergency situations, injuries, etc. Here are some FAQ about volunteering taken from the Iwanuma Volunteer Center blog (scroll down for English.)



岩沼市災害ボランティアセンターQ&A

おかげさまで全国から続々とボランティアさんが駆けつけていただいておりますが、最近お問合せの多い質問をQ&A方式でお答えしたいと思います。
なお、お問合せについては9時から16時の間にご連絡いただきますようご協力願います。

Q.現在のボランティアセンターの状況はどうですか?
A.岩沼市災害ボランティアセンターでは、多くのニーズが寄せられ早くニーズに対応したいという思いから、活動は午前と午後(各2時間)に分けています。昼食は各自用意してください。午前・午後どちらかのみの参加でも構いません。
また、おかげさまで多くのボランティアさんに来ていただき、午前の活動ができない場合がありますが、整理券をお渡しし、午後の活動に優先的にマッチングさせていただいております。ご了承ください。

Q.事前にボランティアの予約は必要ですか?
A.個人のボランティアの方は必要ありません。直接おいでいただいて受付・登録をしていただきます。団体(概ね8名以上)

の場合は事前に日時、人数、資材の有無をお知らせください。
また、市外、県外のボランティアさんについては、地元の社会福祉協議会でボランティア保険(天災型)に加入された上でお越しください。費用は個人負担になります。

Q.ボランティアに参加する際に必要なものはありますか?
A.基本的に家の泥かきをしていただくので、汚れてもいい作業着やジャージなどできてください。長靴(あれば安全靴)を強くお勧めします。準備できるようでしたら防塵用マスク、ゴーグル(コンタクトの方は特に)、スコップなどお持ちください。

Q.一日、日帰りのみでしかボランティアに参加できないのですが、良いのですか?
A.ボランティアさんの無理のないよう、ご自身の空いている時間に参加していただく形でまったく問題ありません。受付は午前(8:30~)と午後(12:00~)に分かれていますので、都合の合う時間にご協力ください。

Q.作業場所には自分の車で行くのですか?
A.混乱を防ぐために、個人の方でボランティアセンターまで車で来た方は、センターの道路を挟んだ向かい側の大きな駐車場に停めていただきます。作業場所にはこちらで準備した車に乗って向かうことになります。

Q.宿泊したいのですが、宿泊先はどうすれば良いのですか?
A. 現在、長期滞在の方は車中泊やテントを張ってその中で寝泊まりされる方が多いです。車中泊の方は、ボランティアセンターの近くに大きい駐車場がありますの でそこに車を停めていただくようになります。テントの方は、ボランティアセンターの近くの里の杜中央公園に設営場を設けておりますので、そちらにテントを 張っていただくようになります。公園にはトイレもありますので、そちらもご利用いただけます。

Q.GW中のボランティアは受け入れますか?
A. 今のところ県内・外のボランティアさんを受け入れ続ける予定です。現在も多くのお問合せがあり、多数のボランティアさんがいらっしゃることが予想されま す。受け入れ状況につきましては岩沼市災害ボランティアセンターのホームページにて随時更新していきますので、ご確認ください。

Q.現地で買い物はできますか?
A. お店はほぼ通常営業に戻ってきています。食べ物や飲み物も岩沼市内で調達することは可能です。ガソリンの心配をされる方もいますが、並ばずに買えるぐらい 供給は安定しておりますのでご安心ください。ですが、自己完結がボランティアの基本ですので、できる限りご自身で準備して現地入りしていただけると助かり ます。

Q.車で行ってもいいですか?
A.はい、構いません。駐車場は総合福祉センター(iプラザ)ではなく、道路を挟んで向かい側の大きい駐車場に停めてください。交通情報は余震の関係で状況が変化いたしますのでご自身でご確認ください。ご協力よろしくお願いします。

Q.仙台から岩沼まで電車はありますか?
A.現時点ではJRは運行しておりますので、約25分(片道320円)で仙台から岩沼にきていただくことができます。臨時ダイヤになっておりますので、ご自身でご確認ください。

Q.泥かき以外のボランティアは募集していますか?
A. 岩沼市ボランティアセンターでは現在泥かきボランティアが中心となっています。女性でもたくさんの方が活躍していますので、是非ご協力ください。理容、 マッサージのボランティアの問い合わせが多いのですが、理容の方は現在間に合っております。ありがとうございます。マッサージ・理容のボランティアを希望 される方は避難所に直接問い合わせください。

(English version)
Iwanuma Volunteer Center Q&A

We are grateful for the assistance of volunteers from throughout the country. Here are responses to some frequently asked questions. If you have additional inquiries, we ask that you contact us [in Japanese] between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm.

