Every year the Catholic Social Action Center in Kobe, together with some Christian social welfare groups organizes a program for the homeless, jobless and the dropouts of the society. It is held at the Higashi Yuenchi Park in Kobe from Dec. 28 – Jan 5. This program helps the poor get at least one decent meal for 9 days! Apart from food they are also given a free medical check up, hair cut, advice on social welfare etc.
A good number of volunteers come forward not only to help cook lunch but also to entertain the poor with songs and New Year games. It is interesting to note that in the park there will always be a place dedicated to the poor (homeless) who are dead. December 29th is the day to remember their souls, whose names are written and placed on a board. Those present in the park gather in front of it to offer flowers and prayers. At least once a year the poor in heaven are remembered by their friends in this part of Japan.
Thanks to some generous people and volunteers, because if not for them it will not be possible to organize an event of this sort. Thanks also to Kobe City Hall for providing the space.