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28 May 2008

PNWJ Supports Fundraising Efforts in Burma and Iraq

☆ Progressive Tokyo Groups Gather to Raise Funds for Burma Cyclone Relief
A group of recent MA graduates from the Rotary Peace Center at ICU Tokyo have spearheaded a series of events aimed at raising funds for the survivors of the recent cyclone in Burma.

On Monday, June 2nd, a talent night called "SOS Burma" will be held at What the Dickens pub in Ebisu, which will feature a diverse lineup of local performers and also offer various prizes for giveaway. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Save The Children (Myanmar), which has been working to provide food, water, shelter, and other emergency assistance following the cyclone disaster. The event is also being supported by other local organizations, including Peace Not War Japan--which will have its CDs on hand for sale--and the Peace Boat.

The same team of organizers also recently held two other events to raise funds for Save The Children: a dinner party held on May 15th at the Pepacafe Forest restaurant in Kichijoji that drew in 17,000 yen, and an outdoor BBQ event on May 25th hosted by Parties for Peace Kitchen, with sponsorship from the Alishan Organic Center and Second Harvest Japan, which raised a total of 44,200 yen.

For up-to-date information on the cyclone and other Burma-related matters, see the website for the Democratic Voice of Burma and The Irrawaddy News Magazine. Avaaz has also organized a fundraising campaign in conjunction with the International Burmese Monks Organization. For more information, see their website.
☆ Iraq Hope Network: Fundraising Drives for Iraqis in Baghdad and Basra

#1: Campaign in Basra to Support Hospitals/Families in Need
(Japan-Iraq Medical Network / JIM-Net)

The city of Basra in southern Iraq was the site of serious renewed fighting beginning in the end of March, when innocent civilians were subjected to hardships such as bombings and home searches by military forces. The Japan-Iraq Medical Network (JIM-Net), which has been working tirelessly in recent years to provide support to Iraqi children with cancer, is now collecting emergency funds to provide support to citizens who continue to suffer in Basra. Donations will cover clean water to local hospitals, as well as food packages (rice, sugar, cooking oil and milk) to around 400 families in need (including ten families whose children are now sick with cancer).

JIM-Net ( dispenses its aid with the support of local, on-the-ground staff who are in touch with citizens’ real daily needs. Donations will be gratefully accepted via the following account (deadline ongoing):

Postal Account #00540-2-94945
Account Name: Japan-Iraq Medical Network (JIM-Net)
In the comment box, please write “Basra.”

#2: Campaign to Support Iraqi Refugees in Baghdad

The population of Iraq is 25 million people, of which 4 million are presently living as refugees both within and outside of Iraq due to the continuing violence and deterioration of stability in their country. The United Nations has recently called the situation in Iraq a humanitarian crisis.

The Iraq Hope Network is now in the midst of round two of a fundraising effort to help refugees living in northern Baghdad, in an area where a quarter of the children have lost parents due to the war and ensuing violence. The money will be used to purchase clothing, school supplies, food items, and other necessities for their basic daily needs.

This past winter, during the round one of the collection drive, donations in the amount of 580,000 yen collected through the Iraq Hope Network allowed the refugees in this area to receive electricity generators, electric heaters, and blanket sets. The 296 children attending the local Adamiya Elementary also received school bags and clothing, as well as 40 heaters for their school.

For more details (Japanese only), please visit the Iraq Hope Diary. Photos of the refugees from the first round of the fund drive are also available here.
Please send all donations to the following bank account no later than June 4th, 2008:

Postal Account #: 02750-3-62668
Account Name: Nahoko Takato (Iraqi Aid Volunteer)
In the comment box, please write “Baghdad.”

     Remember: If we all do something small and put our efforts together, we can make a huge difference!!

(Translation: Tatsuhito Nakamura)


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