Tomodachi Sakusen (Operation Friend)
Rohto's Tomodachi Sakusen refers to the company-backed volunteer activities
in which our staff participates for the continued support of the Tohoku
Region after the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011.
We perform various activities, from volunteering, to help clearing the
wreckage immediately after the disaster, to supporting training aimed at
revitalizing the local industry.
Based on our corporate philosophy; 'our vow to give thanks to all things
(nature, society, people) that support our existence', we will maintain
our connection with Tohoku to help society for the benefit of the customers
who have supported us and been loyal to our products.
Volunteering in Disaster-Affected Areas
The areas hit by the tsunami were buried in mud and debris. Cleaning up
the aftermath was the first step in getting people's lives back on track.
Amongst the tasks at hand, there were some that required heavy machinery
and some that could only be completed by manpower. In the six months after
the earthquake, 182 volunteers from Rohto took 'volunteer leave' to help
clear the mud and debris over eight times.
The new school term started in May soon after the disaster, but the teachers
had been running flat out for three months helping cleanup the schools
and look after the students. Their fatigue caused by stress and their duties
was reaching its peak.
Our masseurs working in the Rohto Smart Camp travelled to Tohoku to give
the school teachers working hard in the front line for the children in
the disaster-affected areas free massages and reflexology to relax them.
As the need for material resources in the disaster-affected regions started
to stabilize, emotional and interpersonal support became more necessary.
Our staff continues to brainstorm ways we could move 'from things to people'
and support the 'people'.
The town of Onagawa was heavily damaged in the disaster, and all the cram
schools were washed away expect one. The school committees, cram school
teachers, local residents and volunteers all came together and established
the Kougakkan, a collaborative school as a place where children who want
to learn can come. Some of our staff members helped teach at the school
Volunteering to Support the Fishing Industry
Port Ogatsu is a bay located in the south of the Sanriku Coast. All around
the town you can see the scars the left by the tsunami. The town of Ogatsu,
which was already suffering from depopulation, saw an even greater decline
after the disaster.
To revitalize the area, the residents of Ogatsu are trying to create a new community and a new town through a new fishing industry.
Our staff have also been volunteering in these activities to support the fishing industry.
Project to Revitalize Ogatsu's Schools
This project aims to turn abandoned school buildings into a place of learning where students can experience the beauty of nature, food, traditional culture, and the arts.
The local people aim to gather there to form a community and increase the nonresident population by attracting people from other areas to come to stay there to experience fishing, forestry, agriculture, and work from other industries.
Our staff have helped on five occasions, cleaning the school buildings,