【Web限定記事】Ｗｅｂ限定で一部記事を英語版で配信します。 Chocolates from Odawara may save people in Africa
A director of a sweets maker "Nama Gateau Au Chocolat" in Odawara, Ryusuke Yagishita, 32, started crowdfunding to sell raw gateau chocolat to support cacao farmers. His target is to develop their original gateau chocolat and to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of his chocolate to cacao farmers in Africa.
When he was 27, he watched a TV program about the lives of people in developing countries in poverty, and was very shocked. At the time, he was having time to relax at a hot spring facility. So the TV program made him feel a big gap between the lives of Japanese and people, especially children, in Africa who need to endure their economic distress. As soon as the TV program finished, he applied to be a volunteer member of a company supporting farmers in developing countries.
At the age of 30, a company he worked for sent him to Bangladesh. During a year of his stay, he visited some orphanages every weekend to see the reality of children in need. Through these experiences, he faced the fact that most international support is temporary, so it is so difficult to continue taking care of children unless there is some additional support. To handle these cases, he decided to establish a company for sustainable support.
While considering what kind of company he should establish, he got an idea that it is possible to support people in Africa by selling chocolates. One of his friends, Atsushi Masui, who is a chef and who has ever cooked in a five-stars hotel in Tokyo agreed with him. So they started cooperating with each other and finally established their company "Nama Gateau Au Chocolat" this February.
According to Mr. Yagishita, the target amount of their crowdfunding was 300,000yen, but it could be reached within a day this April. That is why he set a million yen as the next target.
He said, "I hope many people enjoy our chocolates. I also want to begin a new project for improving employment in developing countries".
※This English article is based on a article bellow.