Tag Archives: 支援

Read the “Small Print” on Charity’s Appeal

東北地方での地震発生から5日。まだ原発は危険な状態が続いており、各国政府は、被災地のみならず東京からの自国人の緊急避難を促している。被災地では寒さが続き、燃料不足と被曝への不安から物資が届かず、被災者の方たちの苦難は続く。国内外で不安がどんどん高まり、気分が滅入る。そんな絶望的な状況の中で、イギリスで支援の輪が増えてきたのが、せめてもの慰めだ。

ただ、インターネット掲示板などでも話題になっている事だが、いくつかの慈善団体が、日本への義援金集めと言いながら、目立たぬ但し書きで「もし必要以上にお金が集まった場合は、余剰の寄付金が他の案件に使われることもある」と書いている(イギリス赤十字Save the Childrenなど)。私が何とか力になりたいという衝動で寄付した時は、東北地震と謳っているからには当然集まったお金は日本の被災地のために使われると思い込んでいたので、説明なんて読まなかった。売買や契約などの際は、きちんと規約を読むようにしていたけれど、まさか慈善団体への寄付も、詳細を隅から隅まで読まないといけないとは思わなかった。どの慈善団体もそうなのだろうか?最後尾にせよ、募集サイト上に書いている赤十字は可愛いもので、Save the Childrenなどは、「寄付」をクリックしたあと、右側にある「Donation Q&As」から「What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?」を再度クリックしないと、表示されないという手の込みよう。

慈善団体は、彼らなりに今どこが援助を最も必要としているかを考えて、寄付金の使途を決めるのだろうが、特定の義援金集めを謳っている場合、人々は寄付金をその為に使ってくれると信じて寄付する訳だから、もしその他の事に使う可能性があるのであれば、そのことを人々に明確に告知する義務があるのではないか。これは掲示板からの抜粋だけれど、このことを赤十字に指摘したところ、返ってきた答えが以下の通り。

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money (though British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission), but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes, therefore, charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

その中で赤文字部分が気になる。日本赤十字社などとやり取りをした中でこう言われたのかもしれないが、あれだけの惨状を目当たりにして、「日本は先進国だから自分たちの面倒は自分で見られる、財政援助は求めていない」なんて無神経な事が、どうして言えるんだろう。財政援助はいらないと思うのであれば、寄付金を集める意味などないのでは?イギリス赤十字社のサイトに、目標額と現在の寄付金総額が記されていないのも、疑問が残る。しかも、28%のマージンまで取ると聞いている。まあ、疑心暗鬼になっていても仕方ないから、被災者の方々にできる限りの支援が届く事を信じるしかないか。

↓ 今日見つけた支援情報

It’s been five days since the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami. But nuclear fear still remains and many countries encourage their people to evacuate from not only affected area but also from Tokyo as well. It is freezing cold in Tohoku, but substantial amount of aid materials can’t be reached out to the evacuees due to lack of fuels and drivers’ fear of radiation. Fear and anxiety inside and outside of Japan has been heightened, and it makes me feel depressed. However, a little hope in such despair is that the circle of help in Japan is getting bigger in UK.

However, there is a concern being discussed on Japanese internet communication boards – some charities, such as British Red Cross and Save the Children, put “small print” on their Japan earthquake and Tsunami appeal, indicating that there is a possibility that the money raised may not necessary be used for Tohoku region, when the funds raised exceed the “need”. When I donated money to British Red Cross, I rushed to proceed without reading the description as I was so concerned, believing that all my money would be delivered to the victims in Japan. I always read terms and condition carefully when I sign a contract or purchase something, but I’ve never thought that even established charities use the same tactic that commercial companies use. Now I am confused if all charities do the same?! British Red Cross put the sentence on the same page of appeal at least, though it is all the way down the bottom, but Save the Children let us click twice to see it – it is on the second page after you click “give now”, then “What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?” from Donation Q&As on the right – clever way to make it less visible!

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money, apart from the fact that British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission, but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes. Charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

I am quite disturbed with the sentence in red. They might be told by Japanese Red Cross, but it is quite insensitive comment by such an established charity. Considering the intensity of the damage caused by massive earthquake, fierce Tsunami, and possible nuclear contamination, how on earth they can think that there is no need for financial help?! If they believe so, why they even try to raise funds for?? I also don’t like that their website doesn’t show project target and progress, as Ocado Japan Appeal does, so that I have a choice not to donate if the target is achieved and the further donation will be given to others. Well, no point to be overly suspicious, and I just really hope that enough help will be delivered to the victims in Japan…

↓ Additional information for help for Today

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How to Help Japan Earthquake Victims from UK

Vodpod videos no longer available.

