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After the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, many families still remain in temporary housing communities

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Japan Earthquake Disaster Recovery

Feb 17, 2018
Japan

After the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, many families still remain in temporary housing communities. In temporary housing, isolation and withdrawal become a concern, especially for the elderly. Peace Winds has been providing community building and engagement activities for the 1,500 families. Peace Winds is working with the newly formed 24 townships, university professors, and local NGOs to meet the social, personal, and community needs of the families in long-term recovery.

Temporary housing living can be difficult. Even with supplies and modern conveniences, residents still must live in small accommodations--only 208 square feet--with their families, pets, and nearby neighbors. The stress of uncertainty, loss of homes and friends, unfamiliar surroundings and neighborhoods often lead to depression, withdrawal, and isolation. Without support from civil society and without leadership, the temporary housing residents have difficulty tackling these concerns.

Community events and activities led by Peace Winds and local partners are helping build strong communities in temporary housing complexes. Pet owners are also greatly relieved by Peace Winds help. Peace Winds urged the formation of townships within the housing complexes, resulting in 24 townships with volunteer leaders. Peace Winds will partner with the Township leaders to address the concerns, acute and long-term needs, of the temporary housing residents.

Peace Winds is helping residents address concerns through community events, the Social Welfare Council, university professors, and volunteers. With the help Township leaders, residents are increasingly addressing their needs. Through training and travel to former disaster sites, Peace Winds will empower the Township leaders to convey community concerns to local and prefectural gov'ts. The greater sense of community plus increased self and and group empowerment are affording the residents hope.

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