Looking back on a very painful 2021
As was the case last year, when I look back on this year, the first thing that rises to my throat is the thought, “It was painful.”
The pressure of protecting people’s lives was enormous.
It was challenging to take care of children with life-threatening infections, such as children in medical care, and maintain the staff’s physical and mental safety.
In addition, remote work has siloed each department in the Corona disaster. As the contingency of face-to-face meetings disappeared, the working style lost its emotional connection and ideas. As a manager, it isn’t easy to see what’s going on in my company. Every day, I have to make important decisions while listening to the second hand’s ticking as if I were playing fast chess.
I feel the greasy sweat trickle down my cheeks with each move I make. There is no time to waste, so I am forced to explain inadequately, “Just trust me and go this way,” and my loneliness only deepens.
While we are forced to fight against the Corona disaster, on the other hand, we must look after Corona and make the next move. While cleaning up the troubles in front of me, I looked ten years into the future and thought through what I should do now. I finally created something that would become the gemstone of our vision. Still, I couldn’t fully communicate it to the people I wanted to understand the most, making me feel even more alone and depressed.
Can’t someone do it for me? It’s not like I have the answers. I’m looking for the solution more than anyone else, and I muttered in a voice that no one could understand.
In the midst of all this, my fellow managers went on a trip with me, where they called me out and said, “You’re not the only one who’s struggling, you idiot.” A friend who is a communication expert watched a video of one of my meetings and pointed out, “They’re not getting the message because you talk like this.
My friends helped me a lot, I thought. I usually forgot that relationships existed, and a kind of bond that is embarrassing to put into words. They barely kept me sane.
Here is a list of the main things I did this past year as a look back for myself.
When I look at it like this, I can’t thank you enough. I want to thank my colleagues within Florence, my colleagues outside the company who have helped me, and our donors and supporters.
Worked on the first law for families with children in medical care in the history of Japan.
The first law for children with medical care in Japan’s history is finally passed!
I want to quote apart from my new book, “Policy Entrepreneurs,” describing when the government passed the bill.
★ ★ ★
On June 11, 2021, we were at the plenary session of the House of Councilors in the Diet building. That’s where it’s often shown on TV.
Aya and her husband, who consulted with me about the lack of a daycare center where they could leave their children, and their child Yuta, inspired me to establish Helen.
Dr. Maeda, Dr. Morishita, and other Florence members continued to work together.
Momoka and her mother have worked hard from their tiny bodies to express their desire to school.
And Ms. Nishikori worked hard to sign the online petition and contributed significantly to the passage of this bill.
Everyone was sitting together in the plenary hall.
Councilors Satoshi Arai, Seiko Noda, and Yayoi Kimura were sitting in the audience seats away from us.
The Chair said.
” All those in favor of the motion, please stand up.”
At once, all the members in the room stood up.
As I stood there in the audience, I felt an overwhelming sense of emotion that I could not put into words. My colleagues were also crying.
Satoshi Arai and his colleagues were bowing deeply to the plenary session. Although I couldn’t see him well from a distance, Mr. Arai seemed to have a brilliant smile on his face. I was glad that I could show him this scene at the end of his career as a counselor. I suddenly thought of that.
Thus ended our nearly eight-year struggle from the time we decided to launch Helen to the Medical Care Children Support Law passage.
However, even if a law is passed, it is only the start of a new struggle.
It is meaningless unless the local governments properly implement the laws created by the national government and the support reaches the people concerned.
The struggle will continue until one day the culture will change, and we will live in a society where people can smile and live without any inconvenience, with or without medical care.
We will probably no longer be around when such a society is established.
None of the politicians, bureaucrats, parties, or policy entrepreneurs who worked behind the scenes will be remembered for these various hardships. But so what? We believe, and we lay bricks. The fact that we could spread the bricks is meaningful to us. Even if we can’t see the finished cathedral, the fact that we can all lay bricks is hope for us.
