An elder-centered community gathering place dedicated to enriching the lives of those recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011,
funded by Honeywell and its employees
OFUNATO, IWATE, JAPAN, June 13, 2013 – Honeywell (NYSE:HON) announced today the opening of the Honeywell Ibasho House, a community gathering place in Massaki-Cho, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture, dedicated to enriching the lives of elders affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote led the opening ceremony, joined by core project members and local dignitaries, including Mr. Kimiaki Toda, Ofunato City Mayor.
“Honeywell is committed to helping Japan rebuild this community in cooperation with our partners, the people in the community, and the city of Ofunato,” said Cote. “As we express our appreciation and good will for the community on this opening day, it is our hope that the Honeywell Ibasho House will serve the region’s elders with healthcare and social programs for generations to come.”
“Currently about 32 percent of Ofunato’s population is 65 years old or older,” said Mayor Toda. “With all of the changes that have taken place in the Japanese culture since the earthquake, it is critical that we find resources to support our elders in their recovery while surrounded by a community of people of all ages.”
The concept for the Ibasho House was developed by Dr. Emi Kiyota, a gerontology specialist and founder of Ibasho, a Washington, D.C.–based, not-for-profit organization, and built by funds from Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Honeywell’s corporate social responsibility organization, and its Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund.
Other partners included international relief agency Operation USA, Social Welfare Corporation Tenjinkai, architect Professor Suguru Mori of Hokkaido University, and Itohgumi Ltd., an Ofunato-based construction company. The building uses reclaimed wood framing provided by local residents Mr. and Mrs. Ozawa. Its architecture reflects traditional Japanese house style with modern technologies designed to withstand earthquakes.
One of the unique approaches that the Honeywell Ibasho House embraces is the active participation and self-sustainability of the community elders, who now have a place to share their experiences and wisdom with younger generations, and feel at home again.
"Without Honeywell's unwavering commitment to the recovery of the people of Ofunato, this vital project could not have been realized," said Richard Walden, President and CEO, Operation USA. "We are very proud to have worked hand-in-hand with Honeywell and our outstanding community partners to see it completed."
The Honeywell Ibasho House will be operated by Ibasho Sozo Project, a non-profit organization represented by Mr. Hitoshi Kondo and Dr. Yukimi Uchide, and will be used for a variety of community programs run by volunteers from the local community. “Ibasho,” a place where one feels at home as defined by Dr. Kiyota, aims to be a place where people feel welcomed and accepted in a non-institutional environment.
“With the Honeywell Ibasho House, we hope to further the recovery of Ofunato and Japan and make a real difference now and for years to come,” noted Tom Buckmaster, President, Honeywell Hometown Solutions. Honeywell will continue to support the project through a 5-year term agreement.
In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, Honeywell provided relief to Japan in several ways. Honeywell Life Safety donated safety gloves and other personal protective equipment for workers removing rubble in distressed areas. Honeywell’s UOP provided the adsorbent ion exchange products used by Toshiba Corporation and Shaw Global Services to clean up radiation-contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Honeywell also provided its T-Hawk™ unmanned micro air vehicles, which were used to fly over affected areas in search and rescue missions.
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.
Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s corporate citizenship initiative, focuses on five areas of vital importance: Family Safety & Security, Housing & Shelter, Science & Math Education, Habitat &Conservation, and Humanitarian Relief. Together with leading public and non-profit institutions, Honeywell has developed powerful programs to address these needs in the communities it serves. For more information, please visit: citizenship.honeywell.com.
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