July 4th, 2013 Interview with Alcohol Care Center Tanpopo!
Second Harvest Japan’s food bank team regularly supports 352 organizations.
Since we wanted to introduce our supporters to the food bank team’s activities, 2HJ’s intern interviewed one of the organizations that 2HJ supports.
Today, we will introduce you to Alcohol Care Center Tanpopo, an organization that works on alcohol addiction treatment. Ms. Sato, one of the staff members of Tanpopo, kindly took the time to interview with us.
Cahill: Hello. My name is Cahill and I am one of the interns at Second Harvest Japan. Thank you for having an interview with us today.
First, can we ask you to briefly explain your organization’s activities?
Ms. Sato: Sure. Alcohol Care Center Tanpopo is a facility which provides treatment programs to those who previously suffered from alcohol addiction. Users attend our programs from 9AM to 3PM every day. Our programs include activities such as self-help meetings, cooking classes, taking care of the gardens and participating in sports.
Cahill: Please tell us the history of your organization.
Ms. Sato: Our organization was established in 1998. The establisher of the organization had also suffered from alcoholism in the past. Currently, the word and concept of ‘alcohol addiction’ is known to the wider public; however, when the organization was about to be established, the concept of ‘alcohol addiction’ was not understood properly, and there was a lot of difficulty in establishing a day care facility for those suffering from alcoholism. Since our establishment, we have been operating our activities through partial funding from the government.
Cahill: Do you mind telling us about hardships and happy moments that you encounter during your activities?
Ms. Sato: Well first, on hardships, it is very hard for us to carry our users to the second floor of the facility. Those who had suffered from alcoholism usually have also suffered from malnutrition. Thus, many of them have osteoporosis or diseases that have to do with their waists. It is very hard for us to carry these users to the second floor since we have a limited number of staff members.
Also, arranging shifts for our staff members are difficult. Our facility operates everyday throughout the year, but we only have two full-time staff members and two part-time staff members.
The happy moments are when some of our users get employed. After a year or two of attending our programs, some users step up from the volunteer activities they do as a part of the program to actual employment. These successes make our job worthwhile.
Also, it makes us happy when we see users who, had been shaky when had just gotten out of the hospital, starting to participate in our programs proactively.
Cahill: Thank you. Lastly, can we ask how the foods we deliver contribute to your activities?
Ms. Sato: We’re very thankful to receive items such as bread and canned food every week. 90 percent of our users are welfare recipients, so they need to save on money. However, most of them are single men and they often have difficulty in cooking for themselves and saving their living costs. Thus, we provide them with the bread we receive from 2HJ so that they cut down on costs for food.
In addition, we use the food we receive as ingredients for cooking classes catered towards users who do not have the skills to cook for themselves. We also use them as ingredients for users’ lunches.
We use the money we save from utilizing your donations for activities such as an orientation program in Aikawa village near Miyagase dam.
Cahill: It’s great to hear that 2HJ’s donations are helping out your activities. Are there any words or messages I can bring back to the 2HJ staff members back at the office?
Ms. Sato: We are always grateful of your donations. We will do our best to support those suffering from alcohol addiction. We hope that you will continue supporting us.
Thank you for taking the time to interview with us, Ms. Sato!
2HJ is able to support great organizations such as Tanpopo only because we receive so much support from all of you. Thank you everybody!