ロンドンオリンピックまであと500日。トラファルガー広場に設置された大時計のカウントダウンが始まり(BBCニュース1)、チケットの販売が今日朝より開始された(BBCニュース2)。でも東北地震・津波の被害を思うと、日本人としてはお祭り気分にはほど遠い。原子力発電所問題がまだ未解決なので、こちらでもまだまだニュースで取り上げられているが、各国が表明した公的支援以外、メディアは一般人が貢献できる寄付や支援については、ほとんど取り上げていない。ハイチ大地震や東南アジアを襲った津波の際は、もっとニュースで支援を呼びかけたり、テレビCMや新聞広告を見たような気がしたのだが。その点、アメリカは日本の同盟国だということもあるのか、ネットで調べていても情報も多いし、セレブリティを含む人々の関心も高いと感じる。

その中で、何とか支援の輪を広げようと、慈善団体への寄付はもちろん、チャリティ・イベントやコンサートの企画、募金活動の組織、フェイスブックやミクシィでの情報交換など、頑張っている多くの在英日本人たちがいる。上のビデオは、日本人留学生が折り鶴を折って、LSE(ロンドン・スクール・オブ・エコノミクス)の前で募金活動をしている様子。日本人だけじゃなくて、イギリス人や他の国の人たちも、自分たちでも企画をしてくれると、もっと嬉しいんだけれど。

↓ 以下は今日集めた支援情報です。その他の支援については昨日のブログもご参照ください。

Today a giant clock placed in Trafalgar Square started counting down 500 days until the start of the London Olympics (BBC news 1), and 6.6 million Olympic tickets became available this morning (BBC news 2). But when I think about the victims of Japan Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami, I am not in a mood at all to celebrate all these Olympic stuffs. The media coverage is still big here in UK, as problems at nuclear power stations haven’t been solved yet. However, strangely the media rarely talks about help that ordinary people can do, rather than official aid from each country. I think I saw more TV commercials and newspaper ads, as well as information for charity on news programs for Haiti earthquake and Boxing Day Tsunami. On the other hand, I feel like Americans, including celebs, are more supportive and helpful, and more information for aids in the US – probably because USA and Japan are important allies.

There are many Japanese living in UK, trying to help the victims, not only donating to charities, but also organizing charity events and concerts, fundraising on a street, exchanging support information on local web community boards and SNS such as facebook and Mixi (Japan’s largest SNS community). The video above was taken from BBC London news, covering Japanese students making Origami cranes and fundraising in front of LSE. I wish the circle of support will spread, not only within Japanese community in UK, but also to British public and people from other countries – yes, Japan is the third largest economy in the world and you may think help is unnecessary, but the damage is enormous with astronomical cost or recovery, and the government has huge debt and the country is still in long-lasting recession. Of course Japanese government and people must help with each other too, but I am afraid it is not enough. Many people in the affected areas are elderly as young generation left for bigger cities and can’t afford to pay 30-year morgage, and fishermen and farmers on the coast are not millionaires as well…

↓ Here is additional information for help. Please also check yesterday’s entry for more information.


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What We Can Do in UK…

3月11日に起こった東北地方太平洋沖地震から3日経った。しかし、まだまだ困難は立ちはだかる。いまだ行方不明者は約1万5000人、避難者も約45万人に上る。ダメージを受けた原子力発電所は放射線汚染を起こす危機をはらみ、予断を許さない状況だ。こんな時、私に何ができるだろう?と考えた。できる範囲で寄付もした。また微力ながら、このブログでもイギリスから寄付や支援ができるリンクや情報を掲載しました。新しい情報が入り次第、アップデートします。皆さんのご協力をお願いします!

