Immediately following the Great Tohoku Earthquake, KVH established “KVH Cares” as
our coordinated effort to support the rebuilding activities of this region.
We collaborated with the BCCJ to create and release a website to help the flow of
aid and information into and out of the Tohoku region. This website can be found at:
www.wecarejapan.org. We would ask that if
you have aid to contribute to the region that you consider posting it on this site.
There is still a tremendous amount that needs to be done now and over the coming
months and years and this is an effective way of making sure that our help gets to
the right places.
In addition, we have been contributing directly in a number of ways including:
providing our cloud services free of charge for up to one year, making financial
donations, and providing short-term leave to employees wishing to travel to the
Tohoku region and participate in clean up and rebuilding efforts. We have had a
number of employees donate their time in distributing food and cleaning debris
from people’s homes.
During the summer of 2011, we began to focus our corporate aid to a particular town
that is located within 20 kilometers of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Approximately 1,300 residents of the town of Naraha Machi were evacuated to shelters
in the town Aizu Misato-Machi directly after the earthquake. Richard Warley, KVH’s
CEO, and Kenji Hioki, Executive Vice President, visited Aizu Misato Machi and met
with officials of the Naraha Machi local government office to identify what assistance
is most needed for the town’s evacuees.
As part of our support to the residents of Naraha Machi, KVH provided summer clothes
to the 205 children of Naraha Machi, many of whom did not have summer clothes when
they evacuated in March. KVH also provided a shuttle bus and a bus driver to transport
people between the temporary housing areas and downtown Aizu Misato Machi, enabling
residents to do their shopping and get around with reliable and regular transportation.
On July 29, 2011, a ceremony was held at the Naraha Machi Emergency Headquarters
located within the City Office of Aizu Misato Machi to present the shuttle bus to
the town. Richard Warley, KVH CEO, provided the key to the bus to Mr. Suzuki,
Assistant Mayor of Naraha Machi and Ms. Takahashi, School Superintendent.
Affixed to all sides of the bus are large stickers designed by Deo Hojo, a member of
KVH’s Digital Marketing Team, that show a playful and lively bird motif based on the
town’s symbol, the Japanese Bush Warblers, that connects the design to nature and
reminds the Naraha Machi residents of their hometown.
Also, on August 27, 2011, KVH volunteers travelled to Aizu Misato Machi and held a
barbeque for the residents of Naraha Machi. KVH staff was able to see the donated bus
in real use, as well as meet with the people of Naraha Machi, play with the children,
and personally introduce themselves and the company.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the nuclear power plant and when these evacuees will
be allowed to return home, KVH plans to continue to provide mid-to-long term assistance
to help them get through this very difficult time.
Currently, KVH is running the KVH Application Development Contest to support IT firms
in the Tohoku region. To read more about this contest,
please click here.