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Playground of Hope Project

Playground of Hope Project

Today was an exciting day. The first round of play-sets were officially opened in Ishinomaki, courtesy Michael Anop’s phenomenal Playground of Hope initiative. Big thanks to Jamie El-Banna and the NPO It’s Not Just Mud for assembling the Miyagi sets! The project addresses a very real need for kids stuck in temporary housing to just be kids again. Over the […]

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Rebuilding Local Businesses – Kotobukiya

The Sato family who run the Kotobukiya Sake shop in Ishinomaki.

This article is much belated, but I wanted look back on some of the local businesses that we’ve helped rebuild alongside the It’s Not Just Mud and On the Road NPOs. Mr and Mrs Sato at the renovated Kotobukiya Sake Shop, Ishinomaki City The following photo is one I took on March 22nd, during the third FVJ delivery of goods […]

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Letter from Micah of Hands Kitakami Volunteer Project

Letter from Micah of Hands Kitakami Volunteer Project

Letter from volunteer Micah (exchange student) to Japan Studies Student Leaders, Willamette University. Copied here with permission from Micah and Anna Thomas of the HANDS Kitakami NPO The coast along Kamaishi, taken on March 29th 2011   Dear my lovely JSSL-ers, Greetings from Japan! Many of you may not know who I am, so I shall take a brief moment […]

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Vol Projects: Aid Distribution #1: The Warehouse

Vol Projects: Aid Distribution #1: The Warehouse

  Volunteering Projects: Aid Distribution #1: The Warehouse For this series, I’d like to walk through several of the various volunteer projects out there.  Volunteering in Tohoku involves many different types of work. Everything from gutting buildings – digging and scrubbing mud – gutting houses – knocking down walls – running community cafes – holding soup kitchens – clearing ditches […]

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Holiday Volunteering (Part 1)

Santas visiting Temporary Housing for the SaveMinamisoma Project

A team of 9 Santas visited Temp Housing Units alongside the regular SaveMinamiSoma distribution. Although this article is a little late, I still thought it would be worth writing about how the volunteer groups I’ve been working with operated over the Winter Holidays. On December 23rd, FVJ members rejoined the Save Minamisoma Project ( www.saveminamisoma.org ) to help out on […]

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We Will Always Remember You

We Will Always Remember You

In October, Kenji Araki, a director from NY came to Tohoku to film a video as part of another project, and joined the It’s Not Just Mud crew for a couple days. This video is addressed to international citizens as a thank you message from the people of Tohoku, and really conveys a warm and encouraging message. To the people […]

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It’s Not Just Mud

It’s Not Just Mud

INJM Working on a landslide-relief project in Onagawa town. This is one of the groups in Tohoku that has playedgracious host to Foreign Volunteers Japan members on several visits up to Tohoku so far. The group was originallyformed in the famous “Tent City” in Ishinomaki, that ran frommid-March until September 30th, on the grounds of Senshu University inIshinomaki. The founder […]

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>Foreign Volunteers Japan Delivery Missions

>Foreign Volunteers Japan Delivery Missions

>Since I’ve had the chance to join in on two delivery missions with the group, and one with Beau Retallick’s group, I thought I should take this chance to elaborate on what exactly these missions entail. Currently, there are shortages of gasoline and rental trucks across Japan. As you could imagine, this creates one of the largest logistical challenges for […]

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>Settled for the Time Being

>Settled for the Time Being

> Yakitori Restaurant in Hakata, Fukuoka Dec 2010 It looks like I’ve settled back in Japan for the (reasonably) long haul. The plan now is to spend the next year or so working hard, saving as much as I can, and getting in shape. The plan is to start researching the Indian subcontinent and the African continent for photo-reportage and […]

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>Joining the Gaza Freedom March

>Joining the Gaza Freedom March

> In December, I headed off to Egypt to join the Gaza Freedom March alongside another 1300 marchers. The initial plan was to head into Gaza to march in solidarity with the Palestinians on the anniversary of the 2008 bombing, to protest the conditions of the occupation and the construction of a massive steel wall to completely seal off the […]

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