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OPERATIONSAFE ASSESSMENT TEAM REPORT FROM ZAMBOANGA, PHILIPPINES

Two pastors from the Philippine Children’s Ministry Network travelled last week to the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao where two months previously rebel forces burned portions of the city and up to ten thousand residents had lost their homes.  They were sent to do assessment of needs and find appropriate partners and venues for OperationSAFE child trauma camps, visiting Barangays Santa Barbara, Lustre and Santa Catalina and the evacuation centre called the “Grandstand”.  In the town proper, they interviewed children who were begging and discovered that they were evacuees from Rio Hondo where their homes were destroyed by the recent armed conflict.

Pastor Cesar Lubrico of Tondo Blessed Hope Bible Baptist Church asks for prayers, “Let’s pray that the childrens’ plight for home, food, education, and health are not set aside.” The crisis in Zamboanga has been dwarfed by this month’s typhoon that has affected millions in the Philippines, but the children’s needs still remain.

Interviews with both children and adults leads to the conclusion that their trauma is not over yet.  The appearance of helicopters in the sky, the crash of a heavy falling object, thunder and ambulance sirens all trigger fright and apprehension.

Zamboanga, Mindanao will receive OperationSAFE child trauma camps in December.  Please pray for the children and for those who are ministering to them.

OPERATIONSAFE CHRISTMAS IN SENDAI

 

Our team is heading to Sendai to hold a special OperationSAFE Christmas event with children at Seaside Chapel, a church that was swept away with it’s entire community in the tsunami.

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In the summer of 2011 after the tsunami, CRASH Japan began holding OperationSAFE child trauma camps with children affected by the tsunami and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.  OperationSAFE introduces children to the cute character Pete as he is separated from his family and meets new friends, and helps them to process their own complex series of emotions after trauma.

Follow up events held at Christmas and Easter help children review what they have learned and keep contact with ongoing care through the local church.

 

PETE’S ADVENTURE: STORY HELPS CHILDREN THROUGH TRAUMA

“PETE’S ADVENTURE”

It was the fall of 2007 and we had just responded to back-to-back earthquakes along the sea of Japan when we got a call from World Vision Japan. They were working on a plan to implement their Child-Friendly-Space concept in Japan and were eager to hear how we were able to mobilize volunteers in a country where volunteerism is still in its infancy. I shared how although most Japanese consider disaster volunteers to be rugged heroes out for adventure, the real key to mobilization is to help normal people use their every-day talents in extraordinary situations. As they shared more about the Child-Friendly-Space, ideas started firing off in my educator’s brain and I knew that I needed to dive into this more deeply.

Child-Friendly Spaces provide a disaster’s youngest survivors with a safe place to play, participate in structured activities, and experience healing from any trauma and loss they’ve experienced. They also allow children to return to healthy routines and experience a sense of normalcy again. [World Vision]

As I rode the train home that day to my house on the outskirts of Tokyo, my head was full of how to help children recover from trauma at their level, through play, art, songs and crafts and how they could make friends and return to some level of normal childhood behavior after such a traumatic event. Some things started to solidify in my mind and I realized that it would need a theme, lovable characters, a story, and clear slogans that children could retain. It would also need to be structured in such a way that local volunteers could be rapidly trained to confidently meet the needs of the children. The design was taking shape, but I still had no idea what the characters or the story would look like.

In early 2008, Graham Fleming, an artist and film director friend, surprised me by coming into my office with a sketchpad full of concept drawings. I had almost forgotten the ideas I had shared with him months before. He had drawn whole pages of penguins and seals and an arctic (or antarctic) landscape and we hit upon the idea of creating a culturally-neutral story so that we could use the same material in any country where children had suffered trauma. The theme was coming into place, as well as some of the characters but I was still at a loss to know what the story would become.

On May 12th, 2008, a magnitude 8.0 quake devastated Sichuan, China and we went to support the general relief effort taking place. As I met children who had seen school buildings collapse, friends and family die, and were dealing with relocation and living in evacuation camps I knew that we had to follow through with the idea that had been germinating within me. I promised our local friends that we would be back in four weeks with a program for the children and flew back to Tokyo thinking feverishly how to write a story that would bring these children what they needed.

With four weeks and little more than a concept to work off of I found myself sitting in a Japanese hot-spring when inspiration struck. The ideal method for teaching children is to introduce one key idea per day over five days and then reinforce that idea through activities. As I sat in the scalding water I realized that trauma intervention for adults uses five steps, and we could adapt this to a child’s level introducing one step per day. On the first day our little penguin Pete would be separated from his family when his ice shelf falls into the sea (disaster) but he will soon find out “I am Not Alone”. On the second day, the theme is “Everyone is Important” and Pete would need to make friends and tell his story. The third day introduces the concept of hope and a wise old whale who teaches them children to “Follow and Believe”. The fourth day brings new challenges but they learn to be “Strong and Courageous” And finally on the fifth day, Pete and the children find out that “You are Loved”.

With no electricity and the need to present the story to large numbers of children we decided to use the traditional Japanese story-telling technique of “kamishibai”, a set of cards with a large picture on the front and the story written on the back. With 5 days and 10 illustrations per day we needed to write the script, draw the illustrations and create the final artwork for 50 panels in four weeks! On top of this task we also needed to design activities, games, crafts and songs and translate everything into Mandarin Chinese. With help from manga artists in Japan, songwriters in America, translators in China and many other volunteers we were back on the plane to Sichuan within a month to start OperationSAFE camps with quake survivors.

