An environment where the supporter does not just mete out "one-way support" for those in need, but where both parties progress and grow together: that is our ideal "Society of Togetherness." Our desire to make that kind of a society a reality has lead us to operate an assortment of social contribution activities. But we want to do more than just install the typical corporate set of activities. We want employee driven action that broadens the hearts of each and every individual. To this end, we launched a Social Contribution Committee wherein the entire process from deciding on activity themes and details to executing those activities is guided by the employees themselves. The reason behind this decision is that we believe buds of devotion that spring up in each heart will spread outwards through nearby people to take root throughout the entire world. In essence, this enriching expansion of a circle of mutual support is essential in the process of making a "Society of Togetherness" a reality, and we believe that it is an extremely important role we feel bound to carry out.
The Social Contribution Committee, which launched in 2007, is made up of five subcommittees. The Social Welfare Subcommittee is one of those five, and it oversees assisting in the sales of products from vocational aid centres for the disabled and assisting the activities of the Federation of Osaka City Children's Social Welfare Facilities. Interacting with disabled individuals and children in welfare facilities helps each individual employee have a deeper understanding of what a "Society of Togetherness" means. It also allows them to continue contributing to society on a personal level as well. The activities we deploy broaden the boundaries of people's hearts.
Each month, KYOCERA Document Solutions holds internal company sales of products (baked goods and cookies) from Hasune Kai (Lotus Root Group), in support of local vocational centres. On alternate months, this activity supports "Witan", a welfare service office for individuals with disabilities. We started this activity in 2008 with the hope of providing a chance for centre attendees to be more confident about becoming independent members of society through interaction with our employees and out of a desire to contribute to centre activities. This internal company sales project is also being carried out at Hirakata Plant and Yoga Office (Tokyo R&D centre).
Hasune Kai (Lotus Root Group) provides vocational activities in the areas of baked goods and cookies, light work, and handicrafts to provide environments that allow users to experience the world of work. The goals are to have participants experience the joy of working, enhance their desire to work, and become more confident about being independent members of society. The baked goods and cookies project involves both delivery sales and sales through the bakery and cafe Witan Pan Tokky. Witan Pan Tokky has two locations in Kadoma City, Osaka Prefecture, home of Hasune Kai (Lotus Root Group). We're growing grass roots projects firmly connected to the community.
The entire process of making baked goods, from mixing to shaping, leavening, and baking, is carried out by centre attendees and staff using strictly selected ingredients. Once a month a professional teacher gives technical instruction, and there are always at least 35 to 40 kinds of baked goods being made. Each centre attendee in the baking kitchen has his or her own role, and everyone is responsible for their own work. The baked goods and cookies made following traditional methods without the use of additives have developed a reputation for having an old-time, nostalgic flavor. They are so popular, they sell out every time they are sold through internal company sales.
When the sales project first started up, attendee children were more than a bit worried if they could do it. When disabled people set foot out in the world, they often have trouble communicating their feelings to others and wind up feeling depressed as a result. But here they are always working so cheerfully. The employees are very warm and everyone always says thank you with such feeling. And the baked goods always sell out! All the attendees thoroughly experience the joy of work.
It was hard getting everyone interested at first, but now it has become a regular company activity. A lot of employees were exposed to vocational aid centre activities for the first time through this sales project, and recently I really sense that a lot of employees have started to feel that they can contribute to society through something close to their everyday lives without having to necessarily go out of their way. It would be great if even more centre attendees who haven't visited us yet could get into participating, and I really want them to use this opportunity as a first step into being more independent. And I also want all of our employees to broaden their understanding through interacting with these attendees and get into contributing to society on their own as well.