The Japan Society in New York City has announced a fifth round of grants totaling $2.1 million through its Japan Earthquake Relief Fund to bolster relief and recovery efforts more than a year after an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster devastated Japan's northeast coast.
Grants were awarded to eight organizations — including seven first-time grantees — working in the areas of economic and community revitalization and mental health services. To date, the society's earthquake relief fund has awarded thirty-four grants totaling $9.4 million to twenty-seven organizations. The latest recipients include the Fukushima Organic Agriculture Network, which is working to decontaminate local farmland and improve farming in the region; MAKOTO, which will use its grant to establish a co-working and support facility for entrepreneurs; and Rias no Mori, which focuses on restoration and community-building efforts that take into consideration the area's educational, environmental, economic, and welfare needs and will use its funds to create an activity center.
Grants also were awarded to Ganbatte 365, which works to help people in the affected areas tell their stories of recovery and renewal through video and teaches children technology and presentation skills through the medium of storytelling; the Japan Community Cinema Center, which will use its funds to provide cultural and emotional support and build solidarity in the region through screenings of classic and contemporary films; the Japanese Society of Certified Clinical Psychologists, which will use its grant to provide psychological support programs in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures; and Kokoro no Sodanshitsu, a collaborative effort of medical professionals and spiritual leaders that provides psycho-social support to residents of the region through toll-free telephone consultations and a radio program. In addition, the society awarded a third grant to ETIC in support of a fellowship program that matches those with expertise in branding or IT with businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits.
"While progress has been made sixteen months after Japan's triple disasters, the work is far from over," said Japan Society president Motoatsu Sakurai. "As the hard work of recovery and the complex process of rebuilding move forward, we continue to put emphasis on areas where we see great need and where we think our support can have long-term impact: mental health services and economic and community revitalization projects."