How To Help Japan

14 March 2011


I haven't written about Japan or the horror that is unfolding there yet, because, honestly – it's just too disturbing. At times like these, I can't help but hold my little girl a little tighter and try to erase those frightening thoughts that fill my mind. I can't imagine the horror of not only loss, but the limbo of not knowing at all what the future holds.

The term “Disaster fatigue” has been doing the rounds since 2008, if not before, but according to Conrad Walters from the Sydney Morning Herald, “A string of natural disasters - from Haiti and Pakistan to Queensland and Victoria - has not dampened the willingness to give, say charities helping victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

While most of us can't give up our jobs, take leave long enough to make a difference, or actually go to a disaster ravaged area to provide hands on help, there are other things we can do:

On the British Red Cross site, you can donate £18, £25 or £50, or your own amount.

Join this Facebook page for news of what's being done and by whom.

Save the children have people on the ground and an emergency response team is heading to Sendai, the closest city to the earthquake epicentre, and other affected areas. They will use the £1 million they are hoping to raise to set up child friendly spaces to provide a protective environment where children can spend time with other children and trained teachers. This service will allow parents much needed time that they can dedicate to investigating food sources, work, accommodation and locating other friends and family.

Shelterbox responds instantly to disasters all around the world delivering aid as quickly as possible to the people who need it most. Shelterboxes contain a disaster relief tent for a family of up to 10 people, a children's pack containing drawing books, crayons and pens, survival equipment including thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets, mosquito nets, water purification system, a basic tool kit, a wood burning or multi-fuel stove and a lightweight waterproof box. And you can track your box and where it's gone too.

International Medical Corps is sending relief teams, as well as supplies to bring critical medical care to those affected.

This project will dispurse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. GlobalGiving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground.

Many charity organisations have not even set up disaster funds for Japan yet, but more information should come forward in due course.

Does anyone know of any other ways to donate to Japan? Or do you feel that as a wealthy country, they don't really need our help?

TOPICS:   News and Recalls


  • Gordon
    I am over here in Japan, thankfully far from the disaster zone and safe. Here they are asking for cash donations from people only (in other regions of Japan) as the logistics of storing goods etc is just too great just now . As for is Japan rich enough, As people have been left with nothing and are surviving on a rice ball and soup everyday then no Japan cant cope alone and every donation will be well spent on those that need help.
  • Emma K.
    I actually donated some through groupon, who are matching donations up to £70k.
  • Lynley O.
    hmmm Japan too well off? Well maybe some people do think like that, I don't know. Seems mad to me. There are some disasters that are just too huge, and these should be the responsibility of us all. At the end of the day, we're a single human race. There really isn't anything like us and them. Look at Hurricane Katrina. The US is one of the richest countries in the world yet huge chunks of New Orleans are still laid waste. I didn't think twice about donating then. And New Zealand. That's a fairly well off country too. For a country that size the Christchurch earthquake was unbelievably devastating. I haven't thought twice about donating. These are huge, massive, one off events that are causing unbelievable heart ache. It doesn't really matter if it happens in Sri Lanka or Japan.
  • Luschka O.
    Thanks for the first hand input Gordon. And for answering the question from an experiential point of view. I agree, of course. I think that those of us who are fortunate enough to be spared these horrific events have a human responsibility to help out others. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.
  • Luschka O.
    I always tend to think that it could be us next, and how would we feel, and would we want 'them' to help us (whoever them is). So, yeah,I'll always help - its just like donating blood or getting out the way of the ambulance. You never know when it's someone you love that's going to need it.

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