February 24, 2012
Involving the local community in their own recovery is crucial to effective disaster response. Even after responding to 30 disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, Give2Asia rarely finds local children as eager to get down and dirty as they were during Peace Boat Volunteers’ pool clean up in Ishinomaki, Japan.
Give2Asia partner Peace Boat Volunteers has spent the last year cleaning Ishinomaki of the mud and debris leftover from last year’s tsunami. Well aware that the summer heat and humidity were fast approaching, local community members made early requests to Peace Boat to clean their local swimming pool. By the time Peace Boat was able to accommodate the request, summer had arrived and the local children were desperate for a dip in the pool.
Looking at the pool for the first time, volunteers were confounded as to how to clean the various layers of mud, some crusted to clay, others still a wet sludge. The local children were undeterred, however, and jumped in with both feet. Using sawdust donated from a local supplier, the volunteers and kids were able to clean the pool of mud in a single day. See the transformation in the slideshow below.