Fureai Kippu

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= Caring Relationship Tickets, used in Japan for elderly care, and used as a complementary currency


1. Bernard Lietaer:

"These electronic “tickets” are paid in a computerized savings account to individuals who help elderly or handicapped with any aspects of their care that the Japanese national healthcare system doesn’t cover: services in their own homes for food or the daily bath (a ritual in Japan), help in shopping or food preparation so that they can stay longer in their own home, reading to blind people, etc. The unit of account of the Fureai Kippu is the hour of service. There are different rates applied to different services (e.g. one hour of shopping or reading is credited with one Fureai Kippu, but help in body care is valued at two Fureai Kippu for each hour of service). These Fureai Kippu can be saved for the individual’s own use in the future, or transferred to someone of their choice, typically a parent or family member who lives elsewhere in the country and who needs similar help. Currently, some 374 non-profit organizations in Japan are issuing and participating in exchanging across the country Fureai Kippu through two computerized clearing houses, the whole being loosely coordinated by the Sawayaka Healthcare Foundation. Because the elderly now have a support system at their own home, the time when they have to be moved to expensive retirement homes can be significantly postponed, and the period they are spending in hospitals after a medical problem can also be much shorter.

All this reduces dramatically the costs to society of elderly care, while actually improving the quality of life of the elderly themselves. Finally, this system creates a resource flow that does not rely on government subsidies or bureaucracy, expensive insurance, or even national currency to function. The transferability of the Fureai Kippu makes them a form of elderly care medium of exchange, a specialized complementary currency that functions in parallel with the national currency." (http://www.global-community.org/gc/newsfiles/25/Community%20Currency%20Guide.pdf)

2. From the Wikipedia:

"Fureai kippu (Caring Relationship Tickets) is a Japanese community currency created in 1995 by the Sawayaka Welfare Foundation so that people could earn credits helping seniors in their community.

The basic unit of account is an hour of service to an elderly person. Sometimes seniors help each other and earn the credits, other times family members in other communities earn credits and transfer them to their parents who live elsewhere. For example, an elderly woman who no longer has a driver’s license; if you shop for her, you get credit for that, based on the kind of service and the number of hours. These credits accumulate- users may keep them for when they become sick or elderly themselves, then use the credits in exchange for services. Alternatively, the users may transfer credits to someone else.

A surprising part of the project has been that the elderly tend to prefer the services provided by people paid in Fureai Kippu over those paid in yen. This may be due to the personal connection. When they surveyed the elderly, it was clear they preferred the people who worked for Fureai kippu over the people who worked for yen because of the nature of the relationship. To convert this community service to yen would seem to dilute the community ethic.

There are two clearinghouses that send the credits from one side of Japan to the other." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fureai_kippu)