Second Tohoku Outreach Mission

Written by JMSA. Posted in JMSA Japan Relief Fund

American Airlines, Japan Society, Rotary Club, and US-Japan Foundation join Japanese Medical Society of America and 9/11 Tribute Center again for the Second Outreach Mission to Japan

In August, American Airlines will fly a second team to Japan for an outreach mission. Members from the 9.11 community (family members, survivors, rescue and recovery workers, residents of the WTC neighborhood), JMSA, Mount Sinai Global Health, and Rotary will share their personal stories of transformation and give hope to survivors of the 3.11 earthquake disaster in Tohoku, Japan, starting with school children and teachers.

Two years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Power Plant Accident, disaster stricken areas continue to suffer the consequences. In particular, children’s emotional well being is a concern as many continue to live in temporary housing away from their hometown communities. Our outreach mission can empower school communities by sharing personal stories of 9/11 community members’ recovery over the past 12 years. After our successful first mission in 2012, we have received many requests to come back again. Outreach visits offer powerful experiences for everyone involved, providing emotional support through face to face exchange and connection. The inspiring meetings are highly effective in facilitating communication about psychological responses to disaster, and can lead tothe enhancement ofchildren’s resilience and active coping.

JMSA and Rotary are arranging this program in response to the September 11th Families' Association’s strong desire to share their experience as well as requests from our colleagues in Japan for further opportunities for emotional bonding and encouragement. “Through our experiences of community re-building in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedy in New York, we would like to be supportive of Japan’s long-term recovery efforts,” said Lee Ielpi, the President of September 11th Families' Association. JMSA has been supporting long term recovery efforts in Tohoku, especially in mental health, since April 2011. With our continuing efforts, we hope to bring about a sense of international community to people who may begin to feel forgotten, even within Japan.

"At American Airlines, supporting children and their families is a primary focus of our Kids in Need program," said Bernie Willett, American's Director – Citizenship and Community Programs. "We're proud to partner with JMSA for the 2nd consecutive year to join their mission to give hope to children in Tohoku, Japan, who are still suffering from 3/11 disaster.”George Packard, the President of the United States-Japan Foundation, “extends every good wish for the success of the project.”

JMSA greatly appreciates the goodwill and generosity of our collaborating partners. Special thanks go to American Airlines for generously providing roundtrip tickets from New York to Tokyo, Rotary Club for local arrangements, Japan Society for program development, and United States-Japan Foundation for funding support for this program. We are very honored to have received recent accolades from the American Psychiatric Association, Asian American Federation, Hamilton-Madison House, Lions Club, and more for our community outreach efforts.