About Kosodate-ship /Parenting workshop (Ofunato & Rikuzentakata, Iwate pref.)

NPO Kosodate-ship is a charity run by a volunteer midwives formed October last year. It runs workshops for pregnant women and mothers with babies up to one year of age. The workshops are held twice a month for approximately five hours per session. Free tea and snack are offered and it is open for mothers to drop in and out anytime during the workshop hours, providing an easy and friendly atmosphere for the mothers to gather together to have some time together.

The venue where the workshop is held is a tatami room, the space is divided into few areas where the babies can be weighed and measured by the midwives, where the mothers can receive a hand massage, where you can have snack and tea etc. These places can be visited freely during the workshop hours. We also hold some special events from time to time for the enjoyment of the attendees. Mothers are also able to leave their babies with "Cuddle volunteer" who will hold the baby for the mother while she can enjoy some moment with other mum friends (without having to hold her baby all the time). The bustling atmosphere can be bit of a surprise when attending the workshop for the first time but everyone leaves feeling refreshed. Recently, older brothers and sisters also attend the workshop, hence the staffs are getting busier in order to play and look after them all!

From its opening up to May 2013, there have been 557 mothers attended our workshop with their babies. The healthy babies and the smiles of the mothers are the hope of our community, here in Tono.

NPO Kosodate-ship representative, Reiko Ito.

NPO Kosodate-ship

Activity Report

08.05.2013 Kosodate-ship has been granted NPO cooperation status by Ofunato city. "Being asked for suggestions by the Mayor of Ofunato city is a recognition of the importance of midwives' point of view in reconstructing a family friendly city"

On the 8th May 2013, Kosodate-ship has been granted NPO cooperation status by Ofunato city and a ceremony was held.

It was held at the Ofunato City Council Hall and Ofunato city Mayor Hiroaki Toda has given a speech to certify the status of Reiko Ito who is the representative of Kosodate-ship and a midwife. Shoko So who is a midwife and the representative of J'espère and has been providing continuous support to the local aid workers ever since the disaster has also attended the ceremony.

After the certification ceremony, the Mayor, the head of welfare, and the head and the chief clerk of the planning and policy sector of Ofunato City Council all joined together to hold a discussion with representatives Ito and So about policies with regards to parenting. The costal area of Tohoku has a significant amount of the population who leave the area hence they truly feel that unless something is done to make the city a place where it is comfortable to live, especially for families with small children to live and stay on, so that the next generation will also want to give birth and bring up a child in this land, there is no future in Ofunato city.

In Ofunato city, the City Council Hall is built on high ground away from the costal area as a Mayor a few generation ago has insisted such measure upon the construction of the Council Hall. Hence even if it is a city, which experienced the full damage of the Tsunami along with the Tohoku Costal areas, the government was fully functional straight after the disaster. Even with such awareness, until before the disaster, the area had a higher population of elderly people, so they had a tendency to put more importance on the support of the elderly than on parenting. However now, they fully realise the importance and necessity of support in parenting, as it is children who will reconstruct the society damaged by the disaster.

On this occasion, the Mayor has requested a proposal on the specific measures with regards to support in parenting from midwifes who work along side the pregnant women and new mothers. J'espère is planning to cooperate with NPO Cooperation Kosodate-ship in order to give proposals on policies to do with parenting to Ofunato city. We will make sure that our proposals will truly reflect what we see and feel on a day to day basis working along side the pregnant women and new mothers.

07.05.2013 Hahatoko Tohoku Project HP has been updated

The Hahatoko Tohoku Project HP has uploaded the scene from the Kosodate ship Workshop and Manmaru Workshop giving preserved flowers and air freshener to the mums.

Look at " We have sent some gifts to the mums in Tohoku"

08.04.2013 New Workshops for Mothers! An opening event at Ofunato.

The local parenting support charity, Kosodate-ship (Kosodate means parenting) has started a new series of workshops for mothers who have "graduated" from the baby class and are now able to join us in the toddler class from April.

These classes are held at the same time in separate rooms so that the baby class and toddler classes are held together.

Many mothers have appreciated being able to meet up again with the friends they made in the toddler class.

"Preserved Flowers" were gifted from Senshu kai for the enjoyment of the mothers. The framed jigsaw puzzle (see picture) was also given to the Workshop space as a decoration for the enjoyment of the children. It was made and sent from Tokyo.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

08. 04.2013 Local Newspapers report a Kosodate ship opening event of a new workshop for mothers.
Local Newspapers report a Kosodate ship opening event of a new workshop for mothers.

On 8th of April, some local newspapers interviewed and reported the opening event of a new workshop for mothers run by Kosodate ship at Camellia Hall.