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Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund


Projects Funded

The Japan NGO Earthquake Relief & Recovery Fund is supporting Japanese nonprofit organizations that are helping communities recover from the March 11 disaster. Funding has been provided to the following 39 groups.


1) Support for Long-Term Recovery

Funding is focused on three priority issues:

Rebuilding Community Ties—strengthening community-based organizations and restoring community members' sense of identity and esteem;

Revitalizing the Economy—finding innovative approaches to restart commerce and create jobs; and

Supporting Senior Citizens—promoting innovative efforts to better empower seniors and ensure their physical and mental wellbeing.


Some projects in this category have been made possible by the BTMU Americas Community Recovery Award, while the MetLife Foundation has provided special support for a number of projects that empower senior citizens, and other funders have played a key role in underwriting grants to one or more of these groups.


  • @Rias NPO Center (Community Bus Project)—Much of the public transportation has been destroyed in Kamaishi, Iwate, so the @Rias NPO Center is purchasing and operating community buses to allow youth to take part in after-school activities, sports, and educational programs. The buses are also used for senior citizens who have no transportation. This was made possible by special funding from Bingham, LLC.

  • AidTAKATA (Radio FM Rikuzentakata)—The grant funds the operations of Radio FM Rikuzentakata, one of the region's only local radio stations, in order to better engage community members in the reconstruction process and to provide information and entertainment for residents. The radio station broadcasts a wide range of programming including area news and community affairs, local folklore, interviews with residents, and city council meetings. For more information...

  • Art Revival Connection TOHOKU (ARCT)—This grant allows ARCT, an arts group active in the disaster recovery in Miyagi Prefecture, to create and host participatory programs each month for senior citizen facilities in the city of Higashi-Matsushima, and it also supports the performances of a 20-person theater troupe that consists of senior citizens from Sendai. The performances encourage interaction and help strengthen community ties. For more information...

  • Fuji Social Welfare Foundation—Kitchen Car Project—The foundation received funding for its "Kitchen Car Project," offering low-fee rental food trucks to local chefs in Kamaishi who have lost their restaurants. The project, funded in part by the Japan America Society of Indiana, will eventually provide a path back to restaurant ownership for these chefs, and more immediately helps employ them and keeps them from leaving the region. For more information...

  • Fukushima Organic Agriculture Network—The Fukushima Organic Agriculture Network is working to integrate farmers displaced by the nuclear accident – many of whom are senior citizens – into the local community by matching them with local farmers who need employees. They also run a number of other programs to strengthen farming communities, such as teaching safer farming techniques and distributing accurate information on Fukushima produce. For more information...

  • Kamaishi Platform—Coastal Community Project: Support for Artisanal Oyster Farming—Kamaishi Platform has been working to help revive Kamaishi's oyster industry, which was devastated by the 14-foot tsunami waves that struck the town. This grant supports an initiative to restore that industry by building connections between small artisanal oyster producers in Kamaishi and Tokyo-based consumers and restaurants. The customers make contributions to support the rebirth of the industry and in return receive an allocation of oysters for the next 10 years. For more information...

  • Leading Aging Society Forum—Funding has been provided to support the forum's "Coordination Platform for Senior Citizens Health and Welfare," an initiative to survey the actual needs of seniors and ensure that none slip through the cracks as different agencies try to respond to their various needs. They have been targeting seniors who remained in their homes rather than living in temporary housing, compiling a database of people's health and needs in an effort to prevent isolation and suicides, and to revive the community. For more information...

  • SakuraNet (Pilot Project of Rural Senior's Center)—SakuraNet is coordinating a joint effort by several groups to rebuild a community center to be used primarily by senior citizens in an isolated area outside of Miyako City. Reconstruction funds for senior centers are typically focused only on city centers, but this provides care closer to the hamlets where many of the region's seniors live. For more information...

  • Sanaburi Foundation—The Sanaburi Foundation was launched in 2011 as the Tohoku region's first community foundation, and funds are going to strengthen its institutional base, conduct outreach, and reach sustainability. The aim of the foundation is to channel funds from inside and outside the region to community-based projects and, by doing this, strengthen the foundations of Tohoku's nonprofit sector. As of June 2012, it had already channeled funding to 20 nonprofit groups working on the disaster recovery. For more information...

  • Sankaku Planning Iwate (Delivery Care Project)—The "Delivery Care Project" hires unemployed women affected by the disasters to provide shopping services to other survivors—many of them disabled senior citizens—who have lost their homes and now live in temporary housing without transportation or other means to go out to purchase groceries and daily necessities. Through regular contact, the project staff can also keep track of the physical and mental health of their clients, who may otherwise be at risk of becoming isolated from their community. For more information...

  • Takagi Fund for Citizen Science—The Takagi Fund received a grant to educate and promote collaboration among mothers' groups, neighborhood associations, and other grassroots organizations that are dealing with radioactive contamination following the accident at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. The goal is to help communities make informed decisions that will help them lead healthy and secure lives. For more information...

  • World in Asia (WiA)—This nonprofit created shortly after the 3.11 disaster received a grant to solidify its efforts in support of social entrepreneurship. WiA's mission is to offer a new model for scaling up the work of local entrepreneurs to address the critical challenges facing the Tohoku region as they try not only to recover from the devastation of the earthquake, but also to create employment, provide services for the aging population, and encourage the rebuilding of community ties. For more information...


2) Special Program: Aiding Children and their Families

JCIE and MetLife Alico Japan launched a special one-year program to help children and their families to cope with the recovery process. The program is made possible by donations from MetLife Alico employees, and it provided one-year grants to 21 Japanese groups for the grant period April 1, 2012—March 31, 2013. For more information...



3) Emergency Relief

A total of $304,000—half of the initial general contributions to the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund during the first three months, from March to June 2011—was distributed through the Give One campaign to six leading organizations involved in the relief effort. These organizations played key roles in providing food, shelter, healthcare, counseling, and other support for people affected by the disaster throughout the Tohoku region.


  • Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR, Japan)—An association that provides emergency assistance to those in need around the world, AAR provided food and other goods with a particular focus on people with disabilities.

  • Association of Medical Doctors in Asia (AMDA)—An organization of health professionals, AMDA dispatched doctors and nurses to the earthquake zone to provide desperately needed medical attention.

  • Japan Platform—A coalition of 32 humanitarian NGOs, the Japan Platform coordinated the emergency response by NGOs, corporations, and government agencies, appealing to all sectors in Japan for support.

  • JEN—An NGO dedicated to building global peace by helping those affected by natural disasters, JEN provided hot food to people in shelters with a particular focus on children, while undertaking other activities.

  • Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development (NICCO)—A Kyoto-based disaster response organization, NICCO provided mobile clinics and portable toilets and distributed hygienic goods.

  • PeaceWinds Japan—A humanitarian organization providing support for victims of natural disasters, PWJ provided free access to satellite phones and distributed food, water, blankets, and medical supplies.