Rissho Kosei-kai Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace Aids NGO Relief
The Executive Committee of Rissho Kosei-kai's Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace, chaired by Rev. Yuji Numata, director of the Dharma Missions Bureau, announced recently that it had decided to donate 14 million Japanese yen to four Japanese nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) giving relief in areas of northeastern Japan devastated by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
As a part of Rissho Kosei-kai's emergency aid for the recovery of disaster areas (500 million yen) announced on March 18, the Rissho Kosei-kai Fund for Peace had previously donated money as a token of sympathy to local governments in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures, where the damage was heaviest. The donations to the four NGOs are also part of Rissho Kosei-kai's emergency aid of 500 million yen. The money has been raised through members' participation in the Donate-a-Meal Movement.
The four NGOs are Jen (a Japanese multiorganizational nonprofit group), Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), the Japan Association for Refugees (JAR), and Peaceboat. Jen and JANIC will each receive five million yen, JAR and Peaceboat will each receive two million yen.
The executive committee is planning further donations according to the victims' needs and the conditions for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the devastated areas.
The current activities of the NGOs that will receive donations are as follows:
1. Jen, which has an office in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, supplies food to victims and arranges the removal of sludge and other debris in collaboration with volunteers from both Japan and abroad.
2. JANIC helps with the relief work of other NGOs and facilitates their communication with one another. JANIC also collects and provides information on the devastated areas and NGOs' activities and negotiates with local governments.
3. JAR helps foreign residents and refugees, who might be hampered by the language barrier. JAR provides information in nine languages, including Burmese and Turkish, through its Web site and leaflets. It also helps them with daily necessities, such as distributing food.
4. Peaceboat dispatches volunteers mainly to the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, where they distribute food and remove sludge and other debris. Its staff officers coordinate activities of volunteers by liaising between volunteers and NGOs and other groups in the city.
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