What image do you have of ‘contribution to society’? Difficult? Serious? Inaccessible? If you throw away these images and think of it as something much easier than usual, isn’t it likely to be addressed by more people?
In Summer 2013, some Japanese students established an online shopping website named ‘INTI RAYMI.’ It means ‘the festival of the sun’ and is one of the three largest festivals in South America. Online shopping has spread widely over the past decades. What they are trying to spread through online shopping is a system which makes social contribution easier and more accessible. The products by NGO and fair trade organizations working on issues, such as poverty, disaster, and the environment, are sold online. There are no criteria to sell products here. However, they are chosen by seeing and talking in person with staff at INTI RAYMI. Although it is an online shopping website, they regard communication as the most important aspect. ‘Where, Who, How, With what feeling did they make it?’ To convey this to costumers, they have developed a unique system. For example, customers can get activity repots or letters from organizations or local people with a lovey hand-made gift. Moreover, a system to exchange messages with the organization is being considered.
‘Easy and enjoyable social contribution’ is what they are trying to achieve. It is created through daily activities, like shopping. What they have created is a place people can easily buy products from organizations working on issues in the world. There are many things which big companies and governments cannot do, but small organizations can. With this belief, INTI RAYMI is working to support them.
The website opened at the end of September, so INTI RAYMI has only just started. It may be a few years until their hard work pays off. They are always wondering ‘Is our work helpful to anyone? What is the best way?’ Frankly, no one knows. However, they will continue to wonder and look for the answer. This is the way INTI RAYMI sees things, students should check it out!