“We love to listen to our customers and for this reason we would be delighted to hear from you if you would like a bespoke fair trade product made especially for you.”

Fair Trade Ethical Living with Sabeena Ahmed

Fair Trade Ethical Living with Sabeena Ahmed

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living

It has been a natural progression from fair trade campaigner, educator and social entrepreneur to ethical consumer.

This is my summary of how I began and continue to strive to live a fair and ethical lifestyle.

I have attempted to illustrate the small steps I have taken to live a life free of clutter, materialism and a throw away society.

 

 Recycled Fair trade key bowl produced by artisans at Noahs Ark Int, India - Fair trade ethical living with Sabeena Ahmed

Fairtrade recycled key bowl produced by artisans at Noah's Ark Int,

Moradabad, India

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living

I have always wanted to live a simple minimalist lifestyle which reiterate the values and principles of Fair Trade and Ethical Living.

As a self confessed ethically conscious consumer I've purposely chosen to reduce my consumption of fashion, electronics, home ware, cosmetics and plastic.

Over the years I have supported many charities including The Christie Hospital Manchester where my mother was treated for metastatic breast cancer and recorded videos for World Cancer Day 2019 and 2020.

Fair trade supports SDG 2 - Zero Hunger, it was important for me to raise awareness about food inequality with Practical Action. I participated in their Live Below The Line 2014 campaign. I believe I was the only participant based in the UAE.

In 2016 after my mothers passing I decided to donate most of my furniture to Take My Junk UAE.

As a social entrepreneur it has been a pleasure to support the efforts of other social entrepreneurs and Adopt A Camp Dubai established by Sahar Shaikh is a beautiful example of kindness and compassion.

As a fairtrade campaiger and educator it was important to support fairtrade visioneers and practice what I preach. I invested in the worlds first ethical, modular and functional phone the Fairphone2 2015 and recorded a video blog review about my Fairphone 17,418.

The Six Items Challenge has been a part of my life since 2012. It has been a pleasure to support the Labour Behind The Label Team. 

It has also been important to support initiatives that promote zero waste, reduce plastic consumption and learn about harmful cosmetics.

I have recorded videos about safe cosmetics and participated in Plastic Free July, Zero Waste Week.

As an avid traveller and learner of other cultures. It was a honour to welcome Gambian environmental activist, social entrepreneur and author Isatou Ceesay to my humble abode.

As a keen learner and educator, I have immersed myself by applying for online courses and an international scholarship program for social entrepreneurs. 

It has been a pleasure to support World Pulse as a mentor and ambassador to promote member stories on social media.

I am delighted to have been accepted on the World Literacy Foundation Ambassador 2020 Program.

As an World Fair Trade Organization individual associate member I continue to promote, support and raise awareness for fair trade producers by supporting the 10 Principles of Fair Trade and the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living - Quote 'Simplicity is a part of faith' Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) credit and source Safina5.tumblr.com

 A beautiful hadith (narration of the beloved Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him).

 Credit and Source Safiya5.tumblr.com

 

My Childhood and Values

 Fair Trade Ethical Living - Childhood memories, Sabeena Ahmed, sister and parents

Me with my father and my younger sister with my mother

 

I am blessed. I had a beautiful childhood...

My parents were my first school of morals, values, love and compassion.

They were hardworking selfless individuals who instilled the values of honesty, dedication and compassion.

They were, kind, generous people, who saw the good in everyone.

During the 70's and 80's my father financially assisted many young entrepreneurs in Manchester to establish their businesses and our home was a hive of activity.

My teachers said I was a conscientious child. I was the youngest in my class and one of three children of colour.

I loved to read, books were a portal that transported me to a world full of magic and miracles. 

 The Little Fair Trade Blog - Fair Trade Ethical Living with Sabeena Ahmed

Fair trade recycled bicycle book end and fair trade books

 

Yes! I was a bookworm.

I loved school I was happy and after 40 long years I still remain friends with my nursery friend Helen.

Sabeena Ahmed with friends at the Old Moat Junior School 1984/5, Manchester, UK

Sabeena (purple dress) next to Helen (white purple/pink striped dress)
and friends

  

At primary school I was introduced to Oxfam, and raised money for those less fortunate around the world and learnt about the environment.

