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About Kosodate-ship Activity Report Support Organisations

What is Kosodate★-ship? (★ Kosodate means parenting)

Our story

Thank you very much for visiting our site.
Our aid project started in Ofunato Rikuzentakata, which was hit by the East Japan Great Earthquake on the 11th March 2011. It was started by the local midwives for the pregnant women, and mothers who live in this area, so that they can obtain support with parenting.

Currently the Public Health nurses in Rikuzentakata district are also cooperating with our project.

Activity Timeline
May 2009~ Two midwives started community work in Ofunato district Health Centre.
8th May 2009 Association of Visiting Midwives: “Mother & Child Support” established. Two more midwives joined the original two. Other activities included classes for mothers & fathers and having a consultation space for parenting.
14th March 2010 Held a lecture on breastfeeding “ Bonyu de Genki!” (Happy/well with Breast milk!). This was funded by Iwate prefecture society longevity encouragement foundation.
18th June 2010 Opened “ YS Centre: Mother & Child Consultation Space” in Ofunato district
January 2011 Used the fund from above to improve our facility.
11th March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake destroyed our facility– we suspended our work. Out of five staff, four became victims of the disaster.
28th May 2011 Opened a Mother & Child Consultation Space “Niko Niko” (“Smiling”) in the Ofunato district shopping mall and received many victims. Project is in cooperation with the Japan Midwives Association Iwate prefecture Branch.
30th September 2011 “ Mother & Baby Salon (Workshop) Ofunato Rikuzentakata: Kosodate-ship” starts with much support.
Currently, we run our workshop monthly in two districts; Ofunato district and Rikuzentakata district.
31st January 2012 Decided to stop Mother & Child Consultation Space “Niko Niko” and limit our work to “Kosodate-ship” project only.

Our aim

The current condition of Ofunato district and Rikuzentakata district makes the life of parents very hard and not only, makes it very difficult for aid and public support to reach them.
We would like to support expecting mothers, mothers with infants and their families with the aims below:

  • To provide space and time for a relaxation and recovery for the mothers, babies and their families who are the victims of the disaster.
  • To give a support on a practical level in order to lead a safe and happy pregnancy and parenting period.
  • To promote interaction and friendship between participants.
  • To have a wider aid vision and work towards community enlivenment of the area.

Message from the representative

On 11th March 2011, our town Ofunato was struck by an unprecedented earthquake. From that moment on, I started aid work at the emergency shelter near my home, as the only person with a medical qualification in the area.
Four days after the disaster, when I was still unsure about what had happened to everyone, I received an emergency request to help at the temporary neonatal ward, set up inside a refuge camp, for the mothers who have lost families and are unable to go anywhere with their newborns, as their homes have been washed away. It was a primary school nurse’s room, so the facility was inadequate, but all the mothers protected their babies amazingly. The babies who had just been born were truly a light of hope for all of us.
Two months after the disaster, myself and some other midwives, who had volunteered, started a free consultation room “ Niko Niko” (Smiling), for mothers with children, in the shopping mall, which had escaped the damage from the disaster. From October 2011, we were also able to start our workshop “Kosodate-ship” in Ofunato and Rikuzentakata districts thanks to funds from Tokyo Midwives Association project “Satogaeri Project”.
Parenting needs a good support network of people around you. Currently, there are many women in our area who are living in temporary housing while going through pregnancy, birth and entering motherhood, without even having the chance to recover from the emotional damage caused by the disaster.
It is my sincere wish that our work will be of some support towards such mothers and children.


Residential area
From the staff representative:
Reiko Ito
Mikako Kinno
Kazuko Kadoguchi
Shizue Oogami
Chieko Oikawa
Shigeko Yaegashi
Miyoko Sato
Hiroko Watanabe
Masako Yamamoto
Masako Yoshida
Kimie Kikuchi
Yoko Chida Rikuzentakata
Yoshimi Kinoshita Saitama

Rikuzentakata district has been destroyed almost entirely; hence even the reconstruction of local government is still not complete therefore the public health nurses in Rikuzentakata district are also cooperating with our project.