We have shipped 70 wheelchairs for Ethiopia.*

 The ship loaded with 70 wheelchairs left Tokyo Port for Ethiopia at the end of July. The donation this time was supported by three parties, the NGO Adeyabeba Ethiopia Association, presided by Mr. Abebe, one of our voluntary members, the Embassy of Ethiopia, and Ethiopian Shipping Lines Ltd. Those wheelchairs are to be delivered to Cheshire Foundation in the middle of September. The total number of the wheelchairs sent to Ethiopia will be 592. The donation record graph is from here.

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 We started the activity at nine, earlier than usual.*

  We started today’s activity at nine, an hour earlier than usual, as the temperature was expexted to be over 36℃. Lots of participants gathered instead of this early start, though: Sagami Women’s University group, Vietnamese group, Fussa High School group, Akishima Rotary Club group, U.S. Yokota Air Base group, Ethiopian group, Tama Technical High School group, and regular voluntary members. There were more than 100 people working, quite similar to last month. To read more,

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  We visited APL Yokohama Honmoku Container Terminal.

  We visited the Yokohama Honmoku container terminal of the shipping company APL(American President Lines). The members were seventeen in total:Sagami Women’s University group, regular volunteers, mothers of wheelchair-users, and our president and directors.

  We have booked APL ships mainly for India and Philippines so far, but most volunteering members have no idea about how the refurbished wheelchairs are handled at the port and shipped after loaded into containers. So a director, Oda, who used to work for a shipping company, made a plan to visit a container terminal, and thanks to APL, we had a good opportunity to see one for ourselves.

  First, we got fundamental information on container trade. Although it might be basic knowledge, everything was new to us. It was surprising to know that 90% of the world trade is covered by shipping. After learning the basics, we went up to the roof of APL building and from there we saw containers being loaded on a ship or unloaded to the ground with the explanation by APL employees.

  Now that we really saw plenty of containers at the terminal, we have a clear picture of how the full containers with our refurbished wheelchairs are treated at the port. Also, we understood the importance of measuring the weight of each wheelchair accurately and declare it in the shipping documents. It is needed in order to prevent accidents caused by losing ship’s stability during voyage due to wrongly declared container weight. One of our tasks, done far away from the port, is surely connected to different work at the terminal.

From the explanation:
APL, American President Lines, was originally an American company. But in 1997, it became a subsidiary of NOL, Neptune Orient Lines in Singapore. Then NOL was purchased by CMA・CGM Group in France, so now APL is one of its group company. A company named APL doesn’t exist but its name “APL” is still being used as a brand name with a solid history.
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(Left) Large-sized container which can load 22 thousand containers.
(Right) The capacity of CMA・CGM ships ranks fourth in the world.


<At APL>

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(Left) APL employees gave us explanations about shipping trade.
(Right) APL members: Mr. Uchida,Cluster Director of North East Asia,
Mr. Shirai,General Manager of Terminal and Ms. Iijima.

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We listened carefully to Mr. Uchida and Mr. Shirai.

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(Light) Looking down from the roof.
(Right) Lots of containers on the ground. White ones are equipped with refrigerating or freezing functions.
All the containers are operated by the gantry crane’s operator in the control room, about 50 meters above the ground.

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(Left) Photo taken on the roof.
(Right) We met at Kannai and were taken to and from APL by its commuting bus. We really appreciaite it.

A reporter of The Japan Maritime Daily, major company among the trade papers, came with us and gathered materials. With APL’s consent, she wrote the article below.

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Ms. Sasaki from The Japan Maritime Daily.


== July 25, 2019 Secretariat ==


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 We have updated ‘Topics’ below.(2nd)

  We visited the container terminal of APL, shipping company, in Yokohama Honmoku. The members were seventeen in total:Sagami Women’s University group, regular volunteers, mothers of wheelchair-users, our president and directors. Please see ‘Topics’ on the top page.

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 More than 100 participants gathered today.*

  It’s still the rainy season. Volunteering members started to gather around nine in the morning and at ten o’clock, we had more than 100 participants for today’s meeting, the biggest number we’ve had so far: Sagami Women’s University group, Vietnamese group, Fussa High School group, U.S. Yokota Air Base group, Ethiopian group, Tama Technical High School group, and regular voluntary members. To read more,

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  We have shipped 170 wheelchairs for Malaysia.

  The ship loaded with 170 wheelchairs left Tokyo Port for Malaysia on July 2, and it is scheduled to arrive on Port Klang on July 13. The number of the wheelchairs which have been sent to Malaysia so far is 1,216, which is the largest number among donated countries, overtaking Vietnam.The detail is from here.

  This time, we sent wheelchairs unrefurbished and our partner, ALEPS, bears the refurbishing work instead. So we sent necessary parts such as new tires, tubes, and repair tools, too. We also loaded 30 child seats and several orthosis, making the 40-foot-long container full.

  Before the ship’s departure, we did loading at our monthly meeting place on June 26. It was sunny outside and inside the container was so hot and humid that we had a lot of water, taking care not to have heat illness.

July 2, 2019 secretariat


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40-foot container is so big and so deep!  The temperature inside must be 50℃.

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170 wheelchairs are ready in the warehouse. First, we put wheelchairs on the pallet.

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Then, we use forklift to carry the pallet to the container.

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After the forklift get to the container, it’s manual work to carry and stack up wheelchairs; what hard work!

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(Left) Sagami Women’s University group and our president in front of the container.
(Right) The boxes of new tires, tubes, and repair tools.

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(Left) Wood frame to prevent the load from shifting when the door is opened.
(Right) We’ve finished loading everything.

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                We close the door with a seal.

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(Left) The truck is leaving for Tokyo Port.
(Right) Inside the warehouse becomes so spacious, waiting for next stocking.


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 We have updated ‘Topics’ below.

  The ship loaded with 170 wheelchairs left Tokyo Port for Malaysia on July 2, and it is scheduled to arrive on Port Klang on July 13. Please see ‘Topics’ on the top page.

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 Yamashita held the third BIKE & CAMP in Mie pref.*

  Yamashita’s project, the third BIKE & CAMP, was a great success. 1,500(!) people joined the project and the donation for our NGO was over 110 thousand(!) yen, surely more than the last event. It’s all thanks to Yamashita, who held charity auction for collecting donation for us.

  The photos during the event are here.The movies is here. Whata fantastic event!

June 17, 2019. Secretariat

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We can see what it was like by this photo. Nice environment!

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Charity auction and the donation box.

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 We’ve finished 70 wheelchairs for Malaysia.*

  It was surprisingly fair compared with a stormy weather yesterday. We continued to refurbish wheelchairs for Malaysia and finished today’s goal, 70 wheelchairs. Adding these to last month’s 100, we send 170 in total by a 40-feet container. To read more,

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  Jazz Concert was held at Kodaira.

小平jazzのFaceBook-4-2 Jazz concert held at Kodaira Citizens Cultural Hall on June 8 was a great success. Kodaira Jazz Association hosted the concert and our NGO offered support too. The association has held such concerts in order to back up our NGO, and gave us both donations collected at the concerts on June 8 and in February.

  I made a speech during the concert and introduced our activities. Souma, a host of Fussa Blues Festival, joined the concert and it reached a climax. I really enjoyed it.

  I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude.
         June,2019 Hirokazu Morita



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Notice of the concert by The Kodaira Jazz Association using photos of our NGO.


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(Left)Their performance
(Right)Morita, making a speech duting the concert.

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