About HARU

We provide assistance toward the reconstruction of Tohoku district, devastated by the quake and the following Tsunami on March 11, 2011.Many volunteer students of Tohoku University have joined us in this noble cause. Also, HARU have received official recognition from Tohoku University so that we are able to promote volunteer activities to meet community needs. In the future, we are switching our work to the long-term reconstruction with broad range of cooperation.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Volunteer Seminar Journal -special issue of introduction to volunteer-

Hi, I'm Y. Tsugawa from HARU Public Relations.

Recently, "Volunteer Seminar Journal -special issue of introduction to volunteer-" was published by Volunteer Assistance Division in Tohoku University. The journal introduces the volunteer groups associated with Tohoku University. New undergraduates were given the journal at an entrance ceremony.

We helped to edit the journal, especially to lay out and design, in order to make use of our past experience of HARU's paper. When editing the journal, we received many e-mails such as "I don't like the blank space.", "Balance will be good if..." and "You should add or change this like..." from the stuffs of Volunteer Assistance Division. The words sometimes inspired us, sometimes made us lose heart..., and we've finally finished up this!

We're very grateful for all the help of collaborators!

If you are interested in the journal, please contact us.

Best regards.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

HARU was officially commended on subsidizing project on student volunteering, by student support center foundation.

      Hello, this is Kaisumi from HARU Public Relations. It has been quite chill lately, that snow just does not know when to melt.

      Few days ago, HARU was chosen to be a subsidized project on student volunteering by student support center foundation, and was officially commended. The student support center aims at contributing Japanese advanced education by promoting realization of fulfilled student life of heart and humanity, through subsidizing activities related to student life. The student volunteering subsidizing project is one of them.

The commendation ceremony was held in Tokyo on 26th of January, to which our member Motoyama went;
“I feel that this certificate means evaluation on success of many people after HARU was founded. Many students from other universities also participated in the ceremony. A person who is from Miyagi and now going to school in Tokyo, told me that it was really reliable and grateful that HARU has been working hard since right after the earthquake.
              This time I received not only as a member of HARU, also for members that found HARU and all the volunteer students participated in any activities of HARU.”

              Now HARU is working on 3 projects: Study Support Project, Library Recovery Project, and Field Mustard Project. We are very grateful on this and keep on doing our best.

HARU Public Relations

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Waon Project

Hello everyone, happy New Year. This is Eto from Public Relations of HARU.

How did you spend your New Year holidays? For me I went back home, met my old friends, and spent days with my family. But the best thing I was looking forward every year is Wiener Philharmonic New Year Concert! I felt ‘the power of music’ again when I enjoy watching it. People enjoy beautiful harmony and performance, which get us more energy.

Now let me introduce “Waon Project” which is working for disaster area in Japan with the power of music.

Check their website out: http://www.waon-project.com/

The ‘Waon Project’ has two main objectives. The first, collecting unused instruments lying in the cellar at home, and delivering them to the disaster struck regions of Japan. Second, to hold events and concerts to collect donations, which is used to support the ‘Zero-One Project’.

I had a chance to talk with Masayoshi Higashi, a representative of this Waon Project.

Q1. What made you start this project?
A1. I went to the affected area two weeks after the earthquake. I don’t know why but I just thought I should go see there. Then I went around Arahama, Ishinomaki and I was really shocked when I saw the sight with my own eyes. It was totally different from what I knew from TV. . The sounds, stench, scale, the feeling beneath my feet, they were printed in my memory, and I felt that I need to engage myself in lending a helping hand.
After travelling to the affected area, I held a number of charity events and concerts, but at the same time, I realized that they had little influence to the disaster. Half an year later in early October, I went to the sites again and visited the city halls and shelters, to find out ‘what I could really do’. Since my occupation was a music teacher, I made use of my network and met colleagues in the region. There, I found out about the ‘Zero-One Project’, in which the victims themselves ran. Living in Shizuoka Prefecture, which is rather distant from the Tohoku region, I felt that participating in this project would be significant and meaningful. Thus, I decided to support the people who had been organizing musical events, to help rehabilitate North East Japan with the ‘Waon Project’.

Q2. How is the project working so far?
A2. Since this project started last November, there are yet to be achievements. However, as for collecting guitars, we now have over 10 and its number is gradually increasing. As for donations, we have tens of thousands, and they two are increasing by the day.
We have members operating in Shizuoka, Nagoya and Kyoto. 2012 is going to be a big year, as the group will begin fully-fledged activities, and we hope to expand outwards!