Fair Trade Ethical Living - Fair Trade Campaigner, Educator and Social Entrepreneur by Sabeena Ahmed

Sabeena Ahmed at the Old Moat Junior School and friends supporting the Oxfam Ethiopia Appeal - aged 9/10, 1984/5

 

OLD MOAT RESOURCES

 

'Children from all years at Old Moat Junior School have collected
over 300 pounds tor the Oxfam Ethiopia Appeal by a variety of activities including sponsored silences and selling knitted squares.
Their actions have been boosted by parents, teachers and others helping fill the gallon whisky bottle in the photograph and a giant wine carafe with coppers, silver and even notes.'

 

SOUTH MANCHESTER REPORTER

 

I participated in an initiative to plant trees at the local Siemens headquarters in South Manchester.

 

Tree Planting Certificate - Sabeena Ahmed planted a tree at the grounds of the Sir William Siemens House, Manchester 14th September 1993, The Tree will be part of the Red Rose Forest
Tree Planting Certificate -
Sabeena Ahmed planted a tree at the grounds of the Sir William Siemens House, Manchester 14th September 1993,
This Tree will be part of the Red Rose Forest

 

 

My Father 

Sabeena Ahmed with her father Mahfooz Ahmed and sister Irem - Fair Trade Ethical Living

 Here I am with my dear father and younger sister

My father was one of the most kind, generous and charismatic you could ever meet.

He was my best friend, and taught us the value of money, discipline and hard work. Every pound I earned I saved.

My younger sister and spent our childhood assisting him to operate his businesses.

I was never a big spender and saved all of my pocket money for gifts and Mother's Day presents.

During my teenage and early twenties I became a carer and worked part-time jobs to support my family.

I married in late 2001 and relocated to Saudia Arabia where my love for teaching was born. 

I returned to the UK during 2004 and decided it would be beneficial to apply for a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and Teach Learners English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

I completed my PGCE (PCET) ESOL at the University of Greenwich and started teaching at (WAES) the Westminister Adult Education Service - Paddington Centre.

 

Photos of my learners (TBA)

I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and was sad to leave the UK once more as I relocated to KSA and then the UAE in 2008.

My fairtrade and ethical living journey began Ramadan 2008.

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living

My Fair Trade Journey

Sabeena Ahmed - Fairtrade Nomad and Optmist for Change at The Little Fair Trade Shop, UK and UAE

Sabeena Ahmed - Fairtrade Campaigner, Educator

and Social Entrepreneur

 

My fair trade journey

My fairtrade journey began September 2008 whilst studying an online distance Islamic Banking and Insurance course.

Much to my surprise I had an epiphany!

A paragraph illustrating how Islam promotes the equal distribution of wealth evoked strong emotions. Stories of social injustice and disparity of earnings amongst the poorest people around the world fuelled a desire to take action.

In the weeks that followed I searched the internet and discovered the home page of the World Fair Trade Organization.

 

The World Fair Trade Organization Mark (WFTO) Guaranteed Fair Trade
 The  World Fair Trade Organization Mark

 

The World Fair Trade Organization - 10 Principles of Fair Trade

The Ten Principles of Fair Trade

 

Since 2008 I have patiently dedicated my time to educate consumers about fairtrade artisans and groups by promoting the principles of a living wage, self-reliance, empowerment, transparency, environmental sustainability and dignity and self respect for all.

I have been supported by many fairtrade and non-profit organisations around the world.

I have been fortunate to receive a warm reception from hundreds of local expatriates and like minded international tourists.


I call them my ''Fair Trade Angels'' because without them I could not support fairtrade organisations around the world.


I am happy and proud to be an individual associate member of The World Fair Trade Organization since 2011 and won the BOLDtalks Open Mind Award 2011.

 

Sabeena Ahmed Creator and Founder of The Little Fair Trade Shop Winner of The BOLDtalks Open Mind Award 2011

The Little Fair Trade Shop Winner of The BOLDtalks Open Mind Award 2011


It is my passion and ambition to physically visit as many fairtrade producers as financial possible and I have been fortunate to visit artisans in Bangkok, Cairo, Dehli, Bali, Haripur, Karachi,  Kegalle, Kurunegale, Pinnawala and Rawalpindi.

 

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living - What does it mean?

 The Little Fair Trade Blog - The Little Fair Trade Shop brand logo with Strapline 'Fair Trade Ethical Living' Copyrighted

The Little Fair Trade Shop strapline and logo

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living simply means living a fair, just and simple life.

