Disaster Area Recovery Support by Toyota Group


In the second year after the disaster, with the local situation gradually settling down, activities slowly shifted toward revitalizing the local industry and enhancing day-to-day life through efforts such as maintenance around temporary housing, assisting with fishing operations, preparing farmland, and making flower beds.

Period 10 times between May and November 2012
Region Kesen District, Iwate Prefecture (Ofunato City, Rikuzentakata City, Sumita Town)
Participants 168
Activities preparing farmland, repairing fishing nets, removing sludge from gutters, making flower beds, cutting grass, setting up drainage and making benches in temporary housing areas, upkeep of golf course grounds, and more
Collaborators Ofunato Shakyo Volunteer Center, Rikuzentakata Disaster Volunteer Center, Sumita Town, Non-profit Organizations NPO Aichi Net, and others

Participant voice

Daily items such as dishes were left abandoned as a trace of Tsunami and debris are still piled. I was encouraged by people who smile and work hard to restore their hometown even in such a condition.

I will convey the necessity of supporting the disaster-struck areas, and the importance of disaster prevention and mitigation in my own workplace as well!

I participated in for the first time, cutting the grass at shrines and plazas hit by the tsunami, as well as at sites near temporary housing. Although each and every one of us strove to pour our hearts into answering the hopes of local residents, it turned out that our activities led to our receiving more from than we gave. Go Tohoku! Go Toyota Group!

Just as I was thinking that I wanted to go to the disaster-struck area someday, I happened to hear that Toyota was carrying out volunteer activities and I immediately signed up. Rather than letting it end there, I want to make this the start of thinking about what I can do to help, and then take action on those ideas.

It had been a year and a half since the disaster, but the sight of buildings still in the wrecked caused by the tsunami, and of land that should have been a residential area empty of everything but grass, filled me with heartrending sorrow.

Most of the debris had been cleared from the center of Rikuzentakata, and only a few damaged buildings still stood here and there. It was the first time I joined volunteer activities, and listening to the actual experiences and thoughts of the local residents taught me things that neither television nor articles can convey.

Through exchange with local residents and other volunteers, I felt that kindness of people that arose from the disaster is strong, though losses incurred by the disaster were tremendous. I intend to convey my experiences to inspire that feeling in many people.

Making benches for temporary housing areasMaking benches for temporary housing areas

Removing debris carried by the tsunamiRemoving debris carried by the tsunami

Removing sediment from a gutterRemoving sediment from a gutter

Cleaning a private libraryCleaning a private library

Removing sediment from a gutterRemoving sediment from a gutter

After working on clearing away rubbleAfter working on clearing away rubble

After working on making benches for temporary housing areasAfter working on making benches for temporary housing areas

At Ofunato Volunteer CenterAt Ofunato Volunteer Center

The lone pine in RikuzentakataThe lone pine in Rikuzentakata

After working on removing sediment from a gutterAfter working on removing sediment from a gutter

At Rikuzentakata Disaster Volunteer CenterAt Rikuzentakata Disaster Volunteer Center