Q3. So what are you going to do? What’s your plan?
A3. There will be events held in various places to raise donations. At the same time, we will be looking for partner events to support our project. For further information, please take a look at our website, as we will be notifying from time to time

Q4. Please give us some words for people in the affected area.
A4. I hope that fun times as before or even better times than the past are soon to arrive!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

The 1st Volunteer Seminar

    Hello, I am Otsuka, HARU Public Relations.
    On 20th of this month, the 1st Volunteer Seminar organized by Tohoku University Student Volunteer Support Center. The purpose of this seminar is to make chance for undergraduate students, especially  1st and 2nd year students to participate in supporting affected area.

    Presentations were given by teams doing activities in Tohoku University, about affected area and introduction of their activities. Also they had light discussion having light meal.HARU had chance to participate in this seminar, as well as L&D Sendsi and Tohoku Law Net(TLN).

    First half was 40 minutes session and last half 40 minutes individual session after break. At the first half, representatives of each teams introduced their activities as panelists, and at the last half, each teams formed islands to talk about their activities. More than 30 students were participated to understand further about how volunteers are needed.

    A student who participated as representative of HARU said:"It has made a big step to spread this action to junior fellows, corroborating university and students. I want to see many junior fellows. It was great that I could find 2 students who wanted to do something but couldn't take a step!" 

    We would be happy if we could encourage students who participated in this seminar. Of course HARU our selves welcome those who are willing to act with us, in order to keep on working on support activities.

    This volunteer seminar will be held again. If you are willing to act but can't take a step, don't know what to do, or interested in volunteering, then you should come to the next seminar for sure.

Bonus article:
    Now Sendai Illumination Festival is held along Jozenji street.

    As a matter of fact, this festival was said to be difficult to be held this year, because a part of illumination was flown away by the tsunami. Fortunately, Tokyo Omotesando Illumination provided help so that it could be held this year.

    This indeed is light of "bond" as its Chinese character was chosen to this year's character. Though it's freezing in Sendai, I get warm looking at this light.

Few more days we have left for this year.
Don't loose hope! Merry Christmas, and have a happy new year:)

M. Otsuka

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pre-event of "しあわせきいろ"(Happiness of YELLOW)

This is Kaisumi from HARU  public relation.
Last night, we got snow and winter has come to our town, finally.
About a month ago, on 20th of Nov, I participated in an event at Watari town. I'd like to blog about it.

    As I also belong to HARU's "Field Mustard" project, and we got invitation to this event from Wakabayashi-san from Miyagi University. A company named "My Farm" from Kyoto hosted this event. Happiness of YELLOW is another project to plant field mustard, just like HARUs. This pre-event is for sowing seeds.

    It was b.e.a.utiful day! Thanks for warm sun, my coat seemed disappointed.
I got this cute badge!
   Before sowing, people offered us one of Wataris popular dish はらこ飯 (Harako-meshi), which is a bowl dish cooked with salmon roe and salmon. Since Ive eaten Harako-meshi at Watari before 3.11, it warmed up not only body but also my heart.

    First, we removed small rubble from field. Field was mixed with sea sand, and it was like that of beach.

    Farmers sorrow is unimaginable, but next spring, the plants will grow here firmly and strongly and make carpet of flowers. I felt so excited.
    Then, we made a long line to sow.

    It was fun sowing seeds with many people: University students from Sendai, volunteers who came all the way from Osaka and the farmers. We all work and pray together for reconstruction.

    By the time we wrapped up, strong wind was blowing from sea.
Lastly, Id like to thank Wakabayashi-san so much for inviting us to this event!

A. Kaisumi

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Field Mustard Project of HARU

    Hello, this is Kitazawa of HARU Public Relations.
Thank you all for reading our blog.
This time I would like to share one of the projects of HARU, Field Mustard Project.

    This is the first time sharing this project and it's about the end of the year, I would like to review the hole activity they have done. Please stay tuned till the end.
    The motivator was in July. A professor of agricultural department contacted us if we wanted to work on Field Mustard Project with him. We thought we first should see the place, so we participated in slime raking in July. I could hear from one of the participants:
"We have raked 1.4 ha paddy with 100 people including students and staffs of Tohoku University, Japan Red Cross, and NPO Miyagi Disaster Relief Volunteer Center. I thought there wouldn't be any grass because of brine damage, but there actually was full of grass."