It was the most appropriate strap line I chose for my brand The Little Fair Trade Shop. It encapsulates my desire to detach myself from materialism and invest my time and energy in issues I passionately care about.

They are not meaningless words but to words to live by.

The issues and subjects I am passionate and have campaigned for over the years include the following;

Fairtrade Social and Trade Justice

Breast Cancer Research

The Sustainable Development Goals

Circular Economy

Islam and Fairtrade

Self-Care and Well Being

 

SHETRADES MENA HUB LAUNCH

I was invited as a panelist to talk about fair trade with Dubai Exports, ITC and the UN, February 2018.

I have decided to include this video here to promote fairtade in the United Arab Emirates

 

All copyright reserved and owned by Dubai Government

 

Fairtrade and Breast Cancer Research

2012 is a year that will remain etched in my heart and mind forever.

My family received devastating news that our beautiful mother had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

After a long and courageous four year struggle with cancer my beloved mother Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano returned to her maker April 2016.

I miss my mother and my aunts who also passed from breast and ovarian cancer.

 

 

World Cancer Day 2019

This tragic event elevated a sense of urgency within me, I felt it was my duty as a fairtrade campaigner and educator to talk about breast cancer.

Breast cancer and other cancers are taboo in the South East Asian community and I thought it was essential to break down the barriers and talk openly about my experiences of caring for a parent with a terminal illness.

My beautiful mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer March 2012, she was 59 years old.

Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano - My beloved mother a video for World Cancer Day 2019 by Sabeena Ahmed

Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano - Manchester June 2012

 

My Video For World Cancer Day 2019

 

 

My Video For World Cancer Day 2020

 

I always want to remember my mother as the happy, healthy soul with a

beautiful mischievous smile.

Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano - a video for World Cancer Day 2019 by Sabeena Ahmed

Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, UAE - 2010

 

My beloved mother passed away from metastatic breast cancer April 18th 2016, she was 62 years old.

May Allah azza wa ajal (God) bless all mothers with Paradise

(Jannat-ul-Ferdose), Aameen.

My siblings and I miss her terribly.

Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano at Edinburgh Castle May 2014 - World Cancer Day 2019 Video by Sabeena Ahmed

Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano, Edinburgh Castle

May 2014

 

 

Hereditary Breast Cancer, Genetic Testing

and Counselling

During early January 2017 I found a lump in my left breast and immediately made an appointment to see my breast consultant. Luckily, my lump was a cyst and it was removed successfully.

Due to a history of breast and ovarian cancer in my family my consultant advised that I take the BRAC1 and BRAC2 genetic testing.

My results were normal and I do not carry the BRAC 1/2 genes. I am very relieved.

Self examination is the key to early detection of cancer and survival.

Women who have a history of cancer in the family should attend their annual mammogram and pap test.

While caring for my mother an opportunity arose to raise awareness for garment workers by participating in the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label.

My mother took the very first photos of me supporting the Six Items Challenge in 2012 and add a little normality to a very difficult and painful life experience.

I remember one the last conversations I had with her where she said she was proud of me and gave her blessings for me to continue with my fairtrade work.

With her final words embedded in my heart and soul forever and I am more determined and motivated to continue to raise awareness for fairtrade and campaign for social and trade justice.

Without a doubt, I cannot deny that the past 8 years has put immense pressure on my personal and professional life and the business became a secondary concern. It was my mothers strong determination and will to fight against this debilitating disease that I wanted to raise awareness about breast cancer research by supporting The Christie Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Sabeena Ahmed participating in the Night of Neon 10km walk for The Christies Hospital, Manchester, UK - October 2016

Night of Neon 10km walk for The Christies Hospital, Manchester, UK

- October 2012

It is a honour and privilege to support fair trade organisations Friend's Handicraft and Maiti, Nepal who support and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking by designing and retailing handmade bags and home accessories.

The Friends Handicraft Ladies, Kathmandum Nepal

The Friends Handicraft Ladies, Kathmandu, Nepal

100% of the proceeds of this beautiful totally bobbles fairtrade pink handbag are forwarded to The Christies Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom.

https://www.thelittlefairtradeshop.com/products/handbag-pink-bobbles

 

Chemicals and Toxins in Cosmetics

Since my mothers passing I feel its my duty to educate others about the dangers of applying toxic chemicals on skin.

