On March 12, 2011, Japan Society created the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, a disaster relief fund to aid victims of the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean earthquake in Japan. With the funds that have been generously donated so far, we have committed $1,000,000 to four nonprofit organizations in Japan—the Tokyo Volunteer Network for Disaster Relief, JEN, Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC), and the Japan NPO Center—all on the front lines of relief and recovery in Tohoku.
The Tokyo Volunteer Network for Disaster Relief (東京災害ボランティアネットワーク) is an experienced disaster preparedness, relief and recovery organization based in Tokyo with experience in region (1998 Fukushima flood). Funds from the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund will support the establishment of a distribution center in the city Tome, Miyagi Prefecture for the food, water, blankets and other goods the Network will collect and distribute. The network will coordinate the efforts of approximately 3,000 volunteers who will come to the region in groups of 15-50 for one week at a time to help distribute emergency relief supplies and help with clean-up efforts.
http://www.tosaibo.net/ (Japanese only)
JEN (ジェン) is an international humanitarian relief and development organization with experience in Japan, spending five years in Niigata in response to the 2004 and 2007 earthquakes. Funds from the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund will support their work in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, a fishing village that is among the hardest hit by the tsunami. Initially working in a shelter with approximately 2,500 people, JEN will provide emergency relief supplies and will reach out to the community to identify and support the community, including those who are among the most vulnerable (the elderly, disabled, those with special medical needs), and determine the longer term needs of community and other hard-to-reach villages.
ETIC (エティック), a leading organization in Japan that trains young social and business entrepreneurs, will use funds from Japan Earthquake Relief Fund to tap into its extensive network of a younger generation of business and social entrepreneurs to establish a local headquarters in Sendai and begin a program to identify the most vulnerable (the elderly, disabled, those with special medical needs) and provide them with the emergency relief goods they need, connect them with social services through partnerships with local organizations, and evacuate those whose needs cannot be met locally. In addition to meeting the immediate needs of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, ETIC is also training a younger generation of leaders in Japan in disaster relief and recovery work.
Japan NPO Center (日本NPOセンター), established after the Kobe earthquake to support the development of NPOs throughout Japan, will partner with its sister organization, the Civil Society Initiative Fund (市民社会創造ファンド), to use funds from the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund to identify and support local community-based, grassroots NPOs and volunteer organizations involved in relief and sustainable recovery work throughout the affected region. These grants will be mostly be small in size, averaging 1,000,000 yen each, and will reach smaller community-based organizations with speed and flexibility. In this way, community-based organizations that are not well known, but know their community and its needs, can be supported in their efforts in amounts appropriate to their size.