Pete returned the following year to continue camps with children in Sichuan, became “Pierre” in Haiti to help children after the 2010 earthquake there and was translated into Tibetan and used in camps on the plateau. Since the 2011 disaster in Japan, “Pi-chan” has helped hundreds of children recover from tsunami and nuclear trauma. “Petrus” is now going into detention centres in Indonesia to help refugee children and “Pedro” is responding to disasters in the Philippines, including Typhoon Haiyan. Where will he go next? Everywhere in the world where there are disasters, either natural or man-made, Pete and his friends are able to bring a fun and child-like approach to recovering from trauma.

CRASH PLANS RESPONSE TO TYPHOON HAIYAN WITH CHILD TRAUMA CAMPS

Considered as the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in many years, Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) made six landfalls on 7th of November causing widespread devastation. CRASH Japan is partnering with the Philippine Christian Ministries Network, a commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, to hold OperationSAFE child trauma camps in the affected region. These camps will be held once basic needs of food, shelter, medicine and security are met and will help children to process the terrible events they have been through, meet new friends and move toward recovery. 

HOW BAD IS IT REALLY?

  • 13.2 Million People Affected
  • 9 Regions, 44 Provinces, 57 Cities, 574 Municipalities
  • 5.6 Million People Displaced
  • 4,011 Casualties, 18,557 Injuries, 1,602 Missing
  • 846,747 Damaged Homes

THE PHILIPPINE CHILDREN’S MINISTRY NETWORK

Just two days before Typhoon Haiyan struck, we held OperationSAFE child trauma camp training in Manila with the national network of children’s ministries. Over four days we taught them the five themes of children’s trauma recovery and the songs, games, crafts and stories that make it both fun and healing. We also instructed them in emotional and spiritual care for disaster survivors and for those who minister to them. It was a timely seminar and many of these workers are now responding to the immediate needs and preparing for OperationSAFE camps to come.

From Facebook…

13th(Fri) Our team visited a house to get rid of dirts in their yard.

2019年11月13日(金)

九キ災嬉野センター(嬉野キリスト教会)での ミーティングの後、金立町に出発。地域に近づくと、遠くから山の中腹に金刀比羅神宮が見えてくる。川の写真にあるように、上流の河川が決壊し、土砂が直ぐ下の道の両側の複数の家屋と庭に流れ込んでいた。

早速Aさん宅にての作業が始まる。土砂をスコップでとり、一輪車に乗せ、それをトラックに載せ、土砂置き場まで移動し、降ろす作業を繰り返す。初日の作業は10:30から15:00まで。社協のボランティア10数人も本日からこの地域に入っていた。
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台風の影響で、停電や断水、通信障害の被害の大きかった千葉県南房総地区にある諸教会を、日本福音同盟(JEA)援助協力委員会の村上委員長とCJの理事2名で訪問。訪問時は停電は解消していましたが、大変な状況の中で、先生方には被災時のお話を分かち合って頂きました。最後に今後の復旧の為に祈りの時をもたせて頂きました。
 訪問教会(順番に)は、1、インマヌエル木更津キリスト教会(宮崎聖輝師・和子師)、2、インマヌエル館山キリスト教会(斎藤園子師・義信師)、3、日本同盟基督教団館山教会(李京奭師)、4、館山聖アンデレ教会(聖公会:吉川智之司祭ーご不在で司祭夫人にお話しを聞かせて頂く)、日本ホーリネス教団袖ヶ浦キリスト教会(盧俊煥師)。
 東京電力の報告にあるように、停電復旧まではまだ時間を要します。ライフライン(特に電気)は、いのちに関わる事柄ですので、一日も早い回復と、被災された方々の日々の生活の支えを、お祈り申し上げます。
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Report on 12th Sep. about Disastef Relief activity in Saga Prefecture.Prayers and volunteers are appreciated.
9月12日の佐賀の様子を報告します。
Volunteer application page information is at the bottom.
また、ボランティア募集の情報が下の方にあります。ご覧ください。

また、関東での被災状況の情報を集めております。メッセンジャーでご連絡くだされば感謝です。
If you have any information or having affected by Typhoon this past week in Kanto area, please let us know.

お祈りとご支援に感謝申し上げます。
Thank you for your prayer and support.

2019年9月12日
佐賀ボランティアセンター
ボランティアセンター作業開始3日目

午後、嬉野ベースの藤野師、九キ災とともに、佐賀司牧会に参加いたしました。

司牧会の牧師先生方とともに、佐賀の被害の回復、佐賀県のネットワークについて、武雄の教会について祈りました。

また、佐賀の金立の土砂災害への支援についても祈りました。多くのボランティアが必要です。

ボランティアの募集要項は、こちら(https://kyusyuchristdrc.wixsite.com/kumamoto/blank-12)から申請することができます。是非ご参加ください。
You can apply for the volunteer work from the link above.

また、お車でお越しの方は、事前に高速道路無料措置化の所定の用紙をダウンロードすることをおすすめします。九キ災嬉野ベースでの働きを終えられたあと、社会福祉協議会で作業をされれば、高速道路無料措置化の手続きをすることが出来ます。帰りの道は行きと同じである必要がありますが、ぜひご検討ください。

その他の支援参加もできます。九キ災の嬉野ベースについてのページをご覧ください。

皆さまのお祈りとご支援に感謝申し上げます!
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