A time to reflect

A time to reflect

Posted on June 20, 2012
Filed Under Kansai Food Bank, relief & aid, volunteer | Leave a Comment

June 11th to 24th at Ryukoku University in South Kyoto there will be a gallery display of photographs taken after the Great Eastern Japanese Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11th 2011.

This is a good chance to remember and reflect upon the enourmity of the disaster, the staggering loss of life and property, and both the fraility and strength of the human experience.

After taking tons upon tons of relief supplies to stranded homeless survivors, the images of the initial days of the afternath

will forever be burned in my memory.

Now that the dust has settled. We can look back at what happened, how we have dealt with the severity of the situation and what we have done to move forward in our own lives and what we have done to help the survivors and Eastern Japanese Disaster move forward with theirs.

The situation today is both heartening and stageringly disappointing at the same time. The survivors whose houses were destroyed have been relocated into temporary housing and reconstruction have moved ahead at an amazing pace in the communites, some of which were completely washed away. However at the same time, we see the aftermath of families ripped apart, lost relationships, people who have lost a sence of who they are and how they are connected to their environments and communities, and people finding themeselvs lost in a sea of being completely dependent on others for their lively hood destroying their sence of worth and identity.

In the midst of the disaster, both Tohoku residents and residents of Japan and the world have had their paradigms turned upside down and their faith in their fellow man and governments stretched to the breaking point by the painfully slow response of the officials in brining aid to the survivors. As late as May, our aid trucks were finding shelters whose residents had not received any fresh fruits or vegetables since the the earthquake on March 11th. One of the shining examples of humanity were the many many people that defied government orders for people not to take supplies into the disaster zone, taking station wagons, K trucks and family cars traveling back roads to find desperate survivors stunned with gratefulness.

Today many adhoc citizen and foreign groups continue to clean, rebuild, decontaminate and repair everything from houses to schools and community centers.

Though the land remains scarred deep from the torrent of water that washed away families dreams and heritage, the haphazard, dangerous and many feel criminally neglegent handling of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Facility leaves an open sore not only here in Japan but to those worldwide still waiting to know the ecological fallout and how the remaining risk will play out. 

We at Kozmoz continue to pray for the survivors and provide relocation assistance for residence wishing to move their families to Kansai and provide ongoing assistance to families that have already relocated to the Kansai area. You can still be of great assistance by volunteering in Kansai with Kozmoz or in Tohoku with groups such as Foreign Volunteers for Japan and It's not just mud.


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