<寄付>

  • イギリス赤十字社「Japan Tsunami Appeal*2度に渡ってここに寄付したのですが、「In the event that we receive more donations to the Japan Tsunami Appeal than the Japanese Red Cross and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can reasonably and efficiently spend, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to humanitarian disasters both here in the UK and overseas(もし充分援助をしたら、集まった寄付金は他の事に使うかもしれない)」との但し書きを、ミクシィでどなたかが指摘していたのを見て、お勧めしない事にしました。その上、マージンを28%もとるそうです。
  • Save the Chidren「Japan Emergency Appeal
  • Just Giving: Japan Earthquake – how you can help
  • eBay for Charity: Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Appeal
  • Donate with PayPal: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief
  • レディ・ガガ主催「Japan Earthquake Relief Wristband

*あと残り数時間ですが、Grouponでも寄付を受け付けています。集まった寄付金に加え、寄付金と同額(£70,000上限) をGroupon UK社が寄付してくれるそうです。

<SNS>

It’s been 3 days since the deadly Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. However, the hardship is still far from over – there are still about 15,000 people missing and estimated 450,000 evacuees living inconvenience. Damaged nuclear power stations have caused great fears of meltdown, which could lead to nuclear nightmare. I thought about what can I do here in UK. I donated some money, and also I want to put web links of charities for donation and information of support networks in UK. I will update whenever I get new information. Your help is really appreciated!

<Donation>

  • British Red Cross: Japan Tsunami Appeal * I donated twice to British Red Cross but decided not to recommend this as I found “small print” in description as “In the event that we receive more donations to the Japan Tsunami Appeal than the Japanese Red Cross and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can reasonably and efficiently spend, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to humanitarian disasters both here in the UK and overseas”, meaning that all the money raised for the appeal may not be used solely for Tsunami victims. In addition, I heard that they charge 28% commission from the total of donation.
  • Save the Chidren: Japan Emergency Appeal
  • Just Giving: Japan Earthquake – how you can help
  • eBay for Charity: Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Appeal
  • Donate with PayPal: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief
  • Lady Gaga’s「Japan Earthquake Relief Wristband

<SNS>

Groupon also accepts donation until the end of today, although only few hours left. Any donation will be matched in full (up to the collated total value of £70,000) by Groupon UK.

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Very, Very Sad Day

11日午後2時46分に発生した、東日本巨大地震。イギリスでもBBCニュースやSkyニュースで、絶え間なく状況をリポートしている。その惨事を目にし、東北地方の被災された方々の悲しみ、苦しみを思うと、今日は到底、能天気にブログでカフェの話などする気にならない。

この震災で惜しくも亡くなられた方々に、心からお悔やみを申し上げます。愛する家族を失った方々。家や生活の糧を奪われた方々。怪我をされた方々。これからも様々な困難や傷心に直面されるであろう被災者の方々に、一日も早く平穏な日々が戻るよう、お祈り申し上げます。

***

現在、USTREAMで、NHKTBSフジテレビの地震情報がライブで見れます。また英赤十字は「Japan Tsunami Appeal」を実施、オンラインで募金を行っています。またレディ・ガガは「Japan Earthquake Relief Wristband」をデザイン、収益金は地震支援金として寄付される予定です。支援の輪が広がる事を願っています。

The strongest recorded earthquake ever hit north east Japan at 2:46 pm on February 11. BBC news and Sky news have been constantly reported aftermath of the tragedy – it’s a true catastrophe. I can’t write a blog about café or something nonchalantly, without thinking about the sadness and hardship that people in the region facing.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people who lost their lives. For people who lost their loved ones. For people who lost their houses and their living. For people who injured… You may encounter sorrow and distress the time ahead, but I wish your heart and soul will find peace and comfort one day soon.

***

You can watch NHK world news online live for information about the earthquake. British Red Cross set up “Japan Tsunami Appeal” and you can donate online or you can buy Japan Earthquake Relief Wristband designed by Lady Gaga if you prefer – I would really, really appreciate if you can spread the word about these project!

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Prince William Slept Rough on the Street Last Week

ウィリアム王子が先週、ロンドンのBlackfriars bridge(ブラックフリアーズ橋)の近くで、ホームレス体験とホームレス問題に対する認知を高めるため、路上で一晩を過ごした。子供の頃、母である故ダイアナ妃にお忍びでホームレス慈善団体のCentrepoint(センターポイント)に連れられたことがきっかけで、成長してからCentrepointの後援者となった。王子は、チャリティの責任者(写真上)とともに零下の中、ゴミ用トローリーに囲まれ、寝袋の中で夜12時から朝6時まで過ごした。その後は、ウエスト・エンドのホームレスの若者が多く夜を過ごす場所の視察をされた。寝ている間、王子たちに気づかなかった道路清掃車にひかれそうになって、ひやっとしたそうだ。日本では王子が1泊でも路上生活するなんて考えられない。過剰保護されている日本の皇室とは比べ物にならないぐらい、イギリスの王室はオープンで自由なのだ。

