My friend Todd Wassel was on the ground in Japan during the earthquakes and subsequent tsunami, visiting his wife’s family. Although his family was all safe and sound, they watched the news reports in horror as the tragedy unfolded. Todd also happens to be a conflict resolution specialist for the United Nations; as such he works with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) the world over, and has even set his fair share of NGO’s, so he knows how to assess such organizations to make sure they are legitimate and doing the work that’s most needed. And he’s been doing just that in the case of Japan, identifying the organizations that are doing the best work but that may not have access to tremendous fund raising abilities. He writes:
This page is dedicated to helping the survivors of the Friday 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan by channeling international donations to local efforts.
The earthquake and tsunami have caused extensive and severe damage in Northeastern Japan, over 9,500 people have been confirmed dead and another 16,000 are missing, and millions more affected by lack of electricity, water and transportation.
The images of the destruction and suffering have shocked the world. However, with the World Bank reporting over 300 billion USD in damages and families torn apart there is a need for everyone to help both financially and emotionally.
A few weeks ago I made a plea to my readers to spread the word about helping Japan recover. My wife is from Tokyo and we are both professional aid and recovery workers with the United Nations. We have seen the recovery phase of the 2004 Tsunami up close and we know there is a tremendous need to not only raise donations but to make sure those funds are used responsibly and are in the hands of organizations with not only technical expertise but also local knowledge.
How You Can Help
A lot of people around the world want to help and have been donating to various international organizations (mainly the American Red Cross). I think this is great and with the money being transferred to the Japanese Red Cross this money will be used well. However, we also believe there is a need to donate funds directly to local Japanese organizations and NGOs that don’t have access to this type of fund raising. There are also many scams out there trying to benefit from this horrible disaster. We know that language barriers and lack of knowledge can also prevent people from donating to the right place. As such we have put together a list of Japanese Organizations that we know and trust.
Japanese Organizations We Trust
Please consider donating to one or more of these organizations. All are local Japanese organizations and we have found the English Pages for you. Even a small amount like $10 is useful, but we hope you donate more!
Peace Winds Japan Tsunami Response Peace Winds Japan is one of the largest Japanese organizations providing humanitarian relief such as food, clothing, fuel and medical supplies to the affected areas. You can Donate Here.
JEN Tsunami ResponseJEN is a well known NGO dedicated to restoring a self-supporting livelihood both economically and mentally to those who have been stricken with hardship due to conflicts and disasters. They are currently supporting emergency relief items such as food, woman’s hygienic items, clothes and other essentials to the survivors of the Japan Tsunami. You can Donate Here.
JOICFP Response to the Japanese TsunamiThe Japan Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning is taking donations for their response to the tsunami that will focus on the reproductive health needs of women and mothers in affected areas. You can Donate Here.
The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA Japan) team is delivering essential medical services through mobile clinics and delivering relief goods to the nursing homes and schools (evacuation shelters) in Aoba and Miyagino Wards. You can Donate Here.
Habitat For Humanity Japan is still assessing the situation but will be involved in the reconstruction of housing once the emergency period ends. This is one of the most vital aspects of recovery and the homeless will need a lot of help to put their lives back together. You can Donate Here.
All of these are worthy organizations to support and you can match your own personal interests to the organization that you think will work the best on what you want to support. Even if you are unable to donate please pass this on through social media, word of mouth or even in print.
Thank you from my family and friends who have been affected by this terrible disaster.