Dear OOPEN Supporters,
Thank you always for your support for our food truck "OOPEN".
Slowly but surely, we are making progress and the staff with disabilities are more confident and more motivated.
And you have helped us pay part of the salary of the staff with disabilities and the maintenance of the car!!
The companies in Japan are interested to hire persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities more than ever, as the law enforces them to give opportunities to people with disabilities. We hear more people talking about their family members and relatives who have disabilities. The society is more open and understands the importance of inclusivity.
The food truck "OOPEN" operates on Fridays now, at Meiji University, where we now sell hot dogs (American style). So four days a week!
Our staff with disabilities, Riho, Haruka and Makoto, now knows how to grill hotdogs, prepare the buns with lettuce in between, and work through busy lunch time. We sell about 50~70 hotdogs in 30 minutes each time, so we all have to be quick and neat.
The staff work for 4 days a week now but want to work more hours and preferably 5 days a week. They are motivated and are on the road towards real employment. We now have several companies who are interested in hiring them, and we hope to realize this by the end of 2023!! If this food truck can be a stepping stone for regular employment at hotels, cafes, and restaurants, for the people with disabilities, we will be closer to reaching our dream and for them to reach their dreams.
The story was written about our food truck in a small booklet published by Tokyo-to. It is about different working styles for the people with disabilities. Working together with volunteers help them feel comfortable, gain confidence and be motivated, because it is a joy to work with gentle and caring volunteers. It may take more time to train and get them to acquire some skills, but anybody can do so if they have the will and if they are taught with care and sensibility. This we learned through volunteering with them.
However, the food truck is old!! It is now time to purchase a new truck. It has run over 250,000 km. The radiator just broke, and the refrigerator is not working. We found a perfect truck, that can provide better working environment for the people with disabilities, and which can be a perfect layout for the food truck to be a training center as well.
We need your help once again to make this happen and for us to move on to the next phase.
Please support and donate for the purchase of food truck. And hopefully we can report to you good news next time.
Thank you always for your generous support. We cannot continue this project without the support like yours. Thank you again!!
Thank you to all the supporters of our food truck “OOPEN”!
2023 is the year of the Rabbit. A year of a big leap and a year of growth.
Thanks to your support, OOPEN staff and volunteers are hustling through the cold weather to sell the delicious lunch prepared by the Chef and their members with mental and intellectual disabilities at a restaurant “Ancienne AI” located in Setagaya-ward. Ancienne AI is a social welfare organization, which is supported by the government, and they run a French restaurant in the middle of Tokyo, serving lunch only. The members who work there have some sorts of mental or intellectual disabilities, and they are there to get trained for work. Their hourly wage is only Yen 150 to Yen 250, but this can go up if their sales at the restaurant and the sales from the food truck sale increase. They are trying to motivate their members and increase their sale, so that they can at least earn Yen 400~500 per hour.
The food truck project has contributed a lot to this, and after 4 years of operation, the members at Ancienne AI are motivated and their wages have gone up! They are even thinking of doing dinners twice a month!
Mission of OOPEN is to promote an inclusive world, where people with differences can work with dignity and fun. We are now working with volunteers from many different countries; U.S.A., France, Germany, Korea, and of course Japan. Most of them are volunteers who come regularly and have become friends with the OOPEN staff, Riho, Makoto and Haruka. We also now have regular customers, who come almost every week to say hi to the staff and volunteers and buy our lunch. It is certainly a very inclusive, warm and fun environment, and we would certainly like to continue this effort in 2023!
Another recent news is that Food Truck OOPEN was selected as one of the partners for Stamp Rally organized by Tokyo Government office and a magazine called “Kotonone”. All participants for this stamp rally will get a report from the government if they get at least 2 stamps from two different projects. It is one of the OOPEN goals to be recognized as one of the solutions to an inclusive society, so we are very happy to be a part of this fun rally.
This year’s goal is to increase our activities from three-day a week operation to five-day a week operation and also to try to participate in as many community and school events as possible. With your support, we have come this far, and with your support this year, we believe that 2023 will be year to leap and grow even more: - longer operating hours, new activities, and upgrading the food truck!! Please continue to help us build a community, where everybody can be comfortable and happy to work, eat and laugh together!!
Thank you so much from the OOPEN Team.
Firstly, thank you to all the supporters of the food truck “OOPEN” . This project contributes to the increase of salary of the the staff with disabilities who work at “Ancienne AI”, our community partner and also help the Hands On Tokyo’s food truck staff to get on-the-job training as well as gain confidence about their skills.
This project is a part of our LIVES Initiative, which is an on-going project to promote diversity & inclusion, and to create a society where each and every one of us can work, eat and play together. We just had our 6th LIVES TOKYO event at Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi on September 25th. For those who were not able to attend in person or virtually, please check our website to see who the speakers were, and we will soon start to upload the recorded sessions on Youtube.
