2018Twelve essential GDA perspective on design trends

Otera oyatsu club

Temple activities for solving poverty problems2018.12.31
Temple activities for solving poverty problems Otera oyatsu club
Seirou Matsushima
Ryoo Fukui

Otera oyatsu club is a nationwide program run by a nonprofit organization that redistributes temple offerings to children in single-parent families. Many such families live in poverty, and because temples receive considerable amounts of food and snacks as offerings, this distribution represents a solution for temples and children alike.

Temples and children's charities are invited to register in the program and matched geographically by the nonprofit. The temples then send the food to nearby charities, which in turn distribute it to families. Even temples that do not receive many offerings can participate, because the deliveries can also be sent monthly or only on holidays, and multiple temples can pool their offerings. Crucially, the program is open and easy for many people to join.

Also significant is the fact that the program is run by a nonprofit, which avoids common preconceptions About religion and enables participation by municipalities and corporations that cannot support religious organizations. Of Japan's nearly 70,000 temples, About 1,100 have joined the program so far. In time, we would like the program to make a difference in alleviating poverty.

Otera oyatsu club is not sustainable without offerings to temples. Those of us who follow Buddhism at temples, where the Buddha is central, must also ensure that we are worthy of receiving these offerings. The human-centered approach extolled in design remains short-sighted, and we cannot get past the limitations of human lifespans and thinking. It is important to pass down to the future our Buddha-focused heritage from antiquity, and we must also consider and do what we can for those living today.

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