ホームレスチャリティのHomeless Linkの統計によると、昨年ロンドンでは、路上で睡眠を取った人が一晩あたり239人(イングランド統計483人のうち49%)。この数は、ホームレスチャリティやボランティアのおかげで、10年前の約半数になった。内訳は87%が男性で、13%が女性。62%が26〜45歳、30%が46歳以上、そして7%が25歳以下。41%に薬物問題、49%にアルコール問題、35%に精神疾患が見られた(重複あり)。15%のみ、この3つの問題のどれもなかった。政府のホームレス対策に呼応して作られた委員会であるThe London Delivery Boardは、2012年(ロンドン・オリンピック開催年)までに、ホームレスをなくすと掲げている。

慈善活動は、イギリス王室の重要な活動の1つだ。ウィリアム王子も、慈善活動に熱心な両親の影響で、少年時代から色々な活動に興味を示してきた。母親のエイズ救援・防止活動、そして父親の自然保護や恵まれない人々への活動は、王子に同じ分野での活動を促した。彼はまた、アフリカ支援にも興味を持っており、弟であるヘンリー王子(イギリスではハリーと呼ばれる)の慈善団体・Sentebaleにも時折参加している。こう書いていると至極品行方正に聞こえる王子たちであるが、ご心配なく。プライベート・ライフは楽しく過ごしているようだ。以前は、王子兄弟が(とその従姉妹のベアトリーチェ王女とユージーン王女)、Mahiki(マヒキ)やBoujis(ブージズ)、 Whisky Mist(ウィスキーミスト)等、ポッシュ(Posh、気取った)なナイトクラブに出入りしている姿が、よくロンドンのフリーペーパーを賑わわせていた(下の写真は酔っぱらった王子とガールフレンドのケイト・ミドルトン)。最近はあまりお遊びの写真は見かけないけれど、二人とも大人になったのか、それとも、行き過ぎたパパラッチ行為には法的措置も持さないと言う、エリザベス女王の警告が効いたのか?

Prince William spent one night sleeping rough on the streets near Blackfriars bridge in London last week, to experience being homeless and to raise awareness in homelessness. He was taken by his mother, late Princess Diana, on a secret visit to a Centrepoint shelter when he was a child, and the experience led him to become a patron of homeless charity Centrepoint when he grew up. He slept in a sleeping bag in sub-zero temperatures together with the charity’s chief executive (photo above), next to the wheelie bins, from 12 am to 6 am. Then he went on a tour of the West End to see where many young homeless people were sleeping. He and his company were almost run over by a road sweeper which didn’t see them. It is inconceivable in Japan that one of the princes sleeps on the street without roof, even for one night. British Royal family is incredibly open and free, in compare to the overprotected Japanese Royal family.

According to the key facts by Homeless Link, 239 people sleeping rough on any given night counted last year in London (49% of the England total 483); which is half the level that it was ten years ago, thanks to an effort by a number of homeless charities and its volunteers. 87% were male and 13% were female. 62% were aged between 26 and 45, 30% were aged over 46, and 7% were under age 25. Among the homeless people, 41% had drug problems, 49% had alcohol problems, and 35% had mental health problems (people may be counted in more than one category); 15% had neither drug, alcohol or mental health problems. The London Delivery Board, a group of voluntary agencies and statutory bodies, aims to eliminate rough sleeping in London by 2012, the year of London Olympic.

To involve in a charity activity is an important Royal duty in UK. Prince William took interest in various causes from an early age, with an influence from his parents who have been also active in charity. His mother’s work with HIV/AIDS aid and prevention, and his father’s work with the natural environment and the inner-city disadvantaged, directed him into those areas. He also showed a desire to focus on the needy in Africa, and sometimes works with his brother Prince Harry‘s charity, Sentebale. How nice and touching. But don’t worry, the princes also have a nice life and like to party as well. I used to see photographs of the Royal brothers (and their cousins, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie), coming out from some posh night clubs such as Mahiki, Boujis and the Whisky Mist, all over the London’s free papers a while ago (photo below is Prince William obviously drunk with his girlfriend Kate Middleton in 2007) – but I rarely see recently. Maybe because they grew up and become mature, or the warning by the Queen, that “the Royal Family stands ready to take legal action against harassment and intrusion by paparazzi”??

photo from Aftermath News
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