Cooperation with NPOs and NGOs
Rakuten engages in much prudent dialogue with various NPOs and NGOs, and verifies with each organization the ideal state of society that we should reach for, and the problems that need to be solved. Based on the foundation of the mutual understanding that is created through these dialogues, Rakuten then expands its cooperative efforts in Japan and abroad
Going forward, we will continue to work together with NPOs and NGOs that share our policy, as we seek to further empower people and societies
NEXT GENERATION EDUCATION SUPPORT
Bridge For Smile
Through its three activities concerning independent-living support, public awareness activities, and human resource development, Bridge For Smile acts as a bridge for youths raised under social care to connect with society-at-large. Independent-living support activities help youths that have started living on their own after leaving their foster homes or other social care facilities. More specifically, these activities include holding seminars about living on one’s own, acting as an intermediary for donated gifts containing daily necessities, work training, employment introductions, scholarships, and the establishment of support networks and places to feel at home for youths that have left their foster homes.
For public awareness activities, while simultaneously broadly increasing public awareness of the youths living in foster homes and other facilities, Bridge For Smile also releases reports, holds awareness events, conducts research surveys, and other activities to raise funds and recruit talent necessary for the continuation and expansion of independent-living support activities. Training is conducted for facility employees and volunteers so that they can become personnel effective at carrying out support activities for human resource development.
ATHLETE SAVE JAPAN
To create safe and secure environments with athletes
Guaranteeing the safety of all ? competitors, coaches, spectators ? is a fundamental principle of every sport. With the purpose to spread this idea, ATHLETE SAVE JAPAN takes action across the whole country to pass on their knowledge and experience in order to build safe and secure environments.
1.To create safe sports environments by reducing the risks related to physical activities
2.To convey the joy and beauty of sports in a safe environment
3.To highlight the value of life through AED classes that go beyond competition
4.To teach about risk management in sports in general
El Sistema Japan
El Sistema is a music education system that aims to transform society. It was launched in 1975 in Venezuela, South America, which is plagued by serious problems of poverty and youth crime. Today, more than 400,000 children in the country are involved in the initiative.
Regardless of the financial situation in their respective homes, the system provides all children with the opportunity to receive group music education at no charge. Based on this premise, the initiative is promoted as a part of the social policy for the sound development of youths, and has now been expanded to cover more than 50 countries and regions across the world.
In Japan, El Sistema Japan was established on 23 March 2012, with the aims of supporting the recovery of dignity and providing a space for self-realization for the children of Fukushima who have suffered both physical and mental trauma as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and particularly the nuclear accident. On 7 May 2012, the organization signed a cooperative agreement with Soma City to implement the “Gaining the Strength to Live Through Music” project. As part of the project, it has organized weekend music classes and programs through elementary and junior high schools. In May 2014, it also commenced activities at Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture.
Willing to empower children through music, Rakuten and El Sistema Japan collaborated to collect instruments for children of Soma City (Fukushima Prefecture) and give them opportunities to perform all around the world.
Taking responsible action that is based on aspirations toward society, and taking the initiative to open up a new path for one’s own life?ETIC nurtures human resources who are capable of transforming the times with a spirit of entrepreneurship.
To date, ETIC has constantly focused on providing support for youth challenges, particularly for those in their 20s and 30s. In these times of transformation and confusion, we firmly believe that the driving force that can pave the way to a new era lies in the aspirations of youths, as well as their power to take action.
[Community for supporting growth]
In encouraging youths to tackle challenges, and in providing support for their growth, we believe that it is vital to have a community and relationships that support their challenges and growth rationally while maintaining respect for them.
GLOBAL CITIZENS INITIATIVE
The Global Citizens Initiative (GCI) is an NPO established in 2011 in the United States. It defines "global citizens" as those who are multilingual, understand many cultures, have strong moral values, and who are capable of making wise decisions.
By nurturing future generations of global citizens, GCI aims to enhance mutual understanding among people in the world.
As part of Rakuten support in education for future generation, we sponsored?in August 2014 five students from Africa, Asia and Europe to participate ?in the Global Citizens Summit for Youth in Harvard Faculty Club, Boston, USA.
Secours Populaire Francais
Created in 1945, "Secours Populaire Francais" (French Popular Relief) is a non-profit organization gathering 80,000 volunteers and operating on donations and legacy funds, dedicated to fighting poverty and discrimination in France and the world. It helps every year over 2.5 million people.
