I swear, if I had the money and if I wasn’t in the middle of looking for a job, I would be calling InsideJapan Tours right now. Why? Because they just advertised a “Volunteer for Japan” package: http://www.insidejapantours.com/japan-small-group-tours/i-vol1/volunteer-for-japan/.
Quoting from their Facebook page:
How can I volunteer to help the Tohoku relief effort?
Among the kind words of support and financial contributions to our fundraising for Civic Force, since the Tohoku Tsunami struck we’ve heard this question time and time again.
Until now there’s not been an easy answer. The message from Japan was quite clear; for the time being, unskilled volunteers, although well-meaning, are better off staying at home. Especially if you can’t speak fluent Japanese. Let the professionals aid organisations do their job unhindered.
In the aftermath of other disasters such as the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami or the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, NGOs were swamped with inexperienced volunteers turning up with good intentions. Yet volunteers need managing and feeding, slowing down the whole process and perhaps taking valuable resources away from those most in need.
However now, two months after the Tohoku Tsunami, Japan’s priorities have changed. Essential life saving resources (food, shelter, medical supplies) have been distributed and today it’s time for the big clean up to begin. It’s time for people to rebuild their lives and salvage destroyed homes, towns and communities. And for they need as much help as they can get.
We are excited to announce our collaboration with the volunteer organisation RQ Citizens Disaster Relief Network Japan (RQ-CNJ). Together we will be running 4 day volunteering trips to Miyagi Prefecture
The 4 day project includes 3 nights accommodation in Matsushima sharing a Japanese-style room of 2-6 people; coach transfers to and from Tokyo; 3 meals a day and all necessary equipment: rain boots, rubber gloves, cap, dust mask, dust proof goggles. Groups, with a minimum of 8 participants, will be accompanied by an English speaking assistant throughout the 4 day itinerary.
Honestly, I wish I could go. I would love to be able to give something back to help the country which I love so much.
Click on the picture (which I borrowed from their website) to see all the details. Even if you can’t help physically, many people are still collecting monetary donations for Japan. For example, InsideJapan Tours are collecting here. It’s been two months already since the disaster happened. Let’s do whatever we can to help Tohoku rebuild.