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Kumamoto Situation Update

Place to Grow is currently planning our first assessment team trip to the area to investigate the situation, make connections, and support in a non-first responder role. We will be evaluating locations for a Place to Grow presence on the ground in the coming weeks and months as the situation transitions into a post-disaster recovery phase.

It will be critical that NPO's prepare for the needs of the communities after the immediate media, national, and public interest wanes.  Please give generously to support us in this effort.

Please donate to support our Kumamoto outreach and post-disaster planning efforts.

Download the Place to Grow Kumamoto situation evaluation plan here.


Situation and Need

When destruction and chaos overflow into ones life a chain reaction starts. As governments and aid agency respond to immediate needs. Media will soon turn the lights off and move on. What starts with urgent first aid, relief and rebuilding for the survivors can quickly turn into an intense cycle of hopelessness, and dependency on outside help. Confusion gives way to loss of purpose, and in the worst cases long periods of depression lead to increased suicide rates and lonely disconnected lives.

When you come out of a life altering traumatic experience and you've lost hope and family, property and stability. It’s vital to feel connected and to become re- inspired. To do this we need shared experiences, to feel like we are part of a team again, to know that people are rooting for us, but also that people are counting on us.

Many of the efficient procedures of emergency response laid out for managing the situation end up having negative long term effects. Fostering disunity and tension within the already fragile communities. 


On-the-Ground Assessment (April 29-May 4th)

The assessment team will determine areas of need in the chaotic state of the region, it will liaise with local leaders and visiting NGO’s to understand the scope of impact and the fabric of the region in terms of geography, demography, culture, structure and industry.

Through in person and online communication a specific type of program is built. Outside volunteers continue to visit and support the local leaders with setting up the structure and in developing new or (reigniting old) community ties.

A workshop series is set up with monthly activities for children and these activities offer parents and the elderly of the community an opportunity to get involved. Together with outside volunteers intergeneration learning and self esteem building is developed. The curriculum fosters a strong love and pride in local culture while the cooperation with foreigners and international residents helps the young and old to learn communication and culture exchange. 

Summary

Disasters are accelerators for existing social problems and the aftermath becomes a torrential and chaotic scramble to try and solve them all. What we have seen is that survivors dealing with grief and despair need outside support to weather the storm and to successfully set up networks that will last.

Partners in rebuilding a sustainable and empowering future “ 

We thank you in advance for your continued support to create a world where survivors are inspired and connected throughout recovery.