Program Background

The Great East Japan Earthquake claimed more than 1,000 lives and destroyed some 9,500 housing units in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture. In the 7 years since the disaster, large-scale public works for reconstruction have been in progress in various parts of the city including the completion of the public housing complex for disaster evacuees. However, more than 350 people are still forced to live in temporary housing or publicly-funded rental accommodations. In August 2011, JVC opened a local office in Kesennuma city and has continued support activities in Shishiori district to help the disaster victims confronted with a multitude of problems in rebuilding their lives.

Dispatching advisory team on collective relocation for disaster prevention

Discussion between officers of the Council for Collective Relocation for Disaster Prevention and advisory team members.

In 2017, after completing the collective relocation for disaster prevention (relocation of households in disaster-prone areas to suitable places), the three parties: Council for Collective Relocation for Disaster Prevention, Advisory Team, and JVC continuously discussed the objectives and methods of archives.

[Outcome]

The three parties agreed to publish a book intended for construction and community development specialists and support organizations such as NGOs in order to disseminate the experiences and lessons learned in conducting the support activities related to the collective relocation for disaster prevention. Subsequently, the three parties studied and compiled proposals aiming for its publication within fiscal year 2018.

Supporting the community development of the Urashima district

“Exciting Summer Experiences at Urashima Elementary School” held on a trial basis.

JVC held a series of meetings with resident volunteers in preparation for setting up an incorporated nonprofit organization tasked with implementing revitalization projects in Shishiori and Urashima districts. This past summer, experience-based events were conducted as a trial.

[Outcome]

Incorporation of an NPO in fiscal year 2017 was shelved because of expected increasing burdens on individual residents. However, concerned residents are willing to continue exchange programs with outside bodies. Therefore, a private organization named “Resident Volunteers for Urashima Exchange Programs” was set up as a primary body to implement its activities.

Supporting the establishment of a residents’ association for a public housing complex for disaster evacuees

Inaugural meeting of the residents’ association for Shishiori south public housing complex.

JVC assisted the evacuee residents in their efforts to launch a residents’ association for a public housing complex in Shishiori District in collaboration with administrative entities and local support organizations.

[Outcome]

A representative was elected by mutual vote for each building of the housing complex and a preparatory committee was organized to set up a residents’ association. At the preparatory committee meeting, regulations and activity plans of the association were formulated and committee board members were selected. Consequently, an inaugural meeting was held in October marking the start of the association.

Since the rebuilding of the residents’ livelihood reached a certain level and they were well prepared to proceed with community development on their own, JVC completed its operations in Kesennuma city at the end of fiscal year 2017. We deeply appreciate your support for our activities in Kesennuma over the past seven years.

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