It has been therapeutic conducting research about the alternative organic, vegan, socially conscious brands that are available on the high street.

Six Items Challenge 2017 Week 2 featuring the

Odylique make up at 4.11.

To read of my blog about my Six Items Challenge 2017 please click here.

 

Odylique Product Review and Videos

  

About Odylique

During 2016 I had a couple of lovely online conversations with Abi Weeds Managing Director and Emma Hopewell of Odylique - Essential Care (Organics) Ltd.

I was particularly interested to support Odylique as it is a leading brand of cosmetics and natural skin care based in the United Kingdom. The company prides itself on promoting their organic, vegan, fairtrade, cruelty free ethos and specialise in treating problematic sensitive, reactive and allergy prone skin.

Abi explained how the company was established by her mother Mrs Margaret Weeds over 30 years.

All Odylique products are Soil Association Organic certified and the brand has won numerous awards for their pioneering products, best of all they are cruelty free so you can wear them with pride knowing that they have been tested on other individuals with sensitive prone skin like mine and yours. Their products are suitable for children.

As a long term suffer of adult acne, 30+ years to be precise, I was excited and anxious to use their products.

To be very honest, I don't wear make up because I've always endured painful acne and sensitive skin. I don't know how to apply make up and am very weary of cosmetics that contain parabens such as, methylparaben, propylparaben, butlyparaben, triclosan, triclocarbon, and diethylphthalate (DEP), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and (SLES) sodium laureth sulphate that are linked to breast cancer. I have also learnt it is better to avoid products that list fragrance or parfum.

Odylique products were suitable for my adult acne, sensitive, allergy prone skin.

For those interested Odylique were the number one cosmetic company featured in Ethical Consumer March/April 2017 and 2020 magazine.

Other videos featuring Odylique cosmetics

Fairtrade Fortnight 2017 Summary featuring the

Odylique photoshoot at 3.38.

To read more about Odylique and view my photo shoot click here

 

 

Adopt A Camp  

Over the years I have grown to admire and support kind people.

Adopt A Camp, Dubai is a wonderful organisation supports guest workers by distributing food parcels, providing education, medical facilities and other recreational activities. 5000 packages are distributed to men and it is my aim and hope is to interview the volunteers and its director Sahar Sheikh in the near future.

 

Adopt A Camp Certificate - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
 Adopt A Camp Certificate

 

 

Live Below The Line 2014, Dubai UAE

During April/May of 2014 I decided to participate with Practical Action and the Live Below The Line 2014 UK campaign to highlight how 1 billion people around the world slept hungry every night and lived on less than one dollar a day.

 

The issue is one that is very close to my heart as my fairtrade work focuses on alleviating poverty.

 

 Live Below The Line 2014, Dubai, UAE with Sabeena Ahmed and the Little Fair Trade Shop

 Live Below The Line 2014 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

 

Fairtrade supports the Sustainable Development Goals, and every individual deserves to live with dignity, respect and not spend a single night hungry.
 
I have summarised my experiences of the 5 day challenge below.
 
At the time of the challenge the exchange rate was 1GPB = 6AED.
 
My budget for 5 days was 30 dhirams.

 

 2ND MAY 2014 - DAY 5 (THE FINAL DAY)
Live Below The Line Day 5, 2014, Dubai, UAE with Sabeena Ahmed and The Little Fair Trade Shop

 

 

De-cluttering and Living with less

After my mother passed away it was emotionally and mentally exhausting sifting through all her possessions. My siblings and I eventually sent her new clothes and accessories to her family.

This experience made me question my life, my purpose and what was truly important.

I decided I didn't need 90% of the 'things' I had in my apartment and called a Take My Junk to collect them.

It was therapeutic to donate my furniture and other possessions to this wonderful charity who sells items to the less disadvantaged and need in society and promotes a circular economy.

 

Take My Junk Truck UAE - Donating my furniture with Sabeena Ahmed

Take My Junk Truck UAE - Donating my furniture 

 

Take My Junk Truck UAE - Donating my furniture with Sabeena Ahmed

 Take My Junk Truck UAE - Donating my furniture and majlis

 

My living room before my minimalist transition - Fair Trade Ethical Living with Sabeena Ahmed

My Living Room (2016)

 

My Fairphone2 and vlogs

I'm proud to say I am the owner of a Fair Phone 2 - No 17,418!!!

