Today Japan Society announced the recipients of the third round of funding from its Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (JERF). The non-profit organization established the relief fund in the wake of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the worst natural disaster to strike Japan in 140 years. Thus far Japan Society has raised $12.1 million from 55 countries and all 50 states, distributing the funds in the form of grants during different stages throughout the year.
Japan Society has earmarked an additional $2.5 million to seven Japanese, American, and international NGOs focusing on three main areas: Economic revitalization, mental healthcare, and child welfare. Of the targeted organizations, four are first-time recipients, and three are former recipients receiving grants for new projects.
Let’s meet the seven recipients of the funding.
- Beyond Tomorrow will support youth orphaned or severely affected by the disasters through scholarships and comprehensive leadership development and mentoring programs.
- Human Rights Watch Japan, an international nonprofit dedicated to protecting human rights, will investigate and report on the current situation of children from Tohoku who lost one or both parents. Through this effort, the group aims to improve alternative care in Japan.
- Mirai Kikin will work with local boards of education and school principals to provide children – from elementary to high school age who lost one or both parents – with financial support for educational expenses for up to five years.
- Archi+Aid is a unique organization launched by architects for relief and recovery. With the goals of safety, sustainability, and preserving local culture, the group will bring architects, architectural students, urban planners, and disaster prevention professionals together with local industry, cooperatives, and citizens to share their visions for the future of their cities.
- Japanese Medical Society of America (JMSA) is a professional medical association of Japanese speaking doctors in New York. The organization, which is receiving a second grant from JERF, will coordinate and monitor the delivery of mental health services to people in Iwate Prefecture, the establishment of new modes of delivering mental healthcare using mobile units and new communication technologies, and programs that support the training and development of disaster psychiatrists. This project complements the work JMSA is doing in Fukushima Prefecture.
- JEN, a Japan-based NGO focusing on distributing emergency relief to remote towns, is also receiving a second grant from Japan Society. The group will collaborate with local fishery associations and support the work of aqua-farmers and fishermen in four ports on the Oshika peninsula to help members of the community remain in the area and revitalize the local fishing industry.
- ETIC, a Japanese organization that trains young social and business entrepreneurs, will use its second JERF grant with the goal of economic revitalization in the Tohoku region, matching fellows with specific expertise to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and NPOs in the area.
Japan Society President Motoatsu Sakurai appears in a brief video expressing his thanks to the people who have generously given to JERF. He acknowledges that the relief and recovery process can take five, or possibly ten, years. You can watch the entire video here.
Japan Society’s latest announcement brings total allocations from the $12.1 million fund to $5.6 million distributed to 13 organizations representing 17 projects. But Japan Society is not stopping here.
President Sakurai said that the Society is in the process of evaluating potential fund recipients and expects to make additional allocation announcements in 2012, leading up to the first anniversary of the March 11 disaster. “Into the future, at the same time, we’ve started to prepare [to support] projects that have longer term implications related to job creation and economic recovery,” he said.
In March and April of 2012, Japan Society will present a series of programs and events around the one-year anniversary of the disasters, memorializing the victims and examining the progress of Japan’s recovery and prospects for the future.
To make a donation visit Japan Society’s website or send a check payable to the Japan Society and marked “Japan Earthquake Relief Fund” to
333 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
Attn: Japan Earthquake Relief Fund
Contributions are tax deductible, and one hundred percent goes to organizations that directly help the disaster victims.
Here is a video featuring Keiko Kiyama, Secretary General of JEN, describing how a grant from Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund has helped JEN help Tohoku.