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Communities Need Elders’ Experience, Knowledge, Wisdom

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

After a series of workshops and meetings since 2021 on the Ibasho Concept, Faith Action’s Long-Term Care (LTC) Task Force announces that Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church will be the site of a future Ibasho, the first of its kind in Hawaii and the U.S. Dr. Clementina Ceria-Ulep, LTC chair, will oversee this pilot project.

Ibasho is a Japanese term meaning a place where one feels a sense of belonging and purpose. Ibasho challenges commonly held beliefs about aging and the supposedly diminished abilities of seniors. Instead, Ibasho recognizes elders as valuable resources and empowers them to be active participants in their communities.

Dr. Emi Kiyota, who taught the workshops, is founder and director of Ibasho, an organization that facilitates the creation of socially integrated, sustainable communities that involves the active leadership and participation of their elders.

Ibasho is based on the following concepts:

•Empowering elders changes the way they feel about their role in their community.

•Creating physical and social infrastructures with elders in leadership roles increases community bonding among the members of all ages.

•The resulting increased social assets strengthens the entire community’s resilience in the face of future natural and societal disasters.

After visiting Hawaii and other states that showed interest in the concept, Dr. Kiyota decided that Hawaii was the most promising environment to develop the Ibasho concept. She also met with members of Waikiki Community Center(WCC) on disaster preparedness. The Waikiki Community Center’s interest in Ibasho is being coordinated by Christy Nishita who is the Interim Director for the UH Center on Aging and member of the City and County of Honolulu's Age Friendly City project.

The FA LTC task force received grants to pay for current expenses:

•UH Manoa S.E.E.D. grant, twice, for the Ibasho workshops that Dr. Kiyota conducted for FA & other groups in Hawai’i for a total of $2,000

•Dr. Kiyota’s Ibasho Toolkit for Hawaii ($10,000 from Grants-in-Aid/ City and County of Honolulu) •Her trip to Hawaii in January-February 2022 ($10,000 from Atherton Foundation) •Application for a Catholic Campaign for Human Development grant ($4,000) has been submitted for the pilot project at Our Lady of the Mount Church.

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Drew Astolfi
Drew Astolfi
Mar 24, 2023

I'm late to the party but this is exciting. What a great idea!


Nov 15, 2022

Super well written and interesting! Hoping that there will be periodic progress reports/updates in this space...I'd like to know, inter alia, a timeline that shows the current intended "stand up" of Hawaii's Ibasho; expected population; how to apply; interaction/interface among FA, WCC, C&C; etc.

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