Filed under: Architecture for Humanity

“When we arrived, we found that the village had virtually nothing”: Global Giving Partners

Leave a Comment April 7, 2011

I want to start this post off by introducing a great organization: Globalgiving.org. I am sure many of our readers are aware of this site already, but it is a nonprofit organization that aims to “build an efficient, open, thriving marketplace that connects people who have community and world-changing ideas with people who can support them”. It links the donors to excellent grassroots organizations, and allows for the donors to track what the organizations are doing with their money with regular updates on their site.

After the Japan earthquake/tsunami, Global Giving has set up their own fund, as well as other projects that donors can directly donate to. See how to donate to them at the DONATE TO JAPAN link at the top of our page.

The rest of this post will share a personal story by one of the volunteers, as well as introduce the efforts of some of the organizations that Global Giving is endorsing that we have not reported on yet.

Here’s a list of all of Global Giving’s partners:

Association of Medical Doctors of Asia
Peace Winds
Japan Platform
Save the Children
Telecom for Basic Human Needs
International Medical Corps
Japanese Emergency NGOs
Civic Force
Association for Aid and Relief
Lifeline Energy
Architecture for Humanity

You can see what they have done by navigating with the category links on the right.

International Medical Corps helping in Ogotsu

This touching story that was posted by a volunteer, John Ferguson in International Medical Corps.

When we arrived, we found that the village had virtually nothing.

Roughly 75 percent of the town had been completely destroyed by the tsunami; 1,300 people are living in 16 evacuation sites, some of which house as many as 600 people. Electricity is available only at sites that have generators, and cell phone service is still out.   On top of this, 50 percent of Ogotsu’s population is older than 60, creating a need for consistent medical care and management of chronic illnesses…

The next day, we woke up determined to get what they needed. We bought two washing machines, two water tanks, laundry detergent, hangers, plates, and chopsticks and hit the road back to Ogotsu, where we were directed to one of the 16 evacuation centers.

When we got there, people poured out to see us. A group of ladies soon surrounded me and asked me all kinds of questions. I told them I was from American and came to help.   Then one of the ladies said she had lost her daughter to the tsunami. Another woman said she had lost her house and her cat.

Despite their tragic losses, the women were all smiles and giggles. One of the women reminded me that laughter was the best medicine of all, not just for them, but for everyone involved, including me.

I wanted to share this story because I want those who supported our emergency relief efforts in Japan to know that,  because of their support, we were not only able to provide the people of Ogatsu with what they needed, but were also able to give them something priceless – hope. They know now that the world cares and is trying to help.

And there is no better gift than that.

(quoted directly from their blog post)

You can read more on what they have done in yesterday’s blog post.

Telecom for Basic Human Needs (BHN)

BHN borrowed an ambulance from a hospital that the head of the organization ran, and sent doctors, nurses, and a telecommunications specialist to Natori-city, Miyagi. At the farm house that the staff stayed at for a night, the staff received rice from the farmer to donate to the people there. After meeting with doctors from Tohoku International Clinic, the team took care of 100 or so patients within the week. Ito, the telecommunications specialist, stayed behind to help out; he was from Ibaragi himself, and his house was affected by the earthquake.The doctors are continuing to go around the severely affected areas in the ambulance to see those who need medical help.

Also, they have released a statement that they will start providing temporary internet facilities near Iwate prefecture to provide aid for the local government there. You can see their website here.

Lifeline Energy

This organization is distributing 15,000 Polaris  all-in-one radio, light and cell-phone chargers by early April. This will be extremely important for the people in remote places who still do not have access to current information; the survivors will be able to use the radio to get more information about support services, radiation levels, and other crucial things. The light and phone charger will also help where electricity is still not at its full capability. More updates will presumably come after the Polaris have been distributed. Read more about them here.

Architecture for Humanity

Not many immediate updates yet, as they will enter Japan and start building once Japan transitions from the relief phase to the recovery phase in emergency rebuilding. However, they have already entered Sendai and is conducting door-to-door needs assessments to determine what is necessary to make the rebuilding process as smooth as possible. Not only will they build houses for the displaced, but will also work  with professionals to design safe and sustainable community buildings, health clinics, schools, and hospitals. Updates will be posted later on, and you can check their website here.

Please support Global Giving and all of their fantastic nonprofits partners by donating. Click here for our page on a compilation of donation options!


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