Steady-State Economy

October 20, 2013


Volunteers Using Point System to 'Bank' Hours in National Citizens' Network

Keywords: Aging Society Civil Society / Local Issues NGO / Citizen Resilience Well-Being 

The Nippon Active Life Club (NALC), a Japanese non-profit organization, has been carrying out volunteer activities since April 1994 to address the issues of a rapidly aging society, and is now active in 138 municipalities nationwide.

The NALC, an association of early and late seniors who aspire to lead more meaningful lives, uses a "time-dollar" system for people who want to volunteer whatever skills they have, at whatever time and way possible. Members contribute to their local communities through activities such as taking care of people's gardens, helping with household chores, picking up and dropping off residents, lending a friendly ear to those in need, helping keep parks clean, assisting with childcare, providing care to the elderly, and helping out at welfare facilities, among others.

One point is given for every hour of volunteer time. When a member or family member requires help, they can draw upon the NALC's services by using the points they accumulated with their volunteer efforts.

In the future, the organization plans to expand services to 1,000 locations nationwide and establish a solid structure for a nationwide group of volunteers.