Sally Bolton
Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 12:51

By Sally Bolton
Communications Advisor

Cooking up fun - and funds - in Kyoto

Take a generous cup of holiday spirit, a pint of fun, two tablespoons of live music and a bushel of keen bakers and gastronomes. Gently mix together and what do you have? Japan’s first Cooks4Cooks fundraiser for Kopernik!

Tadg McLoughlin and his lovely wife Mika hosted this event on a Sunday afternoon in December at Tadg’s Irish Bar & Restaurant in Kyoto.

The goal was to raise money to help women survivors of human trafficking in rural Nigeria by providing Envirofit M-5000 Wood Cookstoves – an environmentally-friendly technology that greatly reduces exposure to smoke when cooking. As a gesture of solidarity with these Nigerian women, the Cooks4Cooks team decided to raise funds by doing some cooking themselves. The money raised from selling their delicious spread of homemade cookies, cakes, pies and bread went into a pot to support this inspiring Kopernik project.

Coffee was available for those who couldn’t wait to nibble on the bonanza of baked items they had bought, while the bar was open, of course, for a little relaxation and casual imbibing. Live music was courtesy of Joel Stewart and John Kuzel, two great local singers/guitarists, while Santa even dropped in to surprise the kids.

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The team raised more money through a raffle of great culinary-related prizes, selling nearly 600 tickets at ¥200 a piece, or ¥1,000 for six. The prizes supplied by generous sponsors included: Xmas dinner for two at Tadg's, a full stuffed roasted turkey with gravy and all the trimmings, a ¥5,000 voucher for the Gael pub in Gion, special cheesecakes from Papa Jon's, a Muji nabe pot, a super burger/beer set from Toms Cafe, a ¥3,000 voucher for the NEW Cafe Foodelica, some beautiful African baskets and excellent soba tea from the folks at Minagawa Soba.

At the end of the afternoon, when glasses were drained and all of the crumbs had been swept up, the combined total raised was equivalent to US$2,140 – enough to buy 107 cookstoves for the project. This money has now been donated to the project on the Kopernik website.

Kevin Ramsden writes, “This was the first time for us to hold a Cooks4Cooks, but we really thought it made for a great social event and would encourage anybody else anywhere to get together and hold their own. The Nigeria project is only about half funded, so needs a lot more support. For our part, we would just like to say it made us very happy to have the opportunity to extend the spirit of Xmas to helping our African sisters.”

A huge thanks to the organisers, hosts, sponsors and supporters who cooked up this fun event. If you’re inspired by Cooks4Cooks or Wine into Water, why not host your own fundraising event? A ‘You Light up My Life’ anniversary party to provide solar lights to children in Burundi? A ‘March to the Beat of Your Own Drum’ dance party to provide Q-Drums to women in Western Kenya? An ‘I’m Every Woman’ International Women’s Day breakfast to support clean technology business opportunities for women in Indonesia? Let us know what you have planned!

Special thanks to Kevin Ramsden for writing up the Cooks4Cooks event.

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