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2021 July Heavy Rain (Atami) ActivityReport NPOPartnerProjects

Civic Force Launches NPO Partner Project with Welfare Organization

Megumi Group is a non-profit organization aiming to build an inclusive community where people with disabilities can safely live and work. Megumi Group is managing a workshop for people with disabilities in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture. Local businesses provide employment opportunities such as cleaning and printing and Megumi Group connects their clients to those jobs. Megumi Group also trains their clients in life skills and assists them with craft items to sell at their shop or at events.

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Large-scale mudslides caused by heavy rains on July 3, 2021 changed the lives of the clients and their families overnight. Megumi Group’s facility avoided damage but the neighborhood was severely affected and people were not allowed to enter the premises. Their facility was used by firefighters conducting search and rescue operations. Megumi Group had to suspend their operations and their 17 clients stayed home. As a result, their routines were disrupted, mental and physical well-being impacted, and their families struggled to provide.

Ten days after the onset of the disaster, Megumi Group resumed their operations and was offered free rent at an office building by the building’s management. However, the office space is limited and the team cannot bring in their printers for the clients’ printing jobs. Their cleaning jobs have yet to return to normal as many sites still have debris. Loss in revenue also impacted Megumi Group’s ability to continue operations. Because their facility was not damaged, they were not eligible to receive disaster aid from Atami City (as of September 2021). 

On July 31, the access restriction was eased and the staff finally re-entered their office. Unfortunately, after a month-long absence, there were many pests inside the refrigerator and the printer was broken due to the power outage. Phone and internet lines are still cut and the Group cannot fully reopen their facility.

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Civic Force began supporting Megumi Group through NPO Partner Project in October. The Project aims to resume regular operations as soon as possible by providing funds to procure equipment and supplies - refrigerator, printer, cleaning supplies, cell phones, and mobile WiFi. Megumi Group also plans to purchase an additional vehicle so that they can travel to other neighborhoods for jobs and events with their clients and increase revenue. 

Civic Force is supporting the recovery and reconstruction efforts in the affected areas with your kind donations. Thank you for your continuous support.

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Megumi Group is raising funds through crowdfunding. Please go to their project page to donate.

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