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CG: Japan Society Focuses on Healthcare, Children’s Needs in 2nd Round of Relief Funding
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July 20, 2011 - by NYC News Desk

Japan-Society-Focuses-on-Healthcare-Childrens-Needs-in-2nd-Round-of-Relief-Funding-20010101

Japan Society announced six organizations working in relief and recovery in Japan to receive $2.1 million in the second round of funding from the Society's Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (JERF).

The organizations-AFS Intercultural Programs Japan, Care Center Yawaragi, Japanese Medical Society of America, Japan Primary Care Association, Supporting Union for Practical-Use of Educational Resources, and the Tokyo Volunteer Network for Disaster Relief-will receive grants to strengthen their relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunamis that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.

"As we announced earlier, Japan Society has made it a priority to support NGOs and other organizations that focus on healthcare, including mental health services, as well as the needs of children," Japan Society President Motoatsu Sakurai said. "After intensive research and lengthy discussions, we are pleased to announce our support of these six organizations."

In addition to providing healthcare for the most in need-including the elderly, ill, disabled and pregnant-programs and services range from long-term support for local physicians to creating mental health clinics, serving those suffering from post-traumatic or pre-existing conditions. Additionally, organizations are setting up summer camp programs for children from Fukushima Prefecture. The six organizations to receive funds are as follows:

AFS Intercultural Programs Japan is a non-profit international exchange organization for students and adults. AFS Japan provides a wide range of programming, including summer camp programs, and school-based exchange and shorter summer programs for high school students. With support from JERF, AFS Japan will provide scholarships for students from the Tohoku region for long-term exchange programs to the United States.

Care Center Yawaragi is a non-profit organization in Tokyo that offers personalized home care services for the elderly, including group homes, short-stay services, day services, and home help services. In response to the March 11 disaster and with support from JERF, the organization will provide healthcare kits, including bicycles, ponchos, gloves, masks, and antiseptic, among other essentials necessary for healthcare providers in the region who care for the elderly, ill, disabled or pregnant. The healthcare workers will focus on those outside of the shelters who lack mobility or means and require home care.

Japanese Medical Society of America (JMSA) is a professional medical association of Japanese speaking doctors in New York. In partnership with the Fukushima Prefectural University Medical Center, it supports the Medical Center's "Kokoro no Care" program, a project to create community-based multidisciplinary mental health clinics. These clinics will provide mental healthcare to patients with symptoms resulting from the March 11 disaster, as well as those with pre-existing conditions.

Japan Primary Care Association is a professional society of medical practitioners, researchers and students that promotes best practices in the medical and health and welfare fields. In response to the Tohoku earthquake, the Japan Primary Care Association established the Primary Care for All Team (PCAT) to undertake medical relief work in the region. JERF supports PCAT teams-multidisciplinary healthcare teams headed by doctors-who provide medical care to evacuees in shelters and temporary housing, and to those in need in their homes. The healthcare teams also provide long-term support for local physicians in the region to ensure that patients have access to continued primary care, including a specialized team in obstetrics.

Supporting Union for Practical-Use of Educational Resources, in partnership with Abukuma NS Net, both of which run summer camps for children all over Japan, started the Fukushima Kids Summer Camp for first through ninth graders from Fukushima Prefecture who cannot enjoy the outdoors this summer due to radiation concerns. With support from JERF, an additional 200 students will participate in the Fukushima Kids Summer Camp in Hokkaido. The Supporting Union for Practical-Use of Educational Resources provided summer camp opportunities to children after the Hanshin Awaji and the Chuetsu earthquakes.

Additionally, Japan Society extended another round of funding to the Tokyo Volunteer Network for Disaster Relief, which is collecting and distributing emergency relief goods, setting up a base in Tome, Miyagi Prefecture, and is coordinating the work of approximately 3,000 volunteers who distribute emergency relief supplies and aid clean-up efforts.

The Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, launched on March 12, 2011, has received over $10 million from over 21,000 donors, including individuals, corporations and foundations. One hundred percent of the tax-deductible contributions to the Relief Fund go to organizations that directly help victims.

On March 30, Japan Society announced its first round of funding of $1 million to four Japanese nonprofit organizations on the front line of relief and recovery. In addition to the Tokyo Volunteer Network for Disaster Relief, they are JEN, Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC), and the Japan NPO Center.

"We have been rigorously monitoring the work of the fund recipients from the first round, and we are pleased with the progress these organizations are making," Mr. Sakurai said. Updates from the Relief Fund recipients can be found on the Society's website, www.japansociety.org/earthquake.

Japan Society Vice President of External Relations Daniel Rosenblum said the Society continues to explore opportunities to fund the work of organizations that benefit children affected by the March 11 disaster, as well as organizations involved in long-term reconstruction efforts.

"We are working on the selection process for a third round of funding and will be making an announcement sometime in the fall," he said.

The recovery and reconstruction process is likely to take five or even ten years, Mr. Sakurai said. "We are looking at a long-term process, and there is much uncertainty. But we are confident in the final analysis Japan will recover and thrive," he said.

Those wishing to donate to the fund can go to www.japansociety.org/earthquake or mail a check to Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, New York, New York 10017; Attn: Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Checks should be made payable to "Japan Society" and indicate "Japan Earthquake Relief Fund" on the memo line of the check. For additional information, email japanrelief@japansociety.org.

In a previous announcement, Japan Society pledged half of all admission sales made March 14 through June 30, 2011 (totaling $50,000) to the fund. In addition, the Society organized the April 9 CONCERT FOR JAPAN, which drew 2,400 visitors, was viewed by over 200,000 people live on Ustream, and raised over $88,000 for the fund.

Japan Society is an American nonprofit committed to deepening mutual understanding between the United States and Japan in a global context. Now in its second century, the Society serves audiences across the United States and abroad through innovative programs in arts and culture, public policy, business, language, and education. For more information, visit www.japansociety.org or call 212-832-1155


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