JFMF Tomonokai – Organizer of
the Third Responders
President of Tomonokai - Kyoko Jones
Focus – Third Responder Initiative
The Third Responder Initiative began through the efforts of tireless
volunteers who helped the Tomonokai to locate and provide assistance
to the MTP alumni in the Tohoku region. They began their efforts
within hours of the earthquake and tsunami and worked literally
around the clock for the next two weeks until all the alumni were
successfully located. Therefore, we wish to acknowledge the efforts
of Elissa Sato, Mari Arimitsu and Takako (Nakano) Melchi in this
regard and express our deep thanks to them.
When disasters occur, there are three types
of needs and three types of responders based on what is needed
when. First responders
carry out the immediate work of rescue and medical care. They are
expert search and rescue teams, who come from all over the world
to aid in rescue and body recovery. Second responders provide relief
in meeting the needs for clothes, food, water and short-term shelter.
A third category of people is needed to assist in the rebuilding
of people's lives. These people are "third responders",
who become and stay involved with the people in the disaster area
over an extended period of time.
The immediate emergency draws the attention of First and Second
Responders. The emotional impact of a disaster draws their attention
and public interest. After and even before their work is done public
attention often turns elsewhere. This is typically the point when
things get emotionally tough. The shock of the disaster has worn
off and its true emotional impact becomes significant because people
are confronted with having to have to cope on their own. This point
is the point when the need for Third Responders becomes evident.
Third Responders provide people in the affected communities with
social support networks that enable them to rebuild and restructure
their own lives according to their own needs and interests.
The Tomonokai's Third Responder Initiative
has set the goal of helping people in the affected area restore
and improve their network
of educational relationships with other communities and countries.
There are four steps in this process: 1. connecting with people
in each community and country and identifying the ways of keeping
communications, 2. assessing what types of activities can be undertaken
and what resources are needed to carry them out, 3. formulating
specific plans of action and organizing the resources needed for
them, and 4. taking action based on those plans that can become
viable on their own.
The Third Responder Initiative encompasses the whole
of the disaster region due to the presence of MTP alumni
throughout it. However
the first step in moving toward this goal is the development
of programs that are designed and tested as being easy to apply
and sustain. This designing and testing is being carried out in
collaboration with the city of Kesennuma's Board of Education. There
are several reasons for selecting Kesennuma as a pilot community.
Kesennuma is among the most severely affected communities. Yet
it has demonstrated a commitment to taking action through its history
of coping with disasters and its long-standing commitment to building
community. Most importantly it has collaborated extensively with
the MTP in dealing with these issues over the past decade. Kyoko
Jones' essay "My Kesennuma" expresses this commitment
and its implications to our planning..
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Copyright 2011 Third Responders
by Mindstorm Inc