Today, I would like to ask for your support to raise fund to buy a new truck. As we bought the truck 6 years ago for only $3000, it has run for over 200,000 km, and the front seat air conditioner does not work well. So, this summer, which was hot as ever, was a torture for the driver. Therefore, we would like to buy a new second-hand food truck, rather than repairing different parts of the car. The second-hand food truck would cost anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000 depending on size and the design. The core team will go and check out these cars on October 22nd, and would like to consider buying a new truck. So by the end of the year, our goal is to raise at least $20,000!!!
This July, we participated in a summer night University event, where they had an out-door movie showing of “Your Name”. There was one other food truck that was selling fried pizza and a tent where they were selling shaved ice . It was a very nice and relaxing event and we sold 85 vegetable curry meals.
We still continue our sale at Nishi Sugamo, Toranomon and Showa Women’s University.
Please check out our Instagram: oopen_livestokyo
This Instagram is managed by Riho, who has a minor developmental disability.
Thank you to Riho!!
Thank you again for all your help and support. We are able to continue because of you!!
Firstly, thanks to all our supporters, we have been able to continue the operation of our food truck “OOPEN” for the past two and a half years, and keep the jobs of all the staff with disabilities on the food truck and in the kitchen at “Ancienne AI”, the social welfare association.
Today, we have even more good news to share!
From April, “Ancienne AI” hired a new chef and he has expanded the variety of our lunch menu. Besides our original Keema Curry, we now have Beef Tendon Curry, Hashed Pork, and Butter Chicken Curry!! House Foods Group continues to support us with their donation of curry roux and tomato sauce.
Also from this April, the universities are fully opened and are having all their classes in person. In April and May, we went to Meiji University every Wednesday and sold almost 45 lunches in 30 minutes. In June, we started going to Showa Women’s University on Wednesdays and here also, we sold 30 lunches in 15 minutes, and are planning to increase the number to 40 ~ 45!! The more we sell, it will be reflected in the wages of the cooking staff, so the serving staff and the volunteers are excited to be selling more!
On Thursdays, we sell near Toranomon Hills. Group of tennis ladies and company employees from Moody’s are now our regular customers, and we hope to keep them happy and satisfied!
Another good news is that one of our food truck staff, Riho, who is very shy at interacting with people, wanted to stand outside and serve the customers. It was her wish, and she did a fantastic job!! We also found out that day, that she is very good at SNS skills, and she has agreed to help us with Instragram for OOPEN!! What an improvement and a step forward to becoming independent!!
On May 5th, volunteers did a major cleaning of the food truck. We have to keep the inside clean and sanitary all the time, as food safety is the most important aspect of running a food truck! The staff also participated as volunteers and we had a great time.
With the increase in sales and hopefully more opportunities at events, we would like to increase our cooking capacity to cover 50 lunches when requested. Your funding will help us purchase one more warming/cooking pot too!!
Thank you again!!
Happy 2022 to all the supporters of “OOPEN”!!
With your support, OOPEN will continue to serve the community this year, together with our staff with disabilities and with the members of Ancienne-Ai, in which they prepare the food truck lunches.
Since the breakout of COVID-19 in 2020, the employment situation in Japan has been difficult for people with disabilities. Although for those who are already employed, the remote work style made things easier for those with disabilities. But all in all, the employment numbers were down approximately 14% in 2021 compared to the previous year, and it has been a difficult couple of years for the people with disabilities.
COVID situation in Japan was improving towards the end of 2021, until the new Omicron variant came and hit Japan just like the rest of the world. However, despite the situation, the members of OOPEN continue to think of ways to improve our lunch menu and to up-grade the food truck.
In December 2021, staff and volunteers cleaned the inside and outside of the food-truck, with brushes and rags and sponges! We took out the old shelf at the window, and put in a new white one, which makes the food truck clean and much nicer.
This year, in 2022, we plan to up-grade the truck a little more, and buy a new generator with more power, which will enable us to keep more food items warm. And also to keep the refrigerator cold in the summer time.
A new menu is also critical for us to increase our sales. To involve the staff with disabilities and working together with them from the initial stage of planning and coming up with ideas about the menu, is a lot of fun and keep them motivated and learn how to voice their opinions. We are excited to increase our menu and expand our sales venues this year.
Our team believes that towards the end of this year, we will be able to participate in more events and festivals and keep spreading the awareness of the importance of working together with different people with different abilities.
With your support and encouragement, we can be patient with the current situation and be prepared to do a lot more in 2022!!
Thank you, and please look forward to our progress in our next report!!
Leader: Aya Higa
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser