Saturday, April 2, 2011

An update from the field

Mao has now been in the field working for Peace Winds - Japan. She has taken time out from her activities to give us a brief update on her situation. I have included it below.

In it she mentions an "introduction". This refers to an e-mail I sent introducing her to Tomoe - a Concordia student I met at the fund-raising table set up by Concordia students to support the Japanese recovery. Tomoe and her friends were selling baking goods to raise these funds. They have also decided to send their proceeds to Peace Winds - Japan: the organization for which Mao is working. I was delighted to discover these connections among our students.

"Thank you very much for your introduction yet I'm really sorry that I couldn't respond to you sooner. I'm occupied with so much work right now as you can imagine, and I don't have time to check e-mails often - especially after the Bill Gates Foundation announced that they will make a donation to Mercy Corps and Peace Winds of over 1 billion yen to reconstruct Japan. You can imagine how much work it will allow us to do, but we have to plan really carefully.

Yet, I'd like to share this link- Peace Winds Japan was mentioned in a New York Times online article
This article identifies the youth involvement in the disaster relief so that I thought your student might be interested in it.

I also had another interview with the German press. I hope that the world doesn't forget about the Japanese disaster yet. I also want to remind your readers that the nuclear power plant is not the only issue here.

What I am surprised and impressed the most in the field is Tohoku people's strong passion for their home town, the high quality knowledge and skills of their work, their passion for the work, and love for one another. Even after this much disaster, the people still want to reconstruct their houses, fish, and get back to a normal life in their home town.

In order to do so, people are NOT just the victims of this earthquake, they are already starting the reconstruction on their own - at the individual level. We are not here to save them, but we are here to fill in the gaps so that they can manage things on their own.

This is really encouraging and also impressive - and definitely keeps us going in our work."

Thank you for this update, Mao - and best wishes for your work!

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