Help to residents of temporary housing

The “Let’s Walk Together!” Project Part II
takes another step forward.

Original Japanese written by Fumi Kawamori, staffer
Kay Ikezumi, Secretary General
The English below translated from the original Japanese by HeedayThe English translation edited by Rev. Dr. Henry French, ELCA

Soon after the earthquake and tsunami devastations of March 2011, the Anglican-Episcopal Church in Japan kicked off the “Let’s Walk Together!” Project to “walk together” with the people who were affected by the tragedy. Then, two years later in 2013, the Church escalated the Project to “Part II,” covering the issues of Nuclear Power and Radiation as well. Concurrently, since 2013, the Church’s Tohoku Diocese has been running its “Daijini Tohoku (Take care, Tohoku),” another “walk-together” project under the same umbrella.

Until June 2015, “Daijini Tohoku” provided help to the evacuees from other places who were living in temporary housing at Gangoya, Fukushima. That June, our Project on Nuclear Power and Radiation took over those assistance activities and reorganized them under the name, “Support Center Shinchi-Gangoya.”

More specifically, “Daijini Tohoku” ran a facility called “Support Center Shinchi” at Yachigoya, Shinchi-machi, Soma-gun, Fukushima Prefecture. This facility was closed at the end of May 2015, and evacuee assistance moved to a new center located beside the Suginome-Gangoya temporary housing. The new location is about a 20 minute drive from the old Support Center. After the move, the “good ol’ staffers” are still there, working in the new center. Mr. Hiroshi Matsumoto is resident there, while Ms. Eiko Takagi, Ms. Junko Hata, and others still regularly visit the new center. The new facility hosts the Wednesday Café and other events. The new center also sends visitors to the residents of the temporary housing.

Opening up renewed Support Center Shinchi-Gangoya
/ Hiroshi Matsumoto

When we held a ceremony to close down the former Support Center on May 16th, 2015, speakers representing many different areas of concern expressed their gratitude for all the help the former facility provided over the preceding four years. Also, they spoke about their determination to “continue to work together” with us.
And now, since last June, our new facility, “Support Center Shinchi-Gangoya,” has been at work. Our mission remains the same as it was right after the March 2011 disaster, both in essence and in practice. It just cannot change. We simply listen to those who gather at our Center and provide whatever assistance we can. We hear them whether silently crying or shouting: “Please walk together with us in the years to come. Show us you care!”

~Opening ceremony of Support Center Shinchi-Gangoya~

The opening ceremony began at 10:00am, June 10th, 2015, in the meeting room of the Gangoya temporary housing. Among those present were the Bishop of the Tohoku Diocese and his wife, as well as Mr. Nakahara from Yokohama, Mr. Onuki from Yamagata, and Mr. Yashiro from Fukushima.

For more information, please visit the weblog of Support Center Shinchi-Gangoya.