Q) What are conditions currently like at the Volunteer Center?
A) In order to respond to the high demand for volunteer aid as quickly as possible volunteer activities are currently divided into two sessions (two hours each) in the morning and afternoon. Please bring your own lunch. It is fine if you can only participate in the morning or afternoon session. Please understand that due to the large numbers of volunteers offering their help, there are times when we cannot accommodate everyone in the morning volunteer session. If this happens, we will arrange for you to be first in line to be matched for volunteer work during the afternoon session.

Q) Do we need to make arrangements with the Volunteer Center before coming?
A) Individuals do not need to contact us before volunteering. You can report directly to the reception desk and sign in. We ask that groups of 8 people or more contact us in advance to let us know the number of participants coming, their schedule, and the materials they can bring.  Volunteers coming from outside of the city or prefecture are asked to acquire volunteer insurance with natural disaster coverage from their local branch of the Japan National Council of Social Welfare [Shakai Fukushi Kyogikai, [Japanese only] http://www.shakyo.or.jp/%5D Please bear the cost of the insurance yourself. [One year enrollment costs 490 yen]

Q) What do we need to bring?
A) You will most likely be helping to clear mud out of homes, so please wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty. We highly recommend wearing boots or safety shoes. If you can, please bring dust masks, safety goggles (especially if you wear contact lenses), shovels, etc.

Q) I can only come for one day. Is that okay?
A) Whatever time you are available to help out is fine. There are two reception periods, in the morning beginning at 8:30 am, and again in the afternoon beginning at 12:00 pm, so please come at the time that works best for you.

Q) Will I need to drive to the worksite in my own vehicle?
A) In order to prevent confusion, volunteers who come to the Volunteer Center in their own cars will be asked to park in the large parking area across the road. We will provide transportation to the work areas.

Q) I need somewhere to spend the night. Where should I stay?
A) Currently, many of our long-term volunteers are sleeping in tents or in their vehicles. If you wish to sleep in your vehicle, there is a large parking lot near the volunteer center and you may park there. For those sleeping in tents, you can set up in the Satonomori Chuo Koen Park near the Volunteer Center. There is a restroom in the park you can use.

Q) Will you be accepting volunteers during Golden Week?
A) At this time, we plan to continue to accept volunteers from Miyage Prefecture and beyond. We are currently receiving many inquiries and we expect that many volunteers will come during that period. For updates, please check the Iwanuma Disaster Volunteer Center Homepage.

Q) Can we buy things in Iwanuma?
A) Most of the local shops are up and running. It is possible to purchase food and beverages in Iwanuma City. Some volunteers worry about the availability of gasoline, but our supplies have stabilized to the point where there are no longer lines to fill up. That said, self-sufficiency is the cornerstone of volunteerism, so we appreciate if you can provide for your own needs as much as possible before coming to Iwanuma.

Q) Can I come by car?
A) Yes. Please park in the large parking lot across the street from the Sogo Fukushi Center (i-Plaza), not the one at the center. Due to aftershocks, some roads may be closed, so please check your route before coming. Thank you for your cooperation.

Q) Are there trains from Sendai to Iwanuma?
A) The JR lines are currently functioning, and it takes approximately 25 minutes (320 yen each way) from Sendai to Iwanuma. Trains are running on a limited schedule, so please look into matter on your own.

Q) Do you need volunteers for jobs other than shoveling mud?
A) Right now, shoveling mud is the main job available at the Iwanuma Volunteer Center. Many women are participating, so we urge you to help as well. We receive many inquiries about whether we need barber and massage volunteers, but at the moment we have enough barbers. Thank you for wanting to help. If you want to do barber or massage volunteer work, please contact the evacuation center.