While we often assert that Nonprofit Centers are valuable assets to the communities they serve, the tragedy in Japan has reminded us just how true that is. The Sendai Miyagi NPO Center in Sendai, Japan is located in one of the epicenters of the devastating earthquake. In its aftermath, the NPO Center has become a de facto lifeline for that ravaged community. As you can see from their web site, the Center is serving as a critical resource to help people find lost loved ones, access basic social services, and coordinate the massive relief effort. As a hub for community services, the Sendai Center is a natural place for people to come for the critical assistance they need in times of crisis. We are truly inspired by their work.
The Sendai Miyagi Center is part of a 40 member strong network of multi-tenant nonprofit centers in Japan and a participant in our ongoing exchange with Japanese centers. The Japanese network is actively organizing to support their colleagues in the most affected areas. Mobilizing the power of their network, our Japanese colleagues can provide strategic support. Many nonprofit center leaders are veterans of the relief effort in Japan after the Kobe earthquake. These relief efforts were a huge catalyst to the development of Japanese civil society. Supporting these kinds of networks and community infrastructure providers will be crucial for Japan’s recovery.