Japanese are well-known for their industriousness. The leaders of volunteer organizations I belong to have been working without any day off since the earthquake, and we are naturally expected to be as diligent as they. However, when I consider that the restoration of the tsunami-afflicted areas will take years and that it has been past the emergency stage, I wonder to myself if it is still necessary for aid workers to stress ourselves out with the workloads.
Although I wish for more private time, I am happy with my work. We visit each family at their home environment and access their needs. Most of them have already renovated their houses, but still a few live in houses with no window or floor. Those without adequate housing usually lack food. About one half of the victims need psychological support. Many request simply for information. We collect such data, discuss the needs in a weekly meeting, and provide each family with what is needed. One organization cannot handle a large project like this. Rather the collaboration of different professionals is the key to the success. I am thrilled to be involved as an assessment team leader in this rewarding project.