Stories of Community Chest
How about touring around neighbour-hood by bicycle taxi?
Environment and Social Welfare
"It was a very much fan!!" "Though it jolted a little, it
was comfortable to ride." "I felt a little bit shy because my
acquaintance wave hand to me from a pavement."
On chilly December day, the happy voices of senior citizen were heard from the park in the city of Kyoto. It was the demonstration event of the "Velotaxi(bicycle taxi)". Community Chest of Kyoto Prefecture (CCKp) organized this event, co-hosted with Nakagyo-ku of Kyoto City Council of Social Welfare, local neighbourhood self-governing body, and the non-profit organization Velotaxi Japan.
"We would like to allocate Community Chest grant more meaningfully." All the Prefectural Community Chests in Japan are thinking of this subject. CCKp has also been trying to allocate to the pioneering and leading projects for the community. However, recently the allocation to the border field of social welfare becomes the new assignment for Community Chest. It was very difficult to specify allocation target of the border field, because it was too vague to decide which field is suitable for Community Chest allocation.
On this situation, in 2003, CCKp decided to put priority on the point of view to "Environment and Social Welfare" to find the Kyoto's allocation. In 1997, The 3rd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was held in Kyoto, and the activities to ratify "Kyoto Protocol" are still advanced all over the world. This is the reason to adopt "Environment" as the keyword of Kyoto's allocation.
Then CCKp faced another problem. In Kyoto, there are so many non-profit organizations acting on environment, but suitable activity for Community Chest allocation could not be found easily. At that time, staff of CCKp saw the bicycle taxi around the office. The staff saw the senior citizen go shopping by bicycle taxi on TV, and thought that the "bicycle taxi and senior citizen" could be equal to "environment and social welfare".
Still, there was a doubt. The group is obtaining a profit by bicycle taxi. The Community Chest cannot be distributed to the profit-pursuing activity. CCKp went to Verotaxi Japan to have a talk.
Aim at Velotaxi
Though it is popular in Europe, there are only Tokyo and Kyoto where the velotaxi is running in Japan (In 2004, velotaxi begins its service also in Nara, Osaka, Matsumoto, Hiroshima and Naha). In Kyoto, 5 cars are running, and the fare is 300 yen (about US$2.5) for one ride. Velotaxi Japan said that the main purpose to run velotaxi is to raise environmental problems to citizen, so that the service is not for profit. In Kyoto, because of hard traffic jam, the run able area is restricted, but young drivers are enjoying the conversation with the passenger senior citizens. About the suggestion from CCKp, Velotaxi Japan promised to cooperate because it will be for senior citizen of the community.
The next task was how to notify to senior citizen to ride the taxi. Community Chest did not have the know-how, but the local Nakagyo-ku Council of Social Welfare cooperated in this part. Nakagyo-ku Council of Social Welfare asked its relating local neighbourhood self-governing body, and the event called "the trial riding trip event of velotaxi" was newly suggested from them. At first, CCKp thought to hand out the riding ticket of velotaxi to senior citizen, but there were some problems. It was unclear whether the ticket were used or not, and perhaps it would be given to others. For those problems, the solution was to have the event in the particular date. During the winter season, from December to March, velotaxi stops its service, therefore Velotaxi Japan said that it would be convenient to secure the drivers and cars in December. The event was fixed on December day, and the Allocation Committee of Community Chest decided to make grant of about US$ 1.8 thousand for this event.
News on English paper
The events were held on 6 days of early December, and more than 180 citizen enjoyed velotaxi. The taxi drove the requested course from the passenger in about 20 minutes for one ride. CCKp announced to mass medias in advance, so that many TVs and newspapers came to cover the event. There was the scene that a cameraman chased after the taxi to take the driving velotaxi's photo.
The scenes that the colourful velotaxi drove through the ancient street of Kyoto and the passengers waved hand smilingly were well received by mass medias, and each TV news and newspapers reported this event largely. The English paper "The Daily Yomiuri" also reported the news.
