The situation in Japan is still unfolding and, of course, people throughout the world are monitoring it and finding ways to help. You might be wondering about the response of our students and alumni.
First, the students. A few days before the spring vacation that ended with students’ return this morning, we received this email:
On behalf of those who are now working tirelessly at Fletcher to support Japan, we want to update our Fletcher community on the efforts that are now underway or being planned.
As everyone is aware, Japan has been suffering from the devastating tragedy of earthquakes and tsunami since last Friday. That same day, Japanese students in the Greater Boston area, at schools including Fletcher, MIT, Harvard, and Boston University, gathered to discuss projects to help out the crisis in Japan. At the meeting, we launched an organization called Action4JapanBoston, and we have started several efforts, including fundraising, bridging communication, and crisis mapping.
In this context, we, brothers and sisters at Fletcher, are now working on the two projects below:
First, as a part of the cross-university project, we are now planning fundraising activities to support Japan’s relief efforts through reliable agencies.
Second, we have organized Japanese students in the Boston area to work collaboratively on Crisis Mapping using sinsai.info, a site launched by people in Japan. Fletcher has been instrumental in initiating this effort, with the rich experience from Ushahidi in Haiti and Libya being critical to its design and implementation. We are grateful for those who have kindly helped us to get this project into motion.
We are deeply moved by all of your heartwarming messages and concerns about our families and friends in Japan. We hope to keep the Fletcher community updated on our ongoing efforts.
Fletcher Japanese community and friends
You can also find Action4JapanBoston on Facebook.
More recently, I stumbled on the site of a Fletcher alum, Todd Wassel, (who, it might be noted, used to work in the Admissions office). Todd is well into his post-Fletcher career and, as a conflict resolution and human rights expert, is offering (via his web site, #Blog4Japan) his perspective and expertise on organizations supporting the Japanese people. Check out his suggestions of worthy organizations, as well as his description of the event itself.
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