"However it seemed like the ecological system was damaged, as we could see only few kinds were growing there. We felt the necessity of recovery from brine damage."
"Each participants shared roles and worked on them in silence. I felt it quite nice that we could corroborate with each other, although we were actually first met. However we could finish only 2/3of what we planed to finish. There were 100 people worked 5 hours. I came up with a question that 'how much percentage we have done today of the whole affected paddy?'"

"But at the same time, I thought all the participants felt that we could make progress even a step or half a step. I thought that we could deliver a warm light of hope to hearts of who hope reconstruction, which is another intensional of this Field Mustard Project."


    As this student have mentioned, even if we live in Tohoku, there so many things we don't know what's happening at coast side. Though many projects to help fields are introduced on media, still there are much much more fields or paddies undone. I didn't realize it until I went to the place.

    After this, HARU have decided to work on it together. After working on planting and thinning in October, now the field mustard have grown to here. (They look delicious already!)

    Besides, some people who were taking a walk talked to us looking interested. I realized that those people who live near here found it put forth buds, and will find swelling of buds and blooming of fine yellow first. NOT US!

    We are not going to Wakabayashi ward every day nor have we had much communication with local people. We have worked with some of them, but that I feel is not enough. So I planed on making a display to have local people know about us and watch the field mustard together. (We have just made the base the other day:)

    We are planning on placing the display on the field in a few weeks, after putting our introduction and some other stuff.
    Also we are planning on a event or something to go with blooming and harvesting of the field mustard, involving local people.
-How about sketching competition?
-Why don't we learn how the field mustards work for brine damage with local people from professors?
-How can we reduce to local people and farmers by events?

That is all for my report on its activity.

P.S. It was my first time going to Wakabayashi ward on this project.
Green grass was growing in the photo above because it was summer, in fall I saw many fields covered with tall, light brown grass. Normally they were having harvest season. That grass wasn't supposed to be there. I am participating in this for my wish to be any strength to farmers. So I am willing to hang on to this longer.

Sorry for being this report so long, but thank you for reading all through.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Conference by Students of Affected Area in Kagawa prefecture

    This is Fukumoto, HARU Public Relations.
    I would like to share this time about Conference by Students of Affected Area in Kagawa prefecture.

    This conference was organized by Team Kagawa Students, which is consist of voluntary students of medical school of Kagawa University. In this conference, 7. Students who are students of Tohoku University, Fukushima University and Fukushima Prefecture Medical College, and  were involved in volunteer activities on reconstruction from the earthquake gave presentation on their activities and their future works. From Tohoku University, 4 students who did activities in HARU right after the earthquake participated.
Conference room in Kagawa University Medical School
    At the conference, each students gave presentation about how it was and how  they did after affection, about the fact of volunteer activity and what problems the have, and so on. Though they were all students, they all had different situations such that one who stayed at university hospital to help out back-stage medical care, one who drove around evacuation centers to help transporting supplies, one who went along with university hospital doctors to help on-site medical care, one who organized events for children at makeshift houses.

    By exchanging opinions and having relations to each other in this atmosphere, I think we can find new point of view. As one who do activities on site, I thought we have to think about how it is now and how we should do in longer period of time.

    I have another thing to think; I want to tell especially to whom were not affected, as one who know the affected area of that time.

    What if you are hit by unexpected and unparalleled disaster tomorrow? If you are not prepared for that, you'll be too surprised to make right decisions. (in fact, I couldn't.)

Imagine if that happened to you town.

    What dangerous would happen? Disasters form several shapes other than this tsunami. Collapsing on buildings, landslides, derails of trains, traffic jam because of black out, not being able to go home because of traffic jam and so on. The first thing you need to do is to save yourself.
    Afterwards what should you do?Do you know where to evacuate? How do you contact your family and friends? What if lifelines were cut off? Have you prepared evacuation bag? Do you have enough stock of daily essentials?

    You don't have to think of it all the time, but think and know about it at least once. Even if you don't go to the place nor do volunteer activities, it should be helpful to you sometimes. It would make much difference that you HAVE heard or thought when you face it. I would be happy if informations from us would help someone at someplace.

    It was such a good opportunity to be able to have contact with Shikoku, where such a far district from Tohoku, in such meaning. In the end I expect more people to think of what if I were involved in disasters.


After the conference,
(Students of medical school of Kagawa University  Team Kagawa Students, Tohoku University, Fukushima University, Fukushima Prefecture Medical College, Ehime University, and Tokushima University)