Foreigners continue volunteer activities since the disaster | 福島県避難者生活支援・相談センター はあとふる・ふくしま

社会福祉法人 福島県社会福祉協議会 避難者生活支援・相談センター

Foreigners continue volunteer activities since the disaster


Various volunteer activities of Filipinos self-help groups – we gain strength by cheering up people around us

▲These are volunteer activities in Dateshi, Datehigashi’s temporary housing facility. Members performed traditional Filipino dance in a jaunty rhythm, and received a big hand from the audience.

HAWAK KAMAY FUKUSHIMA is a self-help group made up of Filipinos living in Fukushima.
“After the earthquake, we wanted to have a group in which members help each other, and set it up in April last year. The name of the group in Tagalog means ‘Let’s hold hands’,” said Kathryn Doria Goto, chairperson of the group

▲Ms. Goto, chairperson, on the right

The first activity, was to provide information on Facebook, so worried members would know what to do and where to go.
“Once members have information, they will know what they should do, and as a result become calm,” said Kathryn.

The fact they could communicate in their mother language was comforting as well.
Through the group, they were able to get in touch with a Filipino group in Nagoya, and received rice and water from that group.
“Mothers with small children were very happy to receive the food.”
They were then able to help people in more dire situations than themselves, and went to the temporary housing facilities to cook for these people in need.

“Next was education. They want to create a free school based on Montessori education*, where daily conversation is in English, so that the Fukushima children will be able to go out into the world.”
At present, Ms. Goto is being trained as a Montessori teacher and preparing to open the school. The group has regained its strength by “holding hands” and working on its dream.

*Montessori education is an education that brings out children’s potential.

Hawak Kamay Fukushima at 090-8257-0823

▲Everyone was captivated by their sweet voices.
Fun karaoke time!

▲These are members who look into volunteer needs and visit the temporary housing facilities once every month. Today the menu is spaghettis and sandwiches.