Over the past three months, Tonari Gumi partnered with Emiko Morita in her “PhotoVoice” project which consisted of some 10 workshops held at Tonari Gumi, where our seniors developed skills in photography and storytelling. The camera (whether a small hand-held camera, a tablet camera or a cell phone camera) became a tool, empowering the seniors so they could express themselves and share their stories and perspectives. Tonari Gumi is excited that it was able to partner with Emiko Morita in carrying out this project to help our seniors to connect in yet another way with their friends and relatives. Some of the photos created by the group are displayed at Tonari Gumi and the display is open to the public.
As part of the City of Vancouver’s anti-graffiti campaign, they have been hiring local artists to paint murals on blank walls. The wall next to the back parking at Tonari Gumi was identified as a good candidate for a mural and the owner of the wall (our next door neighbour) and we were approached to see if we would be willing to have a mural created for us. After a couple of meetings, we were introduced to our artist and he gave us a sketch of what he wanted to put up on the wall. We made a few small suggestions to make the “flute” look more like a Japanese shakuhachi flute and to asked that the mural be bright and celebrate nature–as it faces a very bleak urban alley. Stefan, our painter, has now been at it for a couple of weeks and he recently asked if some of our Tonari Gumi members would like to add their own personal touch to the mural by placing some flying birds on the mural. Emi Greenholtz and Kikko (Lurana) Tasaka volunteered and their birds are now flying up our mural. Several of our members have also been observing the creative process and we are looking forward to seeing the completed masterpiece. Please drop by the back of Tonari Gumi and check it out yourself.
Tonari Gumi as the lead organization in partnership with the Greater Vancouver JCCA, the Nikkei Senior Health Care & Housing Society and the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Center has recently been awarded a major grant to help reduce elder abuse. Tonari Gumi will be spearheading a three part program over the next year to reduce elder abuse within the Japanese Canadian Community by 1) raising awareness 2) training seniors and caregivers to recognize and respond, and 3) building community collaboration to eliminate elder abuse. >> Awareness Raising: Under this project, a part-time bilingual coordinator, together with a team of volunteers, would translate and adapt existing prevention and awareness information on elder abuse and disseminate this information in both English and Japanese through posters, web pages, the local Japanese language press and media. A local drama group consisting of Japanese seniors would also be recruited to produce short skits which reveal different aspects of elder abuse and would be understandable for all generations. Using these skits, a series of awareness raising seminars will be conducted first in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and other communities in the Lower Mainland and subsequently elsewhere in B.C. in cooperation with our partner organizations. >> Training to Recognize and Respond to Elder Abuse: The part-time coordinator would also organize a series of bilingual workshops in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and other communities to train seniors, caregivers and community leaders to recognize when elder abuse is taking place and how to take action to protect seniors from such abuse. Training expertise would be drawn from the local community (police, financial institutions, medical and psychological professionals) to deal with financial, physical and psychological aspects of elder abuse. >> Build Community Collaboration: Together with our partner organizations within the community, a team would be developed to work from Tonari Gumi and […]