EDIT (7/29/20): Please refer to our volunteering page for information on how to help people in the affected areas!
Kumamotoans and Kumamoto-lovers!
As I’m sure you all know, Kumamoto and the rest of Kyushu is currently dealing with a natural disaster of historic and catastrophic levels. Dozens of people have been declared dead or missing, while tens of thousands have been displaced and hundreds of thousands more have been affected by loss of power and other unfortunate situations.
But what can we do to help?
KumAJET is looking into setting up a fundraiser for current Kumamoto JETs, but for now, in case you’re not sure where to donate, here’s a useful document collecting current donation and crowdfunding efforts.
These range from large corporations and companies like the Japan Postal Service, Aeon Bank, Rakuten, and Yahoo, to smaller companies and the regions and towns themselves. Most of them will have updates as to where the money is going, as well as how much money has been collected.
As the document linked above is in Japanese, here are a few different avenues that KumAJET thinks might be a good place to start.
- For those in and around Kumamoto City, Jeff’s World Bar is currently raising money at the bar, which they will donate by the end of July.
- To donate directly to various cities and towns, you can go to Satofuru or Furusato Choice, which are collecting for many towns affected. For both, you will have to log in to donate, but the sign-up procedure is quite straightforward. You can choose where your money goes, as well as have some say into what it is used for, so this is a good option to start with. Payment is possible by credit card, mobile providers, convenience store, and Pay-Easy.
- Another company collecting donations is ReadyFor, which are collecting for various support and rescue groups in the region. You can choose to donate to any of them by going through their website. Note that there is a minimum donation of 3000 yen.
- Finally, for our overseas folks, two very simple ways to donate is through Rakuten Global or Yahoo! Japan. This will require a credit card.
With the global pandemic, both evacuation and rescue/volunteer efforts have been significantly hampered. Now more than ever, it’s truly important to come together and support each other. As more news comes out, we will be sure to keep you all updated.
Stay safe and dry, Kumamoto!