PeopleScenes and Topics

Volunteers Work Hard

Mitsuo Matsumoto established the Minamisoma Volunteer Center and has managed it since May 2011. Since then more than fifty thousand volunteers have worked with him on projects around the Odaka area, which is located about 15 km (9.32mi) away from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Sarah Jones coordinates with her language teacher colleagues to join projects in the Odaka area. People from more than seven different countries who are living and working in Japan, as well as Japanese natives, participate. The Odaka area missed out on the initial influx of volunteers after the disaster because it was originally designated as part of the exclusion zone (within a 20km radius). Though the volunteer work got started late, the progress is steady. Everyone works hard to aid in the recovery efforts and give back the community.

Ms. Jones finds inspiration from the motto Mr. Matsumoto has posted at his center: 「できる人が、できる時に、できる事をする」which means: “The people who can, with the time that they can, doing what they can.”