On Sunday 21st April there will be a Charity Bazaar held by PePe English Salon and Tsubomi no Ie Children's clothes.
They will also be selling Komam dolls. The profit will be donated to "Tohoku Kosodate Project" and will be used for mothers and babies living in the disaster area. We look forward to seeing you there.
* J'espère staff will not be attending this event.
"Parenting in Fukushima" decisions for the future…
Obstetrics in Fukushima pref. is in a critical condition. Even before the disaster, the ratio of the population to doctors in obstetrics and gynaecology has been the second worst in the country. After the disaster, the number of the doctors has dropped to critical levels due to some doctors leaving the area due to family issues. Within Soma city, there is only one clinic left where a birth can be taken. A doctor told us "In an emergency situation, there are no hospitals near by to take care of. You need to go to Iwaki city or Koriyama city" It takes at least one hour to Fukushima city from here by car.
Even so, there is no option of leaving here. " (We) have lost precious things in the disaster, so (we) want to make sure that the rest of the time is spent with the family together"
Where you live does not influence the feelings of love and care in parenting. "These children are the future of Fukushima" (Dr. Miyahara)
Our events on the 10th and the 11th of March at SEIYU Kichijyoji branch to sell Komam dolls were a great success. We send our thanks to the customers who bought the dolls and SEIYU Kichijyoji branch in supporting our event.
Senshu kai has started "Egao no Mori Project" (Smiling Forest Project) with a wish that everyone is able to find at least one little happiness everyday, as even a very small happiness, when combined together may fill the day with smiles.
Within this, "Hahatoko Tohoku Project", is supporting J'espère 's support activities.
Hahatoko smile support (Parenting workshop support activity) has gifted many presents to the charity Kosodate ship and Manmaruwho are supporting the mother and child victims living in the costal area of Iwate pref.
They are planning to deliver the gifts through Workshops and when visiting the mothers directly at their homes. We hope that there will be more smiles for the mums!
We are holding a "Hand craft event" together with Baby Smile Ishinomaki. In this event, we will have handcraft kits gifted from Senshu kai so that the mums will be able to have fun making things together. Mums in the Ishinomaki area, please look forward to it!
For the babies who will be born in the disaster area, Okurumi designed by designer SEKIYURIO is gifted. Kakehashi Okurumi
Today, makes two years since the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. Here is a report of what is happening in the Disaster Area NOW by J'espère.
There are no large shops let alone a shop where you can buy goods for children in Ofunato and Rikuzentakaka city in Iwate Pref. People here need to travel 30 km to 70 km away to towns such as Kisennuma or Hanamaki city in order to purchase things for children.
People who are living in the temporary housing are the people who lost everything by Tsunami. They are brining up children and thinking about their future while having to think about how they can start to make a living from scratch together with huge financial and emotional pressures.
We have decided to gift these wooden dolls (Komam Doll) for such mothers and children with a hope to give some enjoyment in their everyday life. Wooden toys are hard to come by and we believe the natural texture of the wood will make great toys for the babies too.
The toys will be given directly by the midwives and it will accompany a personal message from the buyer.
If you would like to buy the dolls for yourself, we will use the profit to support activities.
SEIYU is also holding a donation box for "Tohoku Kosodate Project" at the till, where you can also show your support.
On 9th of March, our support activity has been reported in Yomiuri Newspaper as "Sending heart warming doll gifts to the disaster area"
We will be selling Komam Dolls with a help of SEIYU Kichijyoji branch.
We have sent out Tohoku Kosodate Letter Vol 6 !
This volume focuses on the Sennan District in Miyagi pref.
The title: What it takes to give support to women; our thought through support activity run by a charity "Mammy Pai Pai – A town where more than 40% of the population was lost though Tsunami -
J'espère has been awarded a "Mirai award" by "Parenting projects to strengthen our future" by Sumitomo Seimei (Mirai means the future).
This project, run by Sumitomo Seimei has two main areas in raising public awareness; "Recognition of parenting support activities" and " Support towards mothers in academia" through which they support healthy parenting and formation of positive future.
"Recognition of parenting support activities" – Here individuals, charities and organisations running projects to support healthy parenting specific to the needs of the area and the people are reported and introduced to the wider public. This aims to support such activities and contribute towards wider distribution of such activities.
On the 4th of February, the awards ceremony was held at Hotel New Otani and winners of the awards gathered together from all over Japan. Two organisations received the "Mirai Grand Award" and ten organisations received the "Mirai Award"
J'espère 's work; " An activity supporting mothers and babies who are victims in the disaster area though using the network of midwives" was recognised and awarded.
We aim to continue our work in support of mother and child victims in the year 2013. This award was a great encouragement. Our work is made possible only through everyone's support. We would like to express our gratitude again towards individuals, organisations and companies who have given us donations and supported us in our work. Thank you very much for all your support.
(* Oni is a God/demon/spirit figure, which can be good or bad. Oni is part of the seasonal ceremony called Setsubun in February where people throw soya beans to invite good/happiness and shake off bad/misfortune from homes and people)
This photo on the right is the "Red Oni Amulet" made of origami by midwife Miyahara in Soma city, Fukushima pref. We distributed this amulet in the Setsubun festival in the workshops and it is to be displayed at the entrance.