In France, SPF particularly focuses on providing victims of discrimination with emergency shelter, food, clothing, and referrals to health care facilities. SPF also operates globally, responding to emergency or development projects, working closely with expert associations capable of identifying local needs.
Rakuten and SPF signed in August 2015 a Memorandum of Understanding to build a framework for their collaboration projects to come. The first of these projects is the Mobile Library in France, launched in fall 2015.
Rakuten Mirai no Tsubasa
Rakuten Mirai no Tsubasa is an organization that helps youth to gain independence after leaving children’s homes and foster homes upon turning 18. Donations are used to help such youths to become independent members of society with peace of mind through the provision of independence scholarships and independence support programs.
Orange County Coastkeeper
Orange County Coastkeeper was founded in 1999 as a non-profit organization to identify and remedy pollution issues affecting water quality in Orange County’s rivers, bays and coastal regions. Its mission is to protect and preserve the region’s marine habitats and watersheds through education, advocacy, restoration, research and enforcement.
Rakuten supported the Orange County Coastkeeper by gathering 70 volunteers including beach volleyball players, to collect 23kg of trash from the sand near the venue of the AVP Tour 2015 in Huntington Beach. Rakuten also made a donation to the Orange County Coastkeeper with funds raised during the AVP Tour.
Huntington Beach Tree Society
The Huntington Beach Tree Society was founded as a non-profit organization in 1998 to help protect and care for the urban forest. The urban forest is the aggregate of all community vegetation and green spaces that provide benefits vital to enriching the quality of life.
Thanks to donations and to the work of its volunteers, the organization has already planted/purchased over 5,000 trees.
In order to give back to the community which hosted the final game of the Rakuten Card Cup, Rakuten Card made a donation of $42,000 to The Huntington Beach Tree Society. This contribution will be used to improve the Huntington Beach Central Park, the largest city-owned park in Orange County.
Give Back Cincinnati
Give Back Cincinnati is the largest non-profit organization in Cincinnati (Ohio), with 2,400 active members and 15 years of service. It plans over two dozen of free volunteer opportunities annually, to give back to the local communities through various types of activity, such as school and community center makeovers or eco awareness raising campaigns.
Rakuten and AVP joined Give Back Cincinnati for half a day during the AVP Tour 2015 to clean up downtown Cincinnati. Urban gardening being an important aspect of cities’ quality of life, volunteers were in charge of pulling out weeds and their roots and adding fertilizer to the soil afterwards.Rakuten also made a donation with the money collected during the Rakuten Card Cup to Give Back Cincinnati to support their environmental activities.
Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse
Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse advances environmental stewardship in local communities of Chicago, by connecting people to nature, teaching sustainable gardening practices, and promoting fresh and healthy food to people of all ages through garden-based educational programs.
Rakuten and AVP, in collaboration with Chicago Parks District, supported the Kilbourn Park Organic Green with thirty volunteers, including beach volleyball players, to pull out weeds and their root and place them into compost bins. They will eventually be used as fertilizer for organic farming. Rakuten also made a donation to the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse with funds raised during the AVP Tour 2015.
Friends of Hudson River Park
Founded in 1999, Friends of Hudson River Park is a NPO dedicated to the completion, care, and enhancement of the Hudson River Park, and is the designated fundraising partner of the Hudson River Park Trust. Friends creates opportunities for public contributions to and participation in the Park's operations and growth, to guarantee its future for generations of New Yorkers, Americans and visitors from around the world.
To help meet a growing need for resources as Hudson River Park expands and matures, Friends expanded its mission in 2011 to focus on generating private philanthropic support for New York’s premier waterside park. Friends is working in partnership with the Hudson River Park Trust to channel its fundraising efforts so that sufficient capital is available to complete the Park, build an endowment, augment operating resources, and guarantee that the Park always remains in world-class condition.
Working with Friends of Hudson River Park and AVP, Rakuten gave back to the New York City community through a gardening initiative, working alongside Park horticulturalists to eliminate weeds and plant a tree that will be enjoyed by thousands of New Yorkers. In total, 27 volunteers participated for 3 hours.
The Nature Conservation Society of Japan
The Nature Conservation Society of Japan (NACS-J) was founded in 1951, first to protect Oze marsh land against a hydroelectric dam construction project. Its activities have expanded from Oze to other important sites such as Shirakami-Sanchi, Ogasawara islands or Yakushima, and helped them to be designated as World Natural Heritage. The organization has been working for valuing and conserving nature and linking people with nature through more than 2,500 members and supporters from Japan and all over the world.