★ ★ ★
Establishment of male maternity leave and Laws for mandatory male maternity leave (Revised Child Care and Family Care Leave Law)
The revised Child Care and Family Care Leave Law has passed!
I, Yoshie Komuro, Tae Amano, Manabu Tsukagoshi, and others have been working for almost four years on establishing male maternity leave and mandatory male childcare leave. The revised Child Care and Family Care Leave Law was passed.
Men will now take maternity leave, which was previously only available to women. Companies will be required to push the idea of maternity leave to their male employees.
This ” revolution ” will change people’s values and behavior.
This will usher in an era where it is natural for husbands to be involved in child-rearing from the very beginning, taking a break after the birth of a child. I think this is the moment when history changed.
In this case, I’ve been working with a group of policy entrepreneurs I’ve named “Male Childcare Leave Avengers.” Still, if I’d been working alone, I’m sure I’d have lost heart along the way, so I’d like to express my gratitude again to my friends.
The case of small-scale childcare was featured in the Keio SFC entrance exam question.
I was personally happy to be picked up by my old school for their entrance exam, which I also took.
The story of how a Pizza assistant manager took my girlfriend was featured on the Keio SFC entrance exam.
When I was a second-year high school student, I wanted to reset my shitty high school life, so I got a scholarship to study in the United States.
I was hopelessly inadequate at English, so every day in the U.S. was a survival life for me, but it was filled with the joy of living. The school classes were in full English, which was challenging but fun, and life itself was a learning experience.
However, when I came back to Japan, I had to take university entrance exams. Studying was boring. Studying for exams like this is the worst. My family was poor, and I was thinking of working.
But Yuri, who I was dating at the time, was taken away by a Hosei University student, the assistant manager of Pizza, where Yuri worked.
I was in a state of shock.
I thought, “Okay, I’ll go to a school with a higher deviation score than Hosei University.
That’s when I started studying. I’m an idiot.
But I didn’t enjoy studying, and I was only looking out of hatred for the assistant manager at Pizza.
That’s when I met an older man named Mr. Moriwaki, a geography teacher.
…Click here to continue.
It was a terrible loss for me at the time, but looking back on it later, It is often the case in life that the parts were necessary to make that plastic model. Thank you, Yuri.
Free sitter for medical professionals working hard for Corona disaster
Emergency support for Corona medical and public health workers fighting through sleepless nights! Florence Dispatches “Free Sitter” to Support Medical Staff Families Raising Children!
To Support Medical Staff Families Raising Children is a part of the Corona Emergency Relief Project, which was the idea of our employees. We received many comments such as “I was encouraged,” which warmed our hearts.
Thanks to the people who donate, I was reminded that we could do this kind of “non-profitable, but necessary for the world” work immediately.
The government’s stockpile of rice can be distributed to struggling families raising children.
Let’s use 1 million tons of government rice stockpiles to fight child poverty!
Good news for local governments across Japan! Children’s Home Delivered Meals Budget Project to Continue and Government Stockpiled Rice to be Provided
[Good news] The government’s stockpile of rice for children’s home meals has quadrupled! Up to 1.2 tons per year can now be distributed to children! [Policy Realization]
The government reserves about a million tons of rice every year in case of disaster or famine. However, famine doesn’t happen very often. About 200,000 tons of rice is processed as cattle feed every year.
So, why don’t we distribute it to needy families? So, I appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries together with the members of the “Parliamentary Committee for Home Delivered Meals for Children,” and it was realized.
We were very grateful to the members of the council. However, it is a pity that we lost Yayoi Kimura, a member of the council. I felt depressed, thinking that we still don’t have the power to select a good politician.
Starting “Childcare Social Work” in Nakano Ward
Childcare Social Work Project Starts in Nakano Ward! Daycare centers become a safety net for infant families
When a child is born, a public health nurse goes around to all the families. Still, until they enter elementary school, they don’t see a social worker unless they go for a consultation.
