Volunteer Information for People in Japan

Special thanks to Koko Peters for the Japanese translation.
You can view it below. You may find it useful to print the Japanese version of this document to help explain what you want to do to Japanese teachers and staff.

AJET and Smile Kids Japan, with support from the JetWit JET alumni translators and interpreters group, have compiled a list of prefectural volunteer organisations (PVOs) mobilising volunteer groups to do ground work in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The list of PVOs can be found below.

The current state of affected areas in the Tohoku region is still being assessed. Until a final assessment has been made, no volunteers will be allowed into those areas. Because PVOs are being formed on a prefectural level, each prefecture is at a different stage in organisation. This list will be updated frequently so please keep checking back here for the latest news about your prefecture.

Although we recommend that JETs in unaffected areas stay safe at home, we know many of you have volunteer experience and want to get involved at ground level. We highly recommend that interested volunteers contact their PVO before contacting any NGOs. PVOs are prepared to work with large numbers of untrained volunteers and know how to create safe, secure ways to volunteer in Tohoku; most NGOs cannot do this as effectively. In addition, by working with your PVO, you will be helping the affected areas rebuild themselves while promoting grassroots internationalization by bonding with your local prefectural volunteers.

We must also remind all JETs that you are under contract. Your role in Japan is first and foremost as an educator or community relations officer. If your contracting organisation or school asks you not to volunteer, you must not go. Also, as a JET you should only be volunteering your time during school holidays.  Keep in mind that relief efforts are going to take many months; even if you cannot get permission to volunteer now there may be other opportunities to volunteer during Golden Week, summer holidays and beyond.


Should you volunteer away from home?

  • You may be able to help more from home:

You can help from your prefecture by making material/monetary donations, doing fundraisers, donating blood or hosting displaced people through CouchSurfing.  Going to the Tohoku region isn’t something to do because you want to be a hero or because of peer pressure, it is a very serious decision.

  • Do not go to Tohoku without support:

Going alone without the support of a recognized PVO/NGO puts you and disaster victims in danger. Especially if you are untrained/unskilled, you can make matters worse. This was a major problem for NGOs in Haiti and we do not want anyone slowing down the emergency response.

  • Tohoku is not yet safe for untrained volunteers:

Not one volunteer organisation is allowing untrained/unskilled volunteers into the disaster zone yet. It is not safe. Organisations will start sending lay volunteers when the region is deemed stable and safe. Be patient. Be safe.

  • Make sure you’re physically and mentally prepared:

AJET and the volunteer organisations ask you to seriously consider your physical and mental health. You will be going into a disaster zone, one that in places may look worse than a typical war zone. There will be things that you may not expect or want to see.  You will be doing heavy, physical labor after a very long journey by bus or car. Are you ready to handle that?

  • Make sure that you can afford to pay your own way:

You will be responsible for your own travel, accommodation, food, water and other basic expenses.

  • Be prepared to stay in very modest accommodation:

It is likely that you will be camping near your work sites but accommodation may vary by location.

  • Be sure that you can can complete all work duties in addition to volunteering:

The volunteer dates may not fit your work schedule, if volunteer opportunities fall outside of spring break/Golden Week, you may not be able to go. Also your contracting organisation may not approve your request to do volunteer work/take nenkyu. If they do not approve, you must not go.

  • Be ready and able to leave on short notice:

PVOs will send notice of the chance to volunteer only very shortly before they actually move out. Will your schedule and contracting organisation allow that?

  • Be aware of the risks:

PVOs will do their best to make the trip safe for everyone. The ones we have contacted so far are providing special volunteer insurance to cover you but please know that if anything happens, it was your decision to be there and you are responsible for your own well-being.  We will organise a contact person in your PVO and in your home prefecture, so that we can remain in touch at all times and quickly address any issues that may arise. However, there will still be some risks to volunteering.


If you are not accepted by your PVO for any reason, AJET and Smile Kids Japan are currently working on a list of NGOs that may later accept groups of foreign volunteers. No matter how you volunteer, it will be essential to register with AJET and keep your B.O.E informed so that we can always account for every JET’s whereabouts and safety.

Please direct any questions to .


