Kaye Doria, 30


Kaye Doria, 30

Fukushima City resident, interpreter, volunteer, and organizer

Well, after the 311 aftermath  everything changes.  I lost my job and because of the nuclear explosion, and the city I'm living in now has been destroyed .  It will never be the beautiful City, or the City that enriched with each crafts.  It will never be the same City as I lived before.  Many people with their children evacuated and the rate of children went down. 

And even though some of the places have lower radiation, many people from other places thought that the products here are all affected even though they were checked fully by the authorities.  So the economy also went down.  Many farmers stop producing their products.  As a result, the employment here also went down.  There was a time when I accompanied a Filipino to find a job in "Hello Work" and when we asked for a job the employee there told us that, for the Japanese we can't give much more to you.  So really the situation here is not stable.  And still we are waiting for what the result may be. 

Even the effect of radiation to our children is a big question.  We are only waiting for what the government says to stay or to evacuate, but I guess the government will not allow the people of Fukushima to evacuate.  No one knows when this will end.  If only the plant had not exploded we still could live normal lives because the earthquake itself  didn't cause big damage in the City, just small cracks, and damage on their houses.

I started organizing this community after 311. When this disaster occurred our Philippine Embassy called me to gather the my fellow Filipinos but I didn't have their contact numbers and it took me time to find them. So my adviser in the Fukushima International association (I'm working here as an Interpreter and translator at the same time counseling) she advised me to organize a community, and that's why I started to and named it "Hawak  Kamay  Fukushima," which means Hold in Hands Fukushima.  Well, our first activities are going to some evacuation center to feed them and entertain them.  Until the evacuees transfer to temporary housing.  Second is giving a job for my fellow Filipinos who lost their jobs.  One Enterprise from Tokyo helped us to obtain certificates as teachers of English.  SEELS Enterprise provided some free trainings until we have a school of our own by micro-franchising.  Not only here in Fukushima but the Tohoku region and also not only Filipinos even from other nationalities.  And now we are preparing for recruiting students for the April opening of school.  And some of our projects are free lessons on Japanese for those who wants to obtain a license in a different job like caregiver, proficiency in Japanese, driving, etc.  And also for our 2nd year anniversary we are planning to have an event.  By the way HKF was founded April 17, 2011.  I hope I've given you all the information you want to know.  By the way, our worries now are our children their health because of the radiation.


Well, I've been living here for 25 years this year.  Living in here without stable life and worries is difficult.  Every day we worry how much radiation again intake or if the food is ok, if the nuclear plant is ok.  Honestly we are living here for our family's sake.  If not maybe I would have gone home already.  Well, when the level of radiation got high our country decided to repatriate the Filipinos here in Fukushima.  I'm the one who assisted the Philippine Embassy, my family in the Philippines saw how I helped my fellow Filipinos but myself I didn't join them because at that time there are no foreigners here and many need assistance who could not speak Japanese so I decided to be with them and especially with my kids.





All images and interviews © 2013 Neil Witkin
Translators: Yoko Mada and Yuko Murakami
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