Silver School Students and Alumni Help in Local Japanese Tsunami Efforts

Associate Professor Tazuko Shibusawa and Japanese alumni and students have joined with the Japanese American Social Services, Inc (JASSI) to help Japanese residents of New York City in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Shibusawa serves on the board of JASSI, a nonprofit social service organization in New York City that provides services to the Japanese-speaking community. Yoko Naka, MSW '10 is on staff and Moe Hirano, MSW '10, volunteers for the organization.

Initially, JASSI offered assistance to New York's Japanese residents who do not have access to the Internet to help them locate their loved ones. JASSI also helped run a hotline to provide information and referral services to Japanese in New York who have been emotionally affected by the disaster.

JASSI held workshops on March 29 and April 3 to provide an opportunity for Japanese residents of the greater New York area to come together to discuss the psychological impact of the disaster and ways to support the victims in Japan.

Naka; Hirano; Kimi Aoki, MSW '05; Yoko Farmer, MSW '07; Rutsuko Nakajima, MSW '11; Yukiko Shingai, MSW '11; and Chiya Ikemi, MSW '12, helped facilitate, and participated in, small group discussions.

"The workshops offered a safe place for the participants to share their reactions and concerns for their loved ones," said Shibusawa. "I am very impressed with the way the NYU students and alumni came together to provide assistance."