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To realize a symbiotic society that is peaceful and caring...just like WAMEN

Gifu Seiryu Bunka Plaza was opened in 2015 as a venue for facilitating novel, creative activities in the field of arts and culture, ranging from stage performances of music and theater, to different forms of fine arts including paintings, sculpting forms and literary arts, which resulted in “tomoni PROJECT” as a part of outreach activities based on the concept of “co-create, communicate, and co-realize,” for everyone regardless of having any challenges or disabilities.

Since then, various activities are carried out by “tomoni PROJECT”, which highlighted many issues with regard to conventional ways of support for the disabled as well as potential symbiotic relationships to conclude that the most crucial challenge for all was the need to have a way out as a goal of their creative activities.

In other words, regardless of disability or the lack of it, the talent of a person is a unique and original entity as with any other individual, and it is necessary to have a circulation mechanism to render an equivalent economic value for such creation deemed appropriate and appreciated by the society in general.

In order to resolve this challenge, the direction of the project was determined to “aim for product development in connecting art, design, business and welfare to generate economic circulation for livelihood support of the disabled.”

Therefore, in the following year 2016, the ones who were willing organized a working group of the “tomoni Connect WAMEN Project Promotion Team” to start this “tomoni Connect WAMEN Project.”

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Profits from diversity-driven ”Sellable Product Development” activities
to be redirected to fund the social campaigning of building such system to realize SDGs

Many different people from children to adults, alongside the ones with various disabilities, are taking part in the “tomoni Connect WAMEN Project,” growing WAMEN together as well as to harvest and reel its thread to weave into fabric. Then, making of “Sellable Product with a Great Sense of Happiness,” featuring tender qualities of WAMEN, helps building a system to revert the profits to fund social campaign in diverse areas.

Such activities not only support the disabled, but also bring the United Nations SDGs into practice to attain a sustainable society. The attractiveness of WAMEN is in the unique soft texture of the material with a sense of safety and comfort. Furthermore, incorporating perspectives of people with disabilities also makes it possible to come up with original products. In doing so, another aim is to also connect people in a different line of business or industry so that next potential work or business can be developed.

Moreover, we must make our community in which we live to be safe and secure “Place of Belonging.” To review sustainable ways of basic need for food, shelter and clothing through this Project is to review the relationship between the mankind and the Earth as the source of life. How does something grow and how does it reach us? Understanding such process in this modern age helps one to become aware of the basic reality of what keeps us alive.

Coming to terms with this fact has an impact to the mind and attitude of children who uphold the future, realizing the true value of agriculture as a prerequisite in all of our life activities to coexist with the nature’s fundamental principles. It is also an opportunity for new ideas to focus on what is really a good quality, or how such things are produced. All these actions actually become identical to the acceptance of diversity, in fact, connecting with understanding and reception of “the coexisting society of diversity, regardless of having disabilities.”

Written by Nahoko Furuta, Executive Director of “tomoni Connect WAMEN Project”

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