Local midwives run a charity called "Manmaru" in Hanamaki city, Iwate Pref.
"Manmaru" (meaning circle, round, sphere) is a workshop based support network/activity run by the local midwives for the mothers and children living in the coastal area of Iwate pref. Our workshops are held two to three times a month, mainly in the area of: Kuji, Miyako, Otsuchi, Kamaishi, Tono, and Hanamaki.
A team of midwives plan a workshop of two to three hours at each location, providing a relaxing atmosphere for the local mothers. The workshops consist of midwives measuring the baby's weight, giving mothers a hand massage, distributing goods and simply being there to have a chat.
Tohoku Great Earthquake and Tsunami, has forced many mothers to move away from their homes and to live in a new environment. Therefore our aim is to provide a space in order to connect with the local mothers for support, exchange information and for them to recover and rebuild as a community, as well as having fun together.
I hope to continue to be part of the local mothers' lives through Manmaru workshops.
Midwife: Miyoko Sato
16.07.2013 Manmaru Salon Workshop in Tono
We visited Tono Manmaru workshop on 16th of July. The weather up until the day was rather chilly and cloudy but the workshop day was bright and sunny! So it was rather a hot and humid day.
When we arrived, despite it not being 10 am yet when the workshop starts, there were already four mothers each with their baby waiting.
When we felt everyone had arrived, Midwife Sato has introduced herself first and moved onto mothers, each introducing herself, which was aimed also to stimulate the communication between the mothers.
As the weather was fantastic, there were 17 mothers with babies who attended the workshop.
At the workshop, some second hand clothes for babies and home made snacks, which are suitable for children with allergies brought by Midwife Chida, were given to the mothers.
Midwife Chida makes the snacks at home for every workshop! Many children look forward to her snacks when attending the workshop.
Ethanol Gel, donated by ATAGOSOUKO CO., LTD. has also been given to the attendees.
We were able to have a chat with some mothers at the workshop.
" I don't originally come from Tono, so I am really grateful to get to make some mum friends and meet new people in the workshop. I really hope the workshop will continue to be held in the future too. Please have it more frequently!"
" I am exhausted everyday from looking after my two children : ) ! But being with children is also very healing. I always look forward to the Manmaru Workshop held once every two months. I do wish it to be held more frequently.
The best thing about the workshop is to be able to meet people who you won't normally meet otherwise. I would also like to learn more on the topic of parenting from the midwives. It is hard to have to look after children all the time but my heart feels rested and healing happens through it. I really hope the workshop will continue to be held in the future too."
In this visit, we managed to have a chat with the mothers and the midwives. Right now, the importance of the "Parenting support" "Provision of the relaxation and healing" as well as " Mental and emotional support of the mother" seem to come as the foremost important issue to consider.
Midwife Sato was telling us "Here in Tono, there are few mothers who we really need to keep an eye on. So we really have to continue our work here however long that may be!" this comment has left a very strong impression in me.
After the 3.11. disaster, many people had to go through a great difficulties such as being separated from the family, partners and the home land hence forced to bring up children in a place they are not familiar with. Still, they have to live their everyday life.
Please understand, and to know that there are still such people out there – having to live their everyday life with worries. Also please let us tell you that there are midwives who are doing their best to support such people.
07.05.2013 Hahatoko Tohoku Project HP has been updated
The Hahatoko Tohoku Project HP has uploaded the scene from the Kosodate ship Workshop and Manmaru Workshop giving preserved flowers and air freshener to the mums.Look at " We have sent some gifts to the mums in Tohoku"
22. 04. 2013 Thank you for your support!
On the 5th of April at " Sea side mama and grandma tea party" and on the 9th of April at "Otuchi district Parenting support Center" Komam Dolls were gifted to the mother victims in the area. Click to view the photos and the messages.
We midwives are also very grateful for your support!
Thank you letters. Click to enlarge.
14.10.2012 "Manmaru Festival" in Hanamaki city, Iwate pref.
We had our annual festival "Manmaru Matsuri" on Sunday 14th October where we were blessed with a sunny day too.
This annual event was actually one of the starting points of our monthly workshops and it was organised by Manmaru Otukisama (which means Full moon) and run by midwives to support pregnant women and mothers. This is also a monthly event at Hokujyo Sakura Hall.
We had 150 people attending! Thank you very much everyone! We were especially touched when not just local mothers but even mothers from Kamaishi came to our festival! Thank you so much!
To tell you the truth, most people left by the afternoon and we had very little people for our talks, which was a shame but we had lovely presentations. The talk time guests that we had were; Ms Araki from Ishinomaki city, representative of Baby Smile Ishinomaki, Ms Onodera from Miyako city, representative from Wahaha no Kai, Ms Yoshida originally from Ofunato city, and Kosodate-ship, and the coordinator was Ms Kakizaki from Midwives Association.
The talks included stories about their own experience of the disaster, how they all started their aid activities, how they are run right now, their future aims and directions of the activities, as well as how we can minimise disasters etc. We are really grateful that you all came from so far and shared your precious stories with us.
This was our third Manmaru Festival, and we changed our venue for the first time. The shortage of staff meant that some of you may have experienced some confusion, which we would like to apologise for, but we were all glad that it was overall a successful event! So we really are grateful!
Thank you very much everyone!
The general atmosphere of the festival!
The most popular was the sweets shop!
A mini- lecture by Oimono Senaka san
"Sumireno" of Ukishizu – there were many beautiful sweets.
"Honey Kobo" showing how woolen goods and serviettes can be made.
For lunch we enjoyed "One plate lunch" using a recipe from Masako Okamoto –which you can get in her new book!
I had a stall selling nursing clothes from "Mo-House" and slings from "Hokyoku Shirokuma Dou"
The main morning lecture " Tanjyo Gaku Koza" (lecture about birth and life)
The main afternoon lecture, "From the window of Manmaru workshop; talk time and café time"