To show its solidarity with Japan in the wake of the earthquake of March 11, 2011, the Mustela Foundation made an one-time donation of €40,000 to the Japan Emergency Network (JEN).*
The project supported by the Mustela Foundation involved the town of Ishinomaki, where the earthquake and tsunami left 6,000 people dead or injured, affected 110,000 residents and completely destroyed 28,000 homes. The JEN began a program of distributing “housing kits” (bedding, cooking utensils, cleaning materials and first aid) to refugees housed in temporary shelters provided by the government.
In addition, the project included social and psychological support designed to give the refugees a chance to meet, share activities and talk about their traumatic experiences. The program brought immediate benefits to a total of 3,000 people housed at five temporary shelter sites.
More than 80% of the residents in these emergency shelters took part in “community space” activities, including psychological consultations, advice on rebuilding their home, improvements to the immediate environment by the community, discussion groups for mothers, yoga and art therapy classes and much more.
*The JEN is Japan’s first federation of local non-governmental organizations. It was established with the aim of pooling expertise and human and financial resources and improving coordination with the Japanese government as well as United Nations organizations. It operates fifteen offices in conflict or post-conflict settings, including Croatia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. It has carried out numerous projects to repatriate refugees and provide support to victims of natural disasters.