However, most abuse occurs during infancy. To solve this contradiction, I came up with the idea of “childcare social work.”
We deployed social workers to go around to each nursery school to find out about the problems of the children’s families and support them.
At first, we did this at our nursery schools. Next, the national government made it a policy to provide social work services to all nursery schools in Nakano Ward.
Then, in December, the government’s expert committee issued a policy that read, “Nursery schools will become ‘family consultation institutions.” It feels like the times are catching up with us.
However, the way the government is going about this is a bit “can they do it? So, from next year onwards, we have to convey what we have done to the government and realize a sound consultation support system.
Starting “Digital Social Work” in Kobe
Digital Social Work with Kobe City, starting now! !
The number of needy families has increased dramatically due to the Corona disaster. Still, traditional social work resources are unable to respond due to a lack of human resources. Under such circumstances, I advocated and implemented “digital social work” using SNS such as LINE.
The good thing is that we can do social work as a team, unlike traditional face-to-face or telephone social work. Also, it is possible to break through the problem of human resources shortage by allowing people to participate even if they are not social workers living in the town.
Let’s make a case study in Kobe City, build up the experience and know-how, and spread it nationwide. Florence would like to lead the way in the DX of welfare in Japan.
By the way, this was made possible with support from the Mitene Foundation, created by Mixi founder Kasahara-san ,and Salesforce. This is another example of how donations are an investment that creates social innovation.
Starting a shelter for parents and children with challenges
Florence Shelter for Mothers and Children
With the support of kind-hearted people, we started a small shelter for mothers and children who are forced to leave their homes due to domestic violence or poverty.
We have seen that the risk is especially high for single parents with mental illness. The young team within our company is struggling to create a new business that can provide continuous support to these households. I want to get this business off the ground and drastically change the system. I want to make DV a dead word!
Become the original creator of the manga
Patera, a Space Person with a Child.
Even if you want people to know about social issues, there is a limit to the number of people who will read the printed word.
When I thought that a manga would reach more people, Daisanbunmeisha asked me to join them, and I was able to release it titled “Patera, the Alien with Child.
A professor at the university who read it said, “It’s so well written, I want to use it in my university classes.” That kind of thing is most welcome!
And you can read it for free from the web, so if you could, feel free to read it!
The “policy second track,” a route for direct government assistance to private organizations, has been established.
No matter how many policies the national government creates, local governments become the bottleneck for policies. We end up in the unfortunate situation where people in need in the community are in trouble, but policies cannot reach them, and government services cannot be provided.
Therefore, Florence has been appealing to the government to create a system where the government can directly subsidize private organizations by bypassing local governments that lack human resources.
As a result of our advocacy, a direct subsidy route (policy second track) to private organizations was realized in this supplementary budget.
If we can expand this, we will be able to establish a system to deliver support to people in need, regardless of the situation of the local government. Next year, I hope to build a track record and expand the program to other areas so that it will become a built-in policy that there is always a fast track and a second track.
These are the main results that I have achieved in my work.
These are the results we achieved because we worked as a team. I’m not being modest. I am. Thank you, my friends.
From here, I’d like to reflect on my personal life.
On the sudden death of my dear teacher
My mentor, whom I’ve been meaning to visit for a long time, passed away.
I’ll get in touch with him after Corona is over.
I would meet him when Corona was over.
I was thinking like that, but I didn’t visit him, so I didn’t get to say thank you.
He had such high hopes for me.
The Corona disaster taught me that you can’t always meet the people you want to meet. It would be best to meet them when you want to meet them. You can’t always say “thank you.
So, I will try to meet the people I want to meet from now on. If I am grateful to someone, I will say thank you. Let’s not be shy. If we like someone or trust them, let’s tell them. You don’t have time to think about what people will think before you can’t repeat it. Before you bite your lip and say, “I should have told you.”
Finally, I would like to thank all the people who have run through 2021 with me.
My precious time with you filled me with all the lacks and deficiencies.