Tsunami relief in Japan

Minamisanriku April 2011

Minamisanriku April 2011

Title Tsunami relief in Japan
Description Livelihood skills training and psychosocial care for survivors of the 2011 tsunami.
Status Completed
Dates Start: March 2012; End: December 2012
Implementing partner Asia Pacific Baptist Aid & Japan Baptist Union
Location Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Sector Relief


On 11 March 2011, a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami that decimated the coastal regions of north-eastern Japan. The destruction was unprecedented and the loss of life and property staggering – more than 15,000 were killed and almost 300,000 homes were completely destroyed. Over a year later, 300,000 people remain displaced, thousands are still missing, and many are in need of support to re-establish their lives.

In the coastal town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas worst affected by the tsunami, over 1,000 of the 17,000 residents were killed or recorded as missing. Many of the survivors have been left homeless, jobless and traumatised. Following the immediate response to the disaster in early 2011, long-term relief efforts are now in progress to help people rebuild their lives.


Cyan is working with Asia Pacific Baptist Aid (APBAid) and the Japan Baptist Union (JBU) to implement livelihood skills training and psychosocial care in the wake of the 2011 tsunami.

APBAid is the relief and development arm of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, formed in 1973 and covering 20 countries across Asia and the Pacific. APBAid will be supporting JBU in implementing the project and providing monitoring and evaluation.

Established in 1958, the JBU is comprised of a network of Baptist churches across the country. Working through churches in the local area, JBU set up a Disaster Coordination Committee to manage and coordinate the relief efforts for the tsunami, and Cyan is supporting one of their initiatives, OasisLife Care, which is helping survivors in the village of Numada.


Leather craft

Leather craft

Cyan has given a grant of £15,300 to support the work of OasisLife Care, a programme that was set up to teach tsunami survivors handicraft skills for income generation and to provide psychosocial support through a trained counsellor, staff and volunteers.

This type of support is vital for helping disaster victims to cope with all that the earthquake and tsunami destroyed, and to help people to rebuild their community and support each other into the future.

The work is focussed in the village of Numada, near the coastal town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture, where many of the tsunami survivors of this fishing and farming community lost their livelihoods.


Leather key rings

Leather key rings

This disaster recovery programme started in March 2012, one year after the tsunami, and lasted for nine months.

The leather handicrafts income generation programme has reached out to ten women, enabling them to gain a small income and also to benefit from sharing and listening to each other. Due to this success, the model will be replicated to impact more people in the area. Psychosocial support has helped families impacted by the earthquake and tsunami, a particularly important aspect of the recovery work as depression was becoming increasingly common for those living in temporary accommodation.

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