Sophia Magazine vol.1 / SUMMER 2015

17to enjoy making chocolate from the raw material.” As 70 percent of the cacao beans consumed in Japan come from Ghana, Kensuke is also endeavoring to introduce Japa-nese to the culture of Ghana, their traditional food and the close ties among family members. He has been holding workshops every month, and has received invitations to hold them throughout Japan. Since his rst visit in 2012, Kensuke has travelled back to Ghana four times. He has since become the head of the “All Made in Ghana Chocolate Project,” which launched a major campaign for Valentine’s Day in 2014. It is a Japanese custom that women give chocolate to someone special on that day. In accordance with this season, his project team decided to launch the brand All Made in Ghana Chocolate. “There is a movement in the chocolate market, which began in the United States, called ‘bean to bar’, meaning that the entire process of production hap-pens in one place. I would like to promote All Made in Ghana Chocolate, because my stay in Ghana was sup-ported by the kindness of the local people there who wel-comed me for dinner every day and treated me like family. The inspiration for my activities is my strong feelings for the fascinating people of Ghana.” Kensuke has overseen the whole process from buying cacao beans to making them into chocolate in Ghana, and sold the “All Made in Ghana” chocolate in Japan. Currently, Kensuke is searching for a job to fulll his future dream. Specically, either he would like to work either at a trading company specializing in cacao in order to utilize his expertise, or work at Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), where he would be able to learn and practice support systems for developing countries in a comprehensive manner. Whatever the case, he is seeking a way to continue supporting Ghana’s cacao farmers. Kensuke’s ultimate goal is to serve as concierge in a place of his creation where Japanese can enjoy cacao in its many forms and hopefully change their conceptions of cacao beans. “My dream is to have my own chocolate brand and sell from my own cacao shop in Japan. I would like to introduce various kinds of cacao beans, and tell the story behind the chocolate. I would also like to dispel the notion that ‘cacao beans are only for chocolate’, and teach appreciation for not just the fruity taste of cacao but also its many uses in beauty and health.” Because of his unique and active contribution to a global society, Kensuke received Sophia University’s Presidential Encouragement award in 2015. He recalls what motivated him: “All my activities started from the people I met at Sophia Uni-versity. They gave me inspiration, opportunity and support. It is of course important to take action, but before that, I had lots of encounters which were like revelations.”and various European countries as well as Ghanaians, worked to improve students’ study habits by encouraging them to do homework at the library before they went home. As the library became a center for student activities, Kensuke and other interns organized summer school and cultural events. Kensuke introduced students to Japanese traditional games and crafts like paper wrestling (ka-mizumo) and origami, and also involved parents and other teachers. In parallel with his activities with students, Kensuke started helping another Japanese intern who was doing re-search on cacao farming, such as the harvesting process and farmers’ prots. As he grew more interested and involved in the lives of the local people through his work, Kensuke was astounded to learn that Ghanaians did not eat chocolate. “There was no chocolate sold in the local supermarket, and though available in large cities, one bar could cost as much as an entire meal for a family.” So Kensuke, along with some other interns, decided to hold a workshop at the library where students could experi-ence making chocolate from cacao beans. “It was not easy, because the proper equipment did not exist in the village.” Kensuke enlisted the help of a Japanese food coordinator who had a hand mixer, and although they had a blackout and had to use a generator, they were able to grind the cacao beans and managed to make the chocolate. “About 100 children participated in the workshop, and it was gratifying to see their smiles when they tasted chocolate for the rst time. It was a big success,” Kensuke says. The chocolate workshop for the local children of Ghana was a turning point for Kensuke, and he continued to learn more about cacao beans and the farmers who grew them. “Though Ghana produces cacao beans of a consistent qual-ity, due mostly to government controls, the fact that Ghana-ians do not consume chocolate means that there is no real incentive to make a better quality product. I talked with lots of cacao farmers in Ghana. They produce beans for a living, not for the quality,” Kensuke says. “Japanese farmers eat rice on a daily basis, which motivates them to grow higher quality rice, and I believe that similarly, if cacao bean farm-ers in Ghana enjoyed consuming their product, they would work to improve the quality. I participated in the whole pro-cess of harvesting, fermenting, and drying cacao beans, and learned how very difcult it is. If they could change some methods, they could improve the quality. My ambition is to help the cacao farmers feel prouder of their product.” Upon returning to Japan, after spending six weeks in Ghana, Kensuke decided to introduce the same chocolate-making workshop back home to Japanese consumers as he did for the children in Ghana. “Most Japanese are not famil-iar with real cacao beans. In the workshop, I wanted them Chocolate Workshop for Children Making Dreams Come True“100% Ghanaian-Made” ChocolateStudent

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