Teachers For Japan Fund Disaster Recovery

30 year old Kyle Maclauchlan has been teaching English for three years in Miyagi Prefecture, the area closest to the earthquake’s epicenter. He has been working at shelters throughout the city in the aftermath of the tsunami that washed away thousands of homes, including his own. 

 

“At first, there wasn’t enough food,” says Maclauchlan, “but relief efforts came quickly, and they continue to come.  Some areas still have no access or infrastructure, and those people still need food.  But many people’s needs are beginning to change.” 

 

The rapid response of the rest of Japan, and the world, has brought food and supplies to disaster victims and shelters.  Now, Maclauchlan believes the focus of relief efforts must shift.  “Once people can meet their basic needs, the next step will be to go from living in a shelter to becoming self-sufficient again.  And the assistance we give them needs to be financial.” 

 

Maclauchlan is now working with a team of foreign residents and Japanese citizens at the non-profit organization MEESA (Miyagi English Education Support Association) to bring financial aid into the country, through an initiative called “Teachers For Japan”.  The initiative involves teachers from over six different countries, and has received donations from around the world.

 

Greg Lekich, another MEESA member, believes there are many important local uses for donated funds. “As teachers, we want to help rebuild schools destroyed in the tsunami. And there are children who have lost their parents and need our support to continue their education.” 

 

Maclauchlan and Lekich both chose to remain in Japan after the disaster struck.  “Japan is as much our home as anywhere else.  These people are important to us. They’re our friends; they’re our family.  We can’t just leave them.” 

 

The MEESA organization was founded in 2006, and works to promote English education in Miyagi prefecture. The Teachers For Japan initiative hopes to raise funds that can be used directly to address the needs of students and schools affected by the disaster. 

  

Donations can be made through PayPal via the www.teachersforjapan.org website; all donations will be used directly for disaster relief. 

 

Contact: 

Kyle Maclauchlan 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Miyagi-ken Sendai-shi Miyaginoku Tsutsujigaoka 2-2-8-203 JAPAN

 

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