Find Your Prefectural Volunteer Organizations Here:

AJET SKJ Earthquake Volunteering Info

[This list will be constantly updated — check back if you can’t find what you’re looking for!]


Donate Money here – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=198359066854878

Donate Food/Goods – http://www.2hj.org/index.php/news/send_us_food_and_supplies/

Host displaced people here – http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=39703

Counseling Services – http://www.telljp.com/ / https://ajet.net/psg/index.php?title=AJET_Peer_Support_Group

Compiled by
AJET https://ajet.net/
Smile Kids Japan www.smilekidsjapan.org
with help from
JetWit http://jetwit.com/wordpress/


AJET とSmile Kids Japanは JetWit JET 同窓会 翻訳者・通訳者グループの協力を得て、地震・津波の被災地でのボランティア活動を取りまとめる県ボランティア組織( PVO)のリストをまとめました。 PVOのリストは下記の通りです。

東北地方における被災地の現状は未だ把握しきれていません。最終判断がされるまでは地域内にはボランティアは受け入れられません。 PVOは県ごとに組織されるため、県によって進み具合は異なります。このリストは頻繁に更新されますので、各県の最新情報を随時ご確認ください。

被災地外のJET青年は安全な地域にとどまることを勧めます。しかし、ボランティア活動の経験があり、現場の活動に参加したい方もいるでしょう。ボランティア活動に参加したい方はNGOに連絡をする前に、まず地元の PVOに問い合わせることを強くお勧めします。PVOは特別な訓練を受けていない多くのボランティアを取りまとめ、東北地域で安全に活動に従事していただく体制ができています。一方、多くの NGO はそれを効果的にすることはできません。更に PVOを通すことにより被災地の復興を支援するとともに、自分の県のボランティアと繋がりを持つことにより草の根の国際化促進にもなります。

JET青年の皆さんは契約の元で働いていることを忘れないで下さい。皆さんの日本での役割は、まず教員であり、地域との交流の職員であります。職場よりボランティア活動をしないよう求められたら、それに従って下さい。また、ボランティア活動は、 JET青年として勤務時間外でしか行えません。救援活動は何ヶ月にも渡るものであり、活動参加が今許されなくても、ゴールデンウィークや夏休み等で機会があるかもしれません。



  • 地元からの方が有益かもしれません:


  • サポート無しでは東北へ行かないように:

公認の PVOやNGOのサポート無しで一人で行くことは、自分や被災者を危険にさらすことになります。特に特別なトレーニングや技術がない場合は、かえって迷惑になります。これはハイチの NGO活動でも大きな問題でした。緊急対策の妨げになってはいけません。

  • 現時点では、東北は特別なトレーニングを受けていないボランティアにはまだ危険:


  • 心身共に耐えられるように:


  • 自分の経費は自分で払えるように:


  • 最小限の宿泊条件を覚悟するように:


  • ボランティア活動以外にも自分の本来の仕事をきちんとこなせるように:


  • 短期間で出発できる準備を:


  • リスクを認識しよう:

PVOは、皆が安全であるよう最善をつくします。これまでに連絡が取れた団体では特別なボランティア用保険を提供していますが、万が一何かがあっても参加は自分で決めたことであって、身の安全の確保は自分の責任であることを覚えておいて下さい。各 PVOと都道府県で窓口になる人を決め、常に連絡を取り何かがあった場合すぐに対応できるようにしますが、ボランティア活動への参加にはリスクが伴います。


何らかの理由で PVOに受け入れられなくても、後日外国人ボランティアを受け入れられる可能性のあるNGOのリストを今 AJETと Smile Kids Japanがまとめています。いかなる形でボランティアしても、JET青年全員の居場所と安全の確認ができるよう AJETに登録し所属の教育委員会に報告してください。



自分の都道府県ボランティア組織( PVO)を検索:

AJET SKJ地震ボランティア活動情報



http://www.telljp.com/ / https://ajet.net/psg/index.php?title=AJET_Peer_Support_Group

AJET https://ajet.net/
Smile Kids Japan  http://www.smilekidsjapan.org
JetWit http://jetwit.com/wordpress/