It’s difficult to express my emotions about what has occurred in Japan this past week. I feel a need to do something in some way but it’s hard to know what to do. I wrote to a GMIC member in Japan to ask how things are there, and received back this message (with permission to post):
Dear Ms. Mariela,
Thank you very much for your kindly mail. I and my family and our organization members which is Sapporo Convention network in Sapporo are fine. We are all right and safe. But our member’s company have branches in Sendai city, we can not confirm they are safe or not.
In this case of big earthquake and Tsunami we never have any experience in Japan. We feel so bad, painful ,sad, and unhappy. Especially atomic-energy power stations had broken, which is we have worry about adverse effect of nuclear.
We believe we can get over.
The focus on overcoming the devastation that they are facing is inspiring, particularly in light of so many frightening unknowns. So what can we do? I believe that there are two aspects to supporting Japan’s recovery: immediate aid, and long-term support to re-establish the economy.
There is an immediate need for financial donations. Resources for donating money include:
- Government of Canada info on how Canadians can help
- Canadian Red Cross: text ASIA to 30333
- American Red Cross
Long-term though, we need to start thinking about how we will help in rebuilding the economy. I’m inspired by actions such as those by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists that recommitted to holding their annual conference in New Orleans in 2006 following Katrina.
To that end, here are three recommendations for supporting the long-term economic recovery:
- Look at how you can commit or recommit to doing business in Japan or with Japanese companies
- Ensure that aid you provide doesn’t inhibit local businesses from recovering
- Work with experienced relief organizations and support their efforts
Please add further recommendations for rebuilding Japan in the comments below.