|Becoming the world’s best “lump of earth!”
—Be a better person tomorrow than today—
04 / 5: Help people with disabilities learn life skills that cannot be acquired at school.
11(Original): To enable people with disabilities to work and live with dignity in the city of their birth, with the understanding of the local community.
Based on a user-centered approach, this facility is run as a workshop for people with disabilities.
When the house was founded in 1987, it was mainly involved in activities like making glutinous rice and rice cakes. As such, it was given the name “Tsuchikure” (lump of earth) to express the idea that it would be a place where people would stick together and work with the soil. The facility’s full name is “Kabe Tsuchikure no Ie,” but today the users call it by its nickname, “Tsuchikure.”
In the user-led management association activities, the users have opportunities to learn and think through community cleanups, donations of one thousand origami cranes, contract work, field activities, etc. The goal is for the users, despite their disabilities, to be able to work and live with dignity in the city of their birth with the understanding of the local community.
For people with disabilities, learning means acquiring the skills needed for everyday life, such as food, clothing, shelter, and social interaction, as well as learning through work. For example, when working on contract work for a local factory, they listen to explanations about the products and their intended use, understand what they are making, and work together with their peers to share the work process, thereby accumulating the experience of being able to accomplish something on their own, which motivates them to try harder the next time. In addition, by continuing to work on this kind of project, users are able to improve their dexterity and thinking skills. Sustained work itself is a lifelong learning opportunity for people with disabilities that cannot be obtained through school activities alone.
In addition, the understanding of the local community is essential for people with disabilities, who are sometimes subject to discrimination based on their appearance alone, to live their lives with dignity. In order to win this understanding from the local community, one of the activities of the management association involves working with and expressing appreciation to local people.
As for cultural activities, the management association takes part in the dedication of one thousand origami cranes for the Peace Memorial Ceremony held every summer, as well as the planning, management, and publicity of the facility’s largest event, the Tsuchikure Festival.
The Tsuchikure Festival is a 300-person festival open to the local community. The stage presentations include presentations of users’ daily work, kagura and viola performances, magic tricks, and other performances by people who support Tsuchikure, as well as face-to-face sales of the facility’s own bread, baked goods, and vegetables as an opportunity to meet the local community.
Users, meanwhile, are able to hold a festival in their own space, which is something they cannot experience very often. They get a sense of accomplishment from being “seen” in the stage presentations and face-to-face sales, and they can also buy products from the people who support them at the stalls. This makes for a fun and memorable autumn day, and at the same time affirms, not only to the facility but also to the entire community, that everyone is worthy of respect, no matter how severe their disability.
By making these cultural activities a success, we are able to develop deeper ties with the community, and the staff will also support the users to realize their own goals.
The management committee, by working to enable people with disabilities to work and live with dignity in the city of their birth with the understanding of the local community, is contributing to the pursuit of the SDGs.
The facility sells art works by people with severe disabilities as its original merchandise, helping to promote understanding of people with disabilities. We are also working hard to raise wages so that, rather than being underpaid labor, users can have pride in their work.
Other daily activities include community cleanups, cultivating fields using idle farmland in the local area, and providing facilities for local residents to use as evacuation centers in the event of a disaster.
Each user, despite their disabilities, can participate in the management association activities actively and independently and feel confident that they are helping someone in their own way, thereby fostering a sense of self-affirmation and building up experience.
Social Welfare Service Corporation Seiryu—Kabe Tsuchikure no Ie
2-33-21 Miiriminami Asakita-Ku, Hiroshima