|INJM Working on a landslide-relief project in Onagawa town.|
|Jamie (far right) welcoming a new group of volunteers to INJM HQ.|
|Long-term volunteer Manish already muddy by 10:00am.|
|Half-restored INJM house in late-September|
|Knocking down a wall on a recent project.|
- Encouraging volunteering – They do this by offering assistance in coming in terms of advice and logistical support.
- Salvaging homes in the Ishinomaki area – In many cases, only the ground floor of the home was flooded, and in some cases soaked in sea water for up to three days. Months later, the building materials are waterlogged and rotting, and must be removed. This means removing the walls, ceiling, insulation, and flooring, then the 3-5cm layer of mud that is under everything.
Normally, this kind of work would be undertaken by a professional builder, but because of the enormous number of damaged homes, the waiting list to get a professional builder is extremely long, and the process is costly. They work with experienced volunteers (several of which are trained builders) to perform this manual labor and gut houses, taking them one step closer to being liveable.
For some families, they have been living on the second floor of their damaged home for months, passing through the rotting and hazardous first floor daily. Making it safe and clean is a significant improvement for these people.
- Salvaging homes further afield – INJM work with both local groups in central Ishinomaki and in more remote areas of the region. They have identified the need for this kind of service in towns across the Oshika Peninsula.
- Delivering fresh fruit and vegetables to areas that don’t have access to such things. Now that the Winter is coming, INJM has begun focusing on the distribution of Winter coats, kerosene heaters, and running a 'kerosene pickup and delivery service' for residents of refugee shelters and temporary housing units without access to a car.
|INJM volunteers helping a local sake-shop owner restore her business.|
F.U.E – Frequently Used ExcusesBelow you can find some of the most common reasons people use to not come. They all have a valid basis, but after reading below, I think you’ll find that in actual fact, there’s nothing to worry about!I’m worried I’ll find something really scary in the rubble!!The Self Defense Force has cleared most of the large debris in Ishinomaki. Most of the work we do is clearing mud that is 2-4cm thick from homes and properties. You might find something that is emotionally troubling, for example people’s personal belongings or photographs, but it is unlikely you’ll find something truly troubling with the kind of work we do.I don’t have any experience!!Everyone has to start somewhere! You will always have someone experienced working with you who can answer your questions and tell you what to do and how to do it. It’s not too difficult, and after a day you’ll quickly learn what needs to be done, and will be able to teach new volunteers yourself.I’m not very strong!!You won’t be asked to do anything you can’t do. Some jobs do require strength, but if you aren’t cut out for that, there are plenty of things you can do. Plenty of women and older people work with us!I don’t have any equipment!!All the professional building equipment will be provided. Please look here for what you should bring!I can’t book a bus, I don’t read Kanji!!Contact us with your dates and we can arrange someone to do that for you.I don’t speak Japanese/English!!That’s OK! On the work site we will always make sure you understand what you’re supposed to be doing, and there are plenty of people around who can help out if you don’t understand.