We regularly get requests for information about ways to volunteer in Tohoku. One thing to note is that at this phase of the recovery (early 2014), there are very few places in need of mudding out or debris clean-up. Japan was very quick and efficient with the initial clean-up after the tsunami and the situation here is in no way comparable to what it might have looked like in places like Haiti and the Philippines.
A lot of the work that is done now helps people to deal with the emotional and social scars of the disaster. In this type of work, knowledge of the culture and the language are a big plus, obviously. While we as a team usually do not host volunteers anymore, there is a group of folks that does focus on this. Please contact Ishinomaki Christian Center if you would like information about what opportunities are available. They describe their vision as follows:
Ishinomaki Christian Center strives…
– To serve the community through expressing Christ’s love in action.
– To share the good news and become a platform for churches to be birthed.
– To work in unity and serve each church and organisation in Ishinomaki.