Team Sake's website has two main roles.
One is to disseminate information on villages Team Sake are visiting, including Team Sake activities, photos, and maps of visited areas. Please look at the Google Map links and read the blog articles. (In Japanese with Translate to English tab)
Another role is to transmit information regarding the villagers' wishes for things they need, whether that may be relief supplies, or information, technology, manpower, services, etc, so that anyone who desires to can offer direct support from wherever they may be. Website visitors can view the items villagers are requesting, select and register their choice by email, and independently send those items directly to where they are required. On the blog, there is a tab (上層部). (Japanese language ability or good translation software required.)
Our core activities are primarily centered upon visiting and assisting small villages (often remote) that are not getting the same level of government and AID assistance as the larger cities.
We believe, that in order to foster independance, our main function is to offer assistance from the ground up: in the early stages with necessary relief supplies and as time is passing, to provide goods and services other than immediate relief supplies to help with the rebuilding of villages and communities.
Team Sake is actively working with the people of the villages of Sanriku area, Northeastern Japan so that their hopes for the future may become a little closer to being realized through providing goods and services such as personnel (volunteer manpower), commodities, technical skills, and information.
Although facing the Pacific, the Sanriku coastline is steeply mountainous and spread over a large distance, thus the state of the damage varies greatly depending on the area.
In addition, due to the diversity of the original characteristics of each region and each village, it's necessary to offer attentive assistance which adheres directly to the desires of each village community, and which is independent from the government's large-scale standardized support.
So what kinds of things are the villagers hoping for? Through repeatedly visiting a number of villages, we have come to realize that in order to understand the ideas of the people there, the only way is to build up thorough dialogue. This means that our "support" cannot be just a one-way thing, from supporter to victim; by necessity, it must be reciprocal. In particular, upon being allowed to enter into the heart of the community, we occasionally find that the "support" is reversed and rather than assisting per se, we are being encouraged or otherwise taken care of, with a hot cup of tea, for example. We are thus building relationships where we are saying "Thankyou" to each other and are mutually grateful for each other. Through this process, the hopes of the villagers are gradually becoming visible.
Resultingly, our activities are as follows:
★To build up relationships and create a network while supporting the immediate relief-supply needs of each community.
★In the process, as we see the vision of the future drawn from the villagers' ideas, we send it throughout the world on the internet, to help bring these visions closer to realization.
The many people coming from across the nation, and indeed the globe, who have had the idea they would like to assist the devastated areas, are as diverse in their thoughts and feelings as the people who have been affected directly in the disaster area.
Through conveying information to everyone through this website and other means of communication (pamphlets, public meetings, etc.), it is possible for anyone who is interested to find both direct and indirect ways of relating by being able to look for ways of co-operating that suit them personally. This process in itself is considered to be the most encouraging and sustainable way of offering support for the villages.
While supporting the immediate relief-supply needs of small communities affected by the triple disaster on 11 March, 2011, Team Sake is actively building up relationships and creating networks. In the process, as we see the vision of the future drawn from the villagers' hopes and ideas, we send it throughout the world on the internet, recruiting further assistance, to help bring these visions closer to realization. Providing such things as personnel (volunteer manpower), commodities, technical skills, and information, many people coming from across the nation, and indeed the globe, are able to use this website to assist survivors in whichever ways they themselves choose. This process in itself is considered to be the most encouraging and sustainable way of offering both short-term and long-term support for the villagers.