Helping Aid his hometown Victims of Japan Floods
Due to the June 28-July 9, 2018 devastating rain and floods that battered mostly Southwestern Japan, the KIF (Koyamada International Foundation), a Los Angeles- and Tokyo-based nonprofit organization founded by Shin Koyamada (The Last Samurai) and his wife Nia Lyte (TED Talk Speaker and Shinca Group President & COO), has established the 2018 Japan Floods Relief Funds to accept donations to aid victims and bring hope to the millions of others affected by this catastrophic disaster.
During the flooding and subsequent landslides, two million people were forced to flee their homes. Besides hundreds of victims having lost their lives, many are still missing throughout the region. Okayama and Hiroshima Prefectures (states) have been hard hit.
Koyamada, originally from Okayama Prefecture, serves as the Prefecture's international goodwill ambassador where 1,000+ folks were trapped on rooftops of submerged buildings caused by three dikes bursting along the Oda River. Most were rescued by boat or helicopter.
"Okayama Prefecture is my hometown," Koyamada shares. "I grew up there before moving to the U.S. in 2000. Because the Prefecture has the lowest annual rainfall in Japan, it's called 'The Land of Sunshine.' Ironically, heavy historic rainfall has caused flooding, landslides and has destroyed cities and people that no one had ever dreamed of. You just never know."
In the city of Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture's Mabicho area, 1,200 hectares were underwater affecting 4,600 homes and displacing 3,000 to 5,000 residents. Koyamada's relatives reside in these ravaged areas. Moments before their homes were completely submerged, they were rescued by Japanese Self-defense Force boats and transported to a nearby evacuation center set up for victims at a local elementary school.
Koyamada adds, "The devastating flooding reminds me of 2011's Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami that KIF also tirelessly helped by shipping hundreds of relief goods and items from the U.S. to the victims directly. We also collected in the U.S. relief funds and donated them to affected Prefectures in Northern Japan. We're going to face a long recovery process."
KIF is committed to aiding victims and supporting the long-term recovery efforts by coordinating with its designated volunteer staff in the U.S. and Japan to work with other Japan-related organizations and international communities, including Sister Cities International where Koyamada serves on the Board of Directors.
Lyte said, "One morning, we received emergency calls from our family in Japan letting us know the flooding situation in Okayama Prefecture. We've been contacting friends for help, coordinating our Japanese volunteers in Southwestern Japan to set up local warehouses to store relief goods, setting up a donation page, collecting new information from impacted Prefectures, checking in on our Japanese friends and family members' safety, ...it's all nonstop."
To donate via online, please click this link: http://gofundme.com/2018JapanFloods
To donate via check, please make payable to "KIF" and mail it to the following mailing address: PO BOX 1, Burbank, CA 91503, United States.
About Koyamada International Foundation:
KIF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established by Shin Koyamada and Nia Lyte in Los Angeles, CA in 2008, with its mission to inspire youth and women to achieve their dreams and aid for natural disasters. For over 10 years, KIF has yearly helped thousands of youth and women through its cross-cultural, educational and sports programs and has successfully raised substantial relief funds to aid victims of natural disasters, including the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. KIF has offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Bogota. For more info, please visit http://koyamada.org.