Located in Japan, the Philippines and Nepal, the Ibasho project was started to help victims and survivors of natural calamities – particularly older persons – rebuild their lives. By partnering local organisations and communities to design and create socially integrated and sustainable communities that value elders, Ibasho wants to change the way we see older persons: from liability to asset, powerless to empowered.
Founded by Singapore-based Emi Kiyota in 2012 after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Honeywell Ibasho House in Japan today includes an elder-created and managed community hub, a café, a vegetable garden, a farmers’ market, a ramen noodle shop, a daycare, an evacuation centre, and a community resource centre in which elders teach cultural traditions to younger people.
One of Ibasho’s eight principles states that older persons are a valuable asset to the community. Instead of treating elders as burdensome people that need to be looked after and taken care of, we should see their wealth of wisdom as something to be valued and treasured. Ibasho believes in a society where elders can contribute to society with confidence and are leaned on and valued.
How can we design new social compacts that enable elders to give back to their community and empower them to take the lead in creating an interdependent support system?