The current activities include:
- Restoring degraded secondary forest to healthy and abundant natural forest
- Conserving endangered species such as golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and areas rich in biodiversity
- Training “NACS-J Nature Conservation Educator” for monitoring and interpreting local nature
Its purpose is to create a society where all people are aware and respectful of the beauty of nature, and involved in its conservation.
Rakuten promote an initiative called 'Rakuten's forest' in cooperation with NACS-J, one of the largest NGO for nature conservation. Rakuten will support or take part in their existing nature conservation program at several sites of 'Rakuten's Forest' project.
SOS Mata Atlantica
First established in 1986, the SOS Mata Atlantica Foundation is a NGO that is active in the conservation of Brazil’s most threatened forests and associated coastal and marine environments. Its cause is to protect and restore the Atlantic Forest ? as only 8.5% of this important forest that once covered much of Brazil remain ? and protect the sea and coast of Brazil ? less than 1% is currently under some protection regime.
To achieve this goal, SOS Mata Atlantica has developed numerous projects on topics such as the monitoring of the Atlantic Forest, the dissemination of information on deforestation, forest restoration with seedling production and planting, environmental education and monitoring, and advocacy on behalf of governmental environmental policies, campaigns, etc.
Save the Beach
"Promoting physical and mental health through sports, and contributing to society through environmental conservation efforts."
This is the objective of our activities.
Today, beaches in various parts of Japan that had once been beautiful are suffering from the effects of environmental destruction and global warming. As a result of factors such as the rise of sea levels and coastal erosion, these beaches are gradually disappearing.
As we moved from place to place across Japan in our work and witnessed these scenes, we began to think about what we could do. We felt a strong need to translate these ideas into concrete action, and to continue expanding the scope of these activities.
Through this initiative, athletes who are active on the frontlines of their respective sporting arenas, such as beach volleyball and soccer, are invited to play together with participants, so that they can feast their eyes on the spectacular moves of the athletes while experiencing for themselves the joy of sports.
In addition, together with the athletes, they partake in activities to conserve the environments around them, thereby expanding the scope of environmental conservation activities.
By spreading these activities across Japan, we hope to bring cheer and energy to as many children and local residents as possible.
We want to leave behind a beautiful environment for the future. That is our wish.
Rakuten and Save the Beach jointly organize the program "Challenge Forever in Soma" which give many opportunities for children of Fukushima Prefecture to interact with professional athletes, develop their communication skills and independence and imagine a better future for themselves.
Wild Bird Society of Japan
Wild Bird Society of Japan (WBSJ) is a conservation NGO that takes action for wild birds and the environment. It has joined Birdlife International, the world’s largest nature conservation partnership.
Its aim is to bequeath a rich natural environment to future generations by conserving the habitats for birds and biodiversity. WBSJ was established in 1934.
Its wide range of conservation work has been supported by over 50,000 members and donors.
The organization is managing over 3,000ha of nature reserves for the protection of endangered bird species such as the Red-crowned Crane and the Blakiston’s Fish Owl. It is also running 8 sanctuaries and providing education activities for people.
Rakuten is conducting a forest conservation project, "Rakuten’s Forest", aiming at protecting biodiversity, notably birds, with a special focus on the endangered golden eagle. We will cooperate with WBSJ, one of the largest NGOs for conservation activities related to birds.?
Save the Children Japan
Save the Children was founded in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb, a British woman. She made ardent efforts to save children in WWⅠ-ravaged Europe, no matter what side of the conflict they were on. Eglantyne Jebb is known as the drafter of the 1924 Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which was the first official international document regarding children’s rights.
Since that time, for almost 100 years, Save the Children has been constantly expanding its activities as a pioneer of children’s rights ? into approximately 120 countries. As a world leader in children’s support, the UN and governments of many countries have a high regard for Save the Children, and we have obtained from the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) “General Consultative Status,” which is reserved for large international NGOs whose area of work covers most of the issues on the agenda of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies.
As the Japanese partner, Save the Children Japan was established in 1986.
Rakuten Group have conducted a Rakuten Clutch Fundraising for the Myanmar floods in 2015. The donation was handed to an international NGO, Save the Children, that works in Myanmar for emergency assistance.