We distribute various foods to organizations which support children facing economic difficulties. The foods were offered to temples, and we consider them as a gift from Buddha. We connect temples with support groups to send snacks, fruits, daily necessities, etc. to those in need.
We started our activities in 2014 from Nara prefecture in Japan, and became a NPO in 2017. Currently, 1,312 temples and 453 organizations support us, and various offerings are handed to about 12,000 children every month in total.
Please refer to the following
Why were we able to win the Good Design Awards Grand Prize ?
Jury's Comments below:
An excellent effort to redesign the role that the temple has done in the local community as a contemporary mechanism. So, it will lead to a sense of security that they are supported by familiar areas. This is possible because the temple is a kind of infrastructure distributed throughout each region. The beauty of the mechanism that functions only by reconnecting the existing organization, people, things, customs as well as the significance of the activity can be highly appreciated.
We aim to solve child poverty. We consider "poverty" has 2 main elements. One is the economic difficulties, and the other is the isolation from society.
To solve the former, there are various social systems such as public assistance and scholarship. On the other hand, to solve the latter, "Otera Oyatsu Club" plays an important role. If people facing hardship would be isolated, they could not unburden their troubles. At worst case, it would lead to solitary death.
They cannot ask for help easily because some Japanese attribute poverty to self-responsibility. So we connect families in need and support groups, and create a comfortable atmosphere that they can consult more freely little by little. We believe that such small things add up to make a big difference.
5 years have passed since we started. We have witnessed many serious cases of poverty through activities. To be honest, we sometimes feel sorry for our inadequacies. However, we will continue our activities with passion. We believe that the connection among people will make sense of safety, and as a result, it will help people in trouble overcome their loneliness.
Messages from mothers:
I realized that there was someone watching over us through gifts from "Otera Oyatsu Club". I felt strengthened to move forward after finding out there were other single parent families doing their best in the same situation.
(Ibaraki Prefecture, 46, Female)
We received snacks from "Otera Oyatsu Club". We live in tough situation everyday, but we felt relieved when we read the encouraging messages from you. I’ll have a relaxing snack time with my son. Thank you very much!
(Aichi Prefecture, 38, Female)
To make temples a base for solving isolation
We hope temples all over Japan (over 70,000) can become a place for watching over people in trouble both materially and mentally.
To show Buddhism’s potential
We hope that a Buddhist temple comes to mind when people concerning with social problems are looking for some answer.
To open temples as a place for our peace of mind
We regard a temple as a merciful place where anyone in trouble could rely on. Buddha made a vow of "no one will be left behind". Therefore, we will keep faith in our mind and continue to tackle social welfare in various ways unique to Buddhist temple.
Your donation will be used as shipping fees for "Direct support", which is the system of sending gifts directly, from the office run by core members of "Otera Oyatsu Club" to families in need.
In our fundamental activity, each temple sends gifts to support groups. And each family receives gifts through the activities of such groups. Through this method, we aim to help families connect easily with suitable support.
When we are asked for help by families, we introduce support groups suitable for their demands. However, it is uncertain that we can find such groups immediately, and some people cannot receive our gifts.
Therefore, it is necessary to send gifts directly to such families from the office of "Otera Oyatsu Club" until the suitable support groups are found. We try to give consideration to their feelings through sending food and daily necessities regularly. This system is called "Direct support".
At present, about 200 families are using this system and we are sending them gifts periodically. In addition, we take lots of inquiries almost every day, and as a result, the number of "Direct support" is increasing. Therefore we need to secure a budget for shipping fees to sustain this service. It costs about ¥1,000 to deliver a gift to one family.
We aim to send gifts continuously and try to form a relationship in which it is easy to tell their mind. But our budget is becoming insufficient to cover the entire shipping fees. We kindly ask for your support.
We set the donation box in Daibutsu-den (the Great Buddha hall) of Todai-ji Temple. The special booth for donation is behind the Great Buddha.
The reverend Kojo Morimoto who is a vice abbot of the Great Buddha hall says "A lot of tourists come to Todai-ji Temple from all over the world. Therefore it will be good opportunity that many people know about Otera Oyatsu Club. I will be glad if the donation box would not only help the activity but also make people realize the poverty problem in their own country."
The money from this donation box will be used as activity costs. Please donate when you visit Todai-ji Temple.