Friday, 25 February 2011

Fairtrade Fortnight 2011- Show off your label!!!

This year Fairtrade Fortnight is the 28th February till the 13th March! Campaigners are being asked to be LOUD AND PROUD and show off their labels!!!

Order some Fairtrade cotton and make some Fairtrade bunting! Before doing this perhaps you would like to find out more about this years product focus which is Cotton

So what can you do to further your understanding of Fairtrade?! Ask questions and do research, find out about the supply chains of products that you regularly buy! If you aren't happy with the results, and find that your dress was made by a child working in poor conditions in a factory, or your chocolate was made from cocoa that was picked by children trafficked  from their homes and taken from their families with the hope of earning some money?! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Ask the shop selling the product why they are stocking it!? Ask them to look at making their products more ethical and environmental. If they don't respond, or make changes you can decide to stop buying the product. We (the consumers) are the people that are demanding cheap products, but this comes at a price to other people! We are the only ones that can make the change, it is the consumer demand that companies listen to and we are the ones with the power in our hands.

ENTHUSE about your cotton socks,

GOSSIP about your roses,

PARADE your instant coffee

RAVE about your Brazil nuts

Make Fairtrade your favourite this year, be proud to support Fairtrade, be part of a new bunting world record and show off your lable because...TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE TRADE FAIR!

Reflections on my past year...

It was around this time last year that I threw myself into volunteering my time for different causes that I care about. I started to get more involved with Fairtrade in my home town Basingstoke and started to attend meetings in Southampton, where I studying at Uni. I then applied for a training course with My Social Innovation, applied to be on the Campaigner Advisory Group (CAG) at the Fairtrade Foundation and applied to volunteer with ActionAid at some festivals over summer to raise awareness of their Bollocks to Poverty campaign. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to be involved with all of these organisations and work with them to raise awareness of the work that they do. I also got involved with People & Planet in the summer of 2010 and I attended their annual conference Shared Planet in November 2010 for the first time. I had the opportunity to attend a conference titled 'Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy' (TIGE) in Caux Switzerland in August 2010, where I met some incredibly knowledgeable and interesting people through Initiatives of Change.

I have had such an amazing year, I have met some really great people, and I have learnt so so much about myself and about the campaigns that are being run by different charities. It seems that before this I was stuck in a bubble of my own life and although I study Sociology I hadn't ventured much outside of this bubble of friends, family, socialising, baking etc. If you had asked me this time last year what I would be doing today, I would never have thought that I would be involved in everything that I am. Recently I was introduced to a fellow student by someone who said "this is Aliceja she knows everything about ...well everything" but this is so so so untrue, it made me feel a little uncomfortable. I am still a beginner in this I feel like I have so much to learn and so many people to learn from. This is a continuous journey and without the help and support of people working for all the organisation I have mentioned I would never have been inspired to carry out the work that I have been doing! It is the kindness and accepting nature of the people that I have worked with as a volunteer that has allowed me to develop with everything. I find myself signing up to things because I am really keen to find out more and do more to help, and also to develop myself. I can't even begin to tell you how much this past year has meant to me and how grateful I am to have met everyone I have along the way.

I cannot wait to finish my degree so I can develop my knowledge and experience in this area even further and spend a little more time learning and volunteering.

Over the next few weeks I will be promoting different campaigns that I have been working on and looking at the work of different charities and organisations that I have been working with. Perhaps if you see something that is of interest to you, you can follow the link and find out more for yourself and maybe volunteer a bit of time. I would recommend it to anyone that has a bit of spare time, it will be the best thing you do with your time I PROMISE!!!

And in the coming months I will be revealing what I have been working on since I completed my training with MySI last year. :-)

That is all for now

MyFairLady89 :-)