Support Us for Refugees' Winter Survival in Japan
About 630 refugees visit the office of Japan Association for Refugees (JAR) in Chiyoda City, Tokyo annually. Many of them have just fled from countries in Africa or Middle East and have no acquaintances to rely on in Japan.
"I am likely to get killed if I go back home." "I have nowhere to sleep." "I do not even have money to buy food." JAR provide such people with clothes, medical support, food and shelters so that they can survive the difficult condition. Our support includes;
Providing shelters and emergency financial aids, and
Coordinating with medical organisations.
Refugees cannot receive public support right after their arrival in Japan. Surviving their initial 40 days - the time until they can finally receive their public support - is the first challenge that refugees in Japan face. They have to live completely on their own during that period. They are not allowed to work, either. Many of them do not have a single acquaintance or someone to seek help in Japan, as they have fled to the country because the Japanese visa happened to be the first visa they attained.
It does not take long until their money runs out in Japan, as things are relatively more expensive here than their home countries. Many people have fallen onto homeless by the time they find and contact us. There was even a person who came to our office with a 100 yen coin in his hand - and that was the only money he possessed.
Japan Association for Refugees offer light foods, financial aid and shelters to refugees, but there is a limitation to what we can do. Maintaining shelters costs quite a little amount of money and we are unable to provide them for all of our clients. We reluctantly have to ask our clients, especially healthy men, to continue sleeping outside until shelters have an vacancy.
The situations of refugees in Japan are very harsh regardless of seasons, but the winter climate brings extra difficulties to them. Although this winter has been warmer than usual, it is still cold enough to freeze people whose home never falls under 20 degree celsius.
Although we cannot provide everyone with a shelter, we are doing everything we can do so that refugees, who come to us with desperate need for help, can stay warm in this winter, such as;
Serving warm foods and drinks,
Providing space to sleep in the office for those who could not sleep at night,
Providing warm clothes and sleeping bags,
Offering financial aid to cover fees for transportation and food, and
Assisting applications for public support.
Supports from Japan Association for Refugees are the only lifeline for refugees in their initial 40 days in Japan. We have estimated in the beginning of this year that we would need 53 million yen (0.53 million US dollars) to offer necessary support, such as food, shelters and medical care, to refugees this year. Thanks to donations and supports, we are expecting that we can secure 37 million yen (0.37 million US dollars) of it, but not the other 16 million yen (0.16 million US dollars).
Our activities are not supported by a large fund, such as one from the government. Little contribution of many people is what makes our activities possible. Only with your donations, we are able to continue offering urgent support, such as arranging accommodations to those who got sick from the cold weather, providing transportation fee to visit our office and providing minimum money to buy food. We would greatly appreciate if you could join us and support refugees in Japan to survive the winter.
Please click here for donation.