Midwife Iwasa has sent us some photos of the workshop! Using cushions as futons, the babies are enjoying the massage!
Hello, my name is Akemi Iwasa. I have been a midwife for the last 22 years as well as being a mum of three. Hence I have learned a lot through my own mistakes and experiences of breastfeeding and parenting, which I would like to share with mothers and the rest of the families. Let us bring up a human being who can love fellow human beings. Parenting responsibility continues until the child grows up to have his/her own family, so why not have fun with it too!
On 18th of December in Ofunato, Kosodate ship held a Christmas party in Camellia Hall. (54 mothers with children attended the party)
On 25th December in Rikuzentakata, Kosodate ship held a Christmas party in Yonezaki Community Center (25 mothers with children attended the party)
On the Christmas day, Baby Smile has held a Christmas party at Kouyou Community Center in Ishinomaki. 90 mothers with children attended the party, which made a total of over 190 people including our staff. It was a great party!
A Christmas party was held on the 13th December at Shinchi Sports hall and on 20th December at Soma Chuo Jidou Center.
On the 8th of November, Asahi Newspaper's section "My View" (Watashi no shiten) told the story of Shoko So's aid activity.
In this section she commented " We have been receiving aids from companies such as SEIYU as well as donations from individuals but money alone does not lead to success in parenting aid projects. The most important part is the thoughtfulness towards pregnant women, mothers and babies coming from each individual in the community. Aid activity towards pregnant women and mothers leads to the recovery of society and a nurturing of the next generation also, hence it is one of the most important aspect that we all need to consider strongly" (Shoko So)
We had our annual festival "Manmaru Matsuri" on Sunday 14th October where we were blessed with a sunny day too.
As a part of 2012 Miyagi prefecture Midwives Activity Distribution work, there will be an event to raise awareness of safety in delivery. Through attending the event, we hope to give everyone related to the birth experience reassurance towards the birth also.
We hope that many pregnant women and their families as well as health professionals working with mothers and children will be able to join us for this event.Date & Time: Saturday 17th November 2012. From 12:30
On the above day, the last day of a TV Tokyo program called; NEWS Answer: Supporting Parenting, the work of Kosodate-ship of Ofunato city (Workshops and Visiting support service) was taken up. Representative of Tohoku Kosodate (Parenting) Project, Shoko So talked about the details of the aid projects and the necessity of aid work in the disaster area.* To view the program online please visit
On 27th Aug, Kosodate-ship (Home Visiting Support) has been documented in "Kurashi" (Living/life) section in the Yomiuri News paper.
Ms Ito, a representative of Kosodate-ship, says, "The mothers are constantly making an effort to bring up babies in a difficult living situations full of compromises. They really need people who are there to listen" "There must be many who are unable to even attend our workshops" hence we have started visiting them in their homes since May 2012.
Representative of J'espère, Shoko So appeals, " For the mothers living in the disaster area to be able to bring up their children with feeling of security, there must be continuous support"
We are accepting donations from SEIYU casher donation box and from this website.
On 7th August, "Commune with Josanshi" has been documented on the section; "Notice board for Aid Work; note of a reporter" in Yomiuri Newspaper. The motto of the staff is "Let's be the sun of the mothers"View Original Article
J'espère supports pregnant women and new mothers who has evacuated to Tokyo on their own accord from the disaster area. Please contact the representatives of J'espère, Shoko So who will personally listen to your situation, related to pregnancy, birth and postnatal support and direct you to the best option for you in Tokyo.
If there are people who have evacuated from Fukushima pref. (including when done of their own accord) please contact Shoko So who is also a midwife and runs her own midwifery clinic.
We are able to introduce pregnant women who are the victims of the disasters to various clinics, university hospitals and general hospitals who will accept them at low cost, within the national insurance limit (around 420 thousand yen for labour) for labour and postnatal care. Of course Matsugaoka Josanin is also accepting such pregnant women within the insurance limit.
Please be aware that well-known hospitals with obstetrics unit in Tokyo will cost 650 thousand yen to 800 thousand yen and some will cost one million yen for you to go through labour there, which is a very large sum of money to be covered personally, especially for those who have evacuated separately, away from their husbands, who remained at home, hence covering the double cost of living. We also welcome for those in need of postnatal support.
Please do get in touch if you also know someone in the above situation who could benefit from our help.Contact details.
Other than the aid we will be receiving from SEIYU, we have also been selected as the charity to hold "Casher Donation Box" in every SEIYU branch. Donations collected from the SEIYU donation boxes will be used for support aid work, such as parental counselling and home visit services towards mother victims living in the costal disaster area.
Donation box at SEIYU cashers will be open from the 1st July. Light blue cards are for "Tohoku Kosodate (Parenting) Project". You can take this card with your shopping to the casher and make donation. We hope your warm support and thoughts are with us when shopping at SEIYU
Tohoku Kosodate Project operates thoroughly relying on the grants from companies and donations from individuals.
A monthly letter from parents in Tohoku telling you stories on their current life "Disaster Area Now"
Please subscribe/unsubscribe here.
This poster shows our work.
"Please support the mothers in the Tohoku disaster area together."
(Sorry currently only sold in Japanese)
Tohoku Kosodate Project
Support song for the mums in disaster area Kanako Ito - Lullaby -