Hello from Yuka. Ogenki desuka, how are you?
Today, we like to show our favorite cafe. Where we live is a southern local city in Osaka. It is not center of Osaka. It is not like Tokyo or Kyoto, there is no special or famous place to see, but we have a very cozy cafe we can go easily.
Workers Collective Hand (they started from 1997 and became full-scale non profit organization (NPO) in 2013) who is doing all kinds of help for the residents, including care for aged, small children, and everyone who need help, made this cafe three years ago. Beause of the rapid aging society, public welfare sytem may not work as we expect and Hand was made to collect time and ability for care for others in the same community.
Their basic principles is care by local residents- to keep living in where we are. We all feel keeping living in the community but it becomes hard sometimes - illness, old age, raising children and so on and a little helping hand can enable to keep the life at our own house, that is their concept.
My father had Hand memebers visit when he was at our house. He now lives in a group home close to my house. When this cafe was made, we visited and had lunch and since then each time I see my father, he says `Let's go to the cafe'. At the cafe, he could meet the familiar faces of Hand members. He is usually very quiet, does not show his will but he tells me he wants to go to this cafe and when we go, we sit at the table at the terrace and enjoy the lunch and sweets.
At the terrace table, we can see this scenery-this is not Hand's property, this is a woods and farm of a support facilities of the disabled across this Hand cafe. In spring, sakura can be seen from this terrace and right near the terrace is a bamboo forest. Sometimes some bamboo shoot could be picked at the yard of Hand! The teachers and the people of the facilities are making vegetables and the fresh vegetables often appear in the lunch menu of Hand.
There are many restaurants and cafe everywhere, but still it is not so easy to find a place to go with my father. We hear physically disabled people or aged people are having the same problem. Recently, small children were picking mini tomatoes Hand members grow at the terrace and the children were eating with their salad
Some time ago, a major newspaper (Asahi Shinbun) came to interview this cafe and write an article in the local section of the paper. After that, some people contacted Hand and said they were waiting for the place like this.
They also started catering service.
Yamaguchi san who is a unique and powerful member of Hand and other members also supported my father and me - to continue living in this city. They made this cafe. Without their help, we probably could not have such a happy moments together. Having lunch with oishii yuki yasai(fresh organic vegetables) and selected ingriedients, savoring the crisp autumn air from the lush green woods-is such a precious time.
They had an annual meeting and some members complained about the financial report because they had some loss. Yamaguchi san said `we should take a long view!'. Standing on this firm principles (we want to become your hands), this cafe is filled with warmth and smiles. Each time I come to this cafe, I see people relaxing and laughing.
Seeing my father's satisfied face--it made my day. If you have a chance to come to Tondabayashi, why don't you visit this cafe-I will be happy to show you.