All of passengers were smiling though they were hesitated before ride, and they cooperated with a questionnaire handed by a driver with pleasure without minding cold of December. At the beginning, the main purpose of this event was to give senior citizen the opportunity to think about environmental problem. However, several messages were left. This plan was able to give the senior citizen who was apt to stay indoors an opportunity of going out. In addition, they could talk with neighbouring people and a young driver, and was able to notice a change of neighbouring row of houses along a city street. In this way, as for this plan, a topic spread through the senior citizen's welfare and citizen-based town planning.
As a result of having publicized positively that it was the grant from Community Chest, as for the donation results of this year, 36.5% increased in comparison with the last year. CCKp thinks not to make this action a transient thing, and tries to make grant on the view of "environment and social welfare" continuingly. The further cooperation between Community Chest and other local organizations are needed.
To understand and grow citizen and non-profit organization each other through opened examination
To support several civil activities
Tsurugashima City Council of Social Welfare and its volunteer bureau (TCCSW) has changed the method of choosing community chest grant allocation. It was changed from paper examination to opened interview examination. Up to this time, community chest grants were allocated to registered member of TCCSW almost equally. However, in the flow of changing volunteer bureau to "civil activity bureau", which include extensive civil activities not only social welfare, environmental or international organizations has began to register to TCCSW. Registered organizations have extremely increased, and equal allocation was no longer possible. At this time, TCCSW decided to begin the interview examination including opened presentation.
To deepen understanding of each organization by civil participation
The allocation examination is divided to 3 parts, and the opened presentation
is of the second part. Examiners are composed with adult examiner, organization
examiner and child examiner. The feature is the child examiner's existence.
Child examiners, who are interested in social welfare or volunteering,
are invited from welfare-designated school. Adult examiners are chosen
from local non-profit support centre, Prefectural Council of Social Welfare,
Central Community Chest of Japan and member of volunteer bureau committee.
Organization examiners are applicants themselves and they can vote except
The biggest advantage of the opened presentation is to maintain the transparency of examination. Even the un-granted organizations can understand the result. Also, because citizen participates by becoming the examiners, it raises the understanding and the confidence of grant-making. By those advantages, people can see and understand accurately the mechanism of the capital circulation, that the Community Chest donated from citizen are becoming the grant to support citizen's activities.
Participation of children
On May 23, 2004, examination of "2004 volunteering and citizen's activity grant" was done by opened presentation. More than 80 people including applicant and examiners gathered together. In 2004, 11 organizations acting in the city participate to the presentation. Some organizations appealed themselves by comic short play, and some prepared panel to explain. The music therapy organization showed their mini stage, and people gave a warm hand crap to them.
7 adult examiners and 17 child examiners saw each presentation and after the presentations, examiners gave some questions. Child examiners were given the time separately to ask, and adults were shocked by children's smart and relevant questions. Staff of TCCSW said that the purpose to include children as an examiner was to give children an opportunity. Each child has rights to give one's opinion freely, and the opinion should be respected in the community as the member of our community. At the presentation, even if an organization could only get 1-point vote, that organization could get the grant. It was the clear stance to take in an opinion of child examiner properly. Also, there was the meaning of social welfare education.
Below is the comment of child examiners from junior high school.
"This time, I acted as an examiner and I could learn so many groups that I did not know so far. It was very useful, but I think the time for presentation and question was little short and I wanted time a little more."
"All groups had a device and I hesitated which to choose. I did not know most groups, but I was able to know various things this time. I make use of today's experience and want to participate in various volunteer activities from now on. By the grant, I hope a lot of people be helped and enjoy."
"I felt community chest very close. So far I did not know how the donation was spent even if I contributed it. In the group that gave presentation today, there was a group active near where I lived. I want to participate in an appeal of a red feather donation from now on."
Whether granted or not granted, those questions and advices exchanged in the examination would be very helpful for the applicants. Not only give money, but also TCCSW intends to assist those groups by giving suggestion and advice. Also, TCCSW support non-granted groups continuingly.