NVNAD vol.2 NVNAD blog
by Voices from the Field Admin - Thursday, 22 March 2012, 02:54 PM

Link of Supports Developed around the Temporary Housing
~Excerpts from the NVNAD Blog~

June 21, 2011
  Relay of Support Received in One Disaster Affected Area to the Next

 It was a very beautiful and quite hot day for June in Noda Village, Iwate Prefecture.
 Today we had company from Wajima City in the Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture; a group from the Wajima City Council of Social Welfare, Wajima City Volunteer Network and Wajima Volunteer Association for Disaster Relief. The people of Wajima had suffered from the Noto Peninsula Earthquake four years ago (March 25, 2007, seismic intensity 6 upper). They didn’t think it to be just an affair of other people when the March 11, 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster struck people in the Eastern Japan area. So today, they brought handmade bags called “Nagomi (Heartwarming) Bags” for evacuees. Each bag, which was a makeover of Kimono donated by Wajima citizens, was beautiful and heartwarming just as its name suggested. Each bag contained Wajima lacquer chopsticks, a double-sided calendar to be used for two years, a magnet to stick the calendar on a refrigerator, and other items.


Evacuees open a Nagomi Bag and admire its contents

 The group from Wajima arrived at Noda Village around noon. First, they visited the Noda Village Disaster Relief Volunteer Center to deliver a letter from the Mayor of Wajima City. They also received a briefing from the local Council of Social Welfare about how the residents of Noda Village had evacuated on the day of the earthquake and tsunami. Afterwards, they visited each household at the temporary housing site on the grounds of Noda Junior High School to hand out the Nagomi Bags guided by the staff from Noda Village Disaster Relief Volunteer Center and NVNAD. The evacuees received the bags and deeply appreciated the warm thoughts sent from as far a place as Noto Peninsula. As every bag was made from cloths with different patterns, some evacuees took their time to choose their favorite one.


 Some bags were stored in the office of Team North Riasi , the volunteer alliance, because some residents were away or had not moved in yet. The members of NVNAD will deliver those bags later.
 We could see “the relay of support among disaster-affected areas” from Noto to Noda, in the way they handed out the thoughtful gift of the Nagomi Bag to each household.

July 4, 2011
 Activity Report of the “Volunteer Bus”:
      A Shuttle Service to the Disaster Affected Area for Volunteers

 The new temporary housing complexes are much smaller in scale than the ones at Noda Junior High School: 10 units in Shimoakka, 18 in Monzenkoji and Maita, and 39 in Izumisawa. The wooden temporary housing units in Shimoakka and Izumisawa were built by local construction companies. The volunteers worked in groups of 2 to 4 at each of the 4 places mentioned above. They helped people move their things into the units, assemble shelves and draw the unit numbers in the parking lot with a dry line marker.

 Some may think that these small housing complexes would have better access to support services because of their manageable size, but smaller places also run the risk of falling through the cracks. Regardless of the size of the housing complexes, NVNAD in cooperation with Team North Rias will continue to support the residents.


July 6, 2011
  Report from Noda Village
On Wednesday June 6, volunteers from the Faculty of Humanities at Hirosaki University, which is a member of Team North Rias, came to Noda Village as part of the university’s “regular service” of volunteers. They worked to clear debris and sort it out. We also had them help us hand out a leaflet and a newsletter issued by Team North Rias. The leaflet announced Nagomi (Heartwarming) Bags from Wajima City citizens, who had suffered and survived the Noto Peninsular earthquake of 2007, were to be delivered to each resident. The composer for the Requiem Projectii and another member of the project also joined us. Before beginning the leaflet distribution, I took the

volunteers to the NVNAD storage house, which the NVNAD volunteers had organized, to have them look at the actual Nagomi Bags themselves. Then we went around the temporary housing units in Izumisawa, Monzenkouji, Maita and Shimoakka.
 Though many of the residents were out, we were able to hand out the leaflets to some residents and talk to them individually. Some of them told us about the tsunami, the temporary housing and their daily life and such. A man said to me, “I keep receiving so much help. I can’t thank you enough. I really want you to come here again and have a talk with me. I feel sad and lonely because I can’t go to the field or take care of my grandchildren as I used to.” I took special notice of his words in my heart. I have realized that the individual communication is and will increasingly become essential to these people. By the way, Nagomi bags will be delivered to each resident by the students of Hachinohe National College of Technology, also a member of Team North Rias on July 10th. I want to deeply thank the residents in Wajima City. I also extend my appreciation to the two students of Hirosaki University, and the member of the “Requiem Project” for their kind interactions with the evacuees, as well as the Volunteering Center of the Faculty of Humanities at Hirosaki University, which provided the volunteers.

i Team North Rias is a volunteer network which supports disaster relief and recovery in North Rias area, Iwate Prefecture.

ii The Requiem Project is an NPO and produces chorus concerts at disaster affected areas.