Supporting those in difficult circumstances affected by the nuclear power plant accident

Program background

Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture was seriously affected by the earthquake,tsunami,and radioactive contamination disastars. In July 2016, designation of Odaka district as an evacuation zone was removed. Evacuees numbered 7,000 at a peak time, but have started to move away from temporary houses to new residences one after another. In addition, the demolition of temporary houses is increasing. As shown by the aftermath of the Great Hanshin Earthquake (1995), cases of so-called ‘solitary death (dying alone unnoticed)’ have started to occur in the city’s public housing where a feeling of isolation and loneliness tends to grow more and more serious among inhabitants.

1. Supporting the Operations of Temporary Housing Community Salons

Holding a meeting to close permanent-style Salon activities with operation staff of NPO “Tsunagappe Minamisoma” .

JVC continued operating a permanent ‘salon’ in four locations in Minamisoma city in order to prevent solitary death among people living in temporary houses in collaboration with local NPO “Tsunagappe (Let’s hold hands) Minamisoma”. JVC provided information on occupancy procedures for residents scheduled to move into public housing. Since April 2017, JVC has assisted those who continue to stay in temporary housing, working with them to develop temporary housing resident’s association to manage and operate a ‘salon’, a place for relaxation and refreshments. Incidentally, permanent-style salon activities were terminated at the end of fiscal year 2016 because a drastic decrease in the number of users of such salons, which was expected due to the massive relocation to public housing.

2. Supporting community activities of the residents in public housing

At Ohmachi public housing for disaster evacuees, JVC made improvements to the management of the ‘community salon’ in order to better prevent isolation among residents and to develop a community. JVC assisted the residents to build a system, which enables them to operate and continue salon activities without relying on an external organization like JVC. Furthermore, concerned with the continuation of the project in the future, JVC held a series of discussions with the parties concerned to build a support framework for residents to independently manage the ‘community salons’.

Residents of Ohmachi public housing participating in an event held at “Kirakira Salon” .

A joint study meeting was held to deepen the understanding of “solitary death” .

(source: “JVC Annual Report – 2016 report”)

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