The Fairphone is the worlds first modular, ethical and functional phone.

I thought I would share a few of my vlogs and photographs I've uploaded with my Fairphone2 since I received it February 2016.

 

My Fairphone2 - Fair Trade Ethical Living, A review, videos and photographs taken with my Fairphone2 17,418 by Sabeena Ahmed

 

My Fairphone2 - Fair Trade Ethical Living, A review, videos and photographs taken with my Fairphone2 17,418 by Sabeena Ahmed

My Fairphone2 - 17,418

 

Fairphone2 Video Blog - 2016

For My Six Items Challenge 2016 - I recorded a blog about my Fairphone 2 

 

   

What Is The Fairphone?

In 2013, Fairphone launched a movement for fairer electronics. By making a phone, they opened up the supply chain and created new relationships between people and their products. They are making a positive impact across the value chain in mining, design, manufacturing and life cycle, while expanding the market for products that put ethical values first. Together with their community, they are changing the way products are made.
Credit and Source: Fairphone website 2017

What is a Circular Economy? 

A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and products and materials at the end of service life.

 

 

 

Six Items Challenge 2019 

Six Items Challenge 2019 with Sabeena Ahmed and Labour Behind The Label, Dubai, UAE

I began the Six Items Challenge with my mother in 2012 when she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She was very supportive of my efforts. I have continued with the challenge ever since. For the seventh consecutive year I participated in the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label.

 

The 2019 the challenge commenced 6th March - 18th April March 2019.

 

I decided to participate and support the Six Items Challenge for the seventh year because I started to campaign for garment and factory workers while caring for my mother who had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

 

The six items challenge means I choose six items of clothing to wear for six weeks.

 

My beloved mother was a great advocate for women's empowerment and education.

 

She would have been happy and proud of me to continue my campaigning for the millions of countless individuals producing clothes and accessories in factories and workshops around the world.

 

Week One

 

Week Two

 

Week Three

 

 

Six Items Challenge 2020 and Labour Behind The Label with Sabeena Ahmed, Dubai. UAE
 

 

 

Isatou Ceesay Environmental Activist and Social Entrepreneur Visits Dubai

Isatou Ceesay, Gambian environmental activist and social entrepreneur accompanied by her son Madou stayed with me for 5 days during their 7 day visit to Dubai late March early April 2019.

 

I asked Isatou to sign copies of her book for nephew's and niece's.

 

I also conducted a detailed interview with Isatou (pronounced Ay Sa Tou) about her life and work.

 

Isatou signing my copy of One Plastic Bag
 

 

Interview short edited version 

 To read about Isatou Ceesay's visit to Dubai, UAE kindly click here.

 

 

Plastic Free July 2019, Dubai, UAE

As climate change becomes one of the most pressing issues of our generation. 

 

I am determined to reduce my plastic consumption and educate others in the process.  

 

 

Plastic Free Badge

 

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July was started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and a small team of local government in Western Australia, it is now one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world.

 

Millions of people across the globe take part every year, with many committing to reducing plastic pollution far beyond the month of July.
Source: Plastic Free July

 

 Plastic Free July 2019 - Sabeena Ahmed, Dubai, UAE
 I began Plastic Free July with a Plastic Free Teabags. 

 

Plastic Free July - Clipper Plastic Free Tea Bags, Sabeena Ahmed, Dubai, UAE
 Clipper Plastic Free Tea Bags

 

Traidcraft 40th Anniversary reusable cup - Plastic Free July, break free from plastic Dubai
Traidcraft 40th Anniversary reusable cup 

 

Traidcraft 40th Anniversary reusable cup and packaging - Plastic Free July, break free from plastic Dubai
Traidcraft 40th Anniversary reusable cup and sustainable packaging,
a thumbs up from me!

 

This jute bag holds precious memories of my beloved Mum and our visit to Edinburgh during her struggle with metastatic breast cancer.
Mum has returned to her maker but her precious memories remain...

 

My Edinburgh jute bag - Plastic Free July, break free from plastic Dxb
My Edinburgh jute bag

 

My Edinburgh jute bag with label - Plastic Free July, break free from plastic Dubai
My Edinburgh jute bag with label 

 

For the past 3 years I've replaced my hand wash with
organic hand made soap.
Hand made soap - Plastic Free July, break free from plastic Dubai
Organic hand made soap

 

 

 

Zero Waste Week 2019

A continuation of trying to live a more Fair Trade Ethical Life I am trying to remove all waste from my life. Below is my attempt to support Zero Waste Week 2019, Dubai, UAE.

 

Over the past 3 years I have discovered, tried and tested many zero waste bathroom alternatives.

Organic Loofah instead of a plastic one


Organic handmade soap instead of hand wash


Herbal Tooth powder instead of toothpaste


Bamboo Toothbrush instead of plastic tooth brush and


Miswaak (cleaning twig made from the Salvadora persica tree)
and
Organic Herbal Shampoo.

Organic Loofah - Zero Waste Week 2019, Dubai and the UAE with Sabeena Ahmed
Organic Loofah
 
Bamboo toothbrush, herbal tooth powder and miswak - Zero Waste Week 2019, Dubai and the UAE with Sabeena Ahmed
Bamboo toothbrush, herbal tooth powder and miswak 
 
 
Odylique Herbal Organic Shampoo - Zero Waste Week 2019, Dubai and the UAE with Sabeena Ahmed
Odylique Herbal Organic Shampoo

 

 

Zero Waste Bathroom alternatives - Zero Waste Week 2019, Dubai and the UAE with Sabeena Ahmed
Zero Waste Bathroom alternatives

 

 

I finally decided to document my beloved mothers red split lentil (masoor) and yellow lentil (moong) daal and eat healthily.

Miss you Mum! 

Fair Trade Ethical Living - How to make masoor red split lentil and moong yellow lentil daal, recipe Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano with Sabeena Ahmed for Zero Waste Week 2019.
Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living - How to Make Masoor and Moong Daal, Recipe Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano with Sabeena Ahmed

Masoor and Moong Daal with carrot pickle

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living - How to Make Masoor and Moong Daal, Recipe Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano with Sabeena Ahmed

 Zeera Rice and Yoghurt

 

Fair Trade Ethical Living - How to Make Masoor and Moong Daal, Recipe Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano with Sabeena Ahmed

Serve hot with plain, Zeera Rice, Roti/Chapatti (Flatbread), yoghurt and pickle.

 

To read and cook my Masoor and Moong Daal recipe click here

To read more about my Zero Waste Week 2019 click here

 

About Zero Waste Week

Zero Waste week was founded by Rachelle Strauss in 2008 and began as a National UK Campaign. Campaigns last a week and take place annually during the first full week in September.

The campaign runs predominantly on social media and the website strives to reach a community of like-minded people who want to reduce residential or commercial waste, reuse materials and recycle as much as possible. The aim of the campaign is to help householders, businesses, schools and community groups increase recycling, reduce landfill waste and participate in the circular economy – in alignment with European recommendations and Directives.

Credit and Source: Rachelle Strauss

 

 

The Badiri Social Entrepreneurial Programme (BSEP), NAMA Women Advancement Establishment and the School For Social Entrepreneurs London and Cornwall 2018

As a seeker of knowledge I decided to apply for the Badiri Social Enterprise and the School for Social Entrepreneurs London Scholarship Programme 2018, UAE.

 

I was accepted onto the prestigious programme May 2018.

 

Sally Heard CEO School for Social Entrepreneurs Cornwall and Sabeena Ahmed at the Badiri Academy, NAMA, Sharjah, UAE May 2018
Sally Heard CEO School for Social Entrepreneurs Cornwall and Sabeena Ahmed at the Badiri Academy, NAMA, Sharjah, UAE - May 2018

 

NAMA Women Advancement and Establishment was established by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.

 

The Badiri Social Entrepreneurship Programme, and the Badiri Education and Development Academy aims to boost, reward and showcase the spirit of female entrepreneurs and develop their skills enabling them to successfully participate in the economy locally and globally.

 

School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) has 10 schools operating across the UK and a further two international schools in Canada and India. SSE has worked with over 1000 social entrepreneurs each year by educating, guiding and supporting them with the knowledge they need to start up their social enterprises. 

 

Badiri Social Enterprise Programme with NAMA in collaboration with the School for Social Entrepreneurs London and Cornwall - Sally Heard CEO of SSE with participants of the first Social Enterprise Scholarship Programme 2018
Photo credit: NAMA and the Badiri Academy

 

The Badiri Social Entrepreneurship Programme BSEP delegates will be the first cohort of SSE collaboration expanding across the Arab region.

 

I am eternally grateful to the NAMA and Badiri Academy for their support in my fair trade work and campaigns.

 

 

 

Graduation and Ceremony 

My Graduation Presentation

 

The 21st January 2019 was a day I will never forget.

 

I finally completed the UAE's first international scholarship cohort and programme with the Badiri Academy, NAMA, and the School For Social Entrepreneurs London and Cornwall, UK.

 

Sabeena Ahmed's Certificate Cohort 1 - BSEP, NAMA and SSE - The Badiri Academy Social Entrepreneurial International Scholarship Programme with the School of Social Entrepreneurs London and Cornwall 2019

I presented my graduation presentation and received my certificate.

Many thanks to Lina Hamdan, Kylie Dickenson, Jo Van Osch (my amazing mentor), Amy Babor and Sally Heard for their kind words of support and encouragement.

 

I praise the Almighty Allah subhana wa'tala for giving me the strength and courage to complete the course.

 

I missed my parents and hope they are proud of me.

 

Thank you to my husband Faisal for supporting me over the past 10 years.

 

Photographs

BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony 2019 Sharjah UAE
BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony Hall, 2019
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE 
 
 BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony Alistair Wilson CEO of SSE London, 2019  Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE
 BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony
Alistair Wilson CEO of SSE London, 2019 
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE 
 
 BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony group photo, 2019  Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE
BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony Group Photo, 2019 
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE 
 
 
BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony, 2019, Amy and Kylie Dickenson from SSE London and North West,  Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE
BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony, 2019,
Cathy and Kylie Dickenson from SSE London and SSE North West, 
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE 
 
BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony, 2019, Sabeena Ahmed with Lina Hamdan BSEP and NAMA,  Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE
BSEP, NAMA, SSE London Graduation Ceremony, 2019,
Sabeena Ahmed with Lina Hamdan BSEP and NAMA, 
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, UAE 
 
 
 

Mentoring at World Pulse

World Pulse

Late December 2016 I decided to apply as a World Pulse Change Maker. I sent my application and hoped for the best.
I received a message from the World Pulse team early January 2017 to inform me that I had been selected as a World Pulse Vision Mentor.

I was surprised by their message as I didn't believe I was qualified to mentor anyone.

I said ''YES!''
As they say, the rest is history.

 

Joanna Smiejka - Autism Specialist, Autism Therapist, Educator, Trainer and World Pulse Change Maker Warsaw Poland
My Change Maker is Joanna Smiejka from Warsaw, Poland.

 

Joanna Smiejka Autims specialist, psycology graduate and World Pulse Change Maker - Warsaw Poland

Joanna is 30 years old, is double psychology graduate and an autism specialist/therapist/shadow teacher and trainer.

 

Joanna Smieja with her collegues Warsaw Poland

Joanna has lived with her disability and has overcome it with the support of her family, friends, peers and colleagues.

 

She is a ''TRUE INSPIRATION'' and would like to share her passion, her teaching to assist children with autism to fulfil their dreams and ambitions.

Unfortunately, autism is an area of education which is under resourced and under funded in her country.

Joanna spent 10 months working abroad with two organisation based in California, US and Wales UK specialising in autism.

To read more about Jo please click on the link her Girls Compete, Women Empower and Beautiful Minds Inspire Blog.

 

World Pulse Vision Mentor Update - May 2017
 
 

To read more about Jo please click on the link here.

 

 

Fairtrade and the Sustainable Development Goals

 Fairtrade Breaks Poverty - Anti Poverty Week in Dubi and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 Photograph courtesy of Mr Feroz Khan and my Fairphone 2, 17,418 

 

Fair Trade Breaks Poverty

Anti-poverty Week Dubai and

the United Arab Emirates

I have consciously worked hard to raise awareness for the global goals for sustainable development.

Global Goals for Sustainable Development - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

To mark the beginning of anti-poverty week 2016 I asked my good friends around Dubai to support the World Fair Trade Organizations campaign Fair Trade = No Poverty.

Using the concept of ‘Agent for Change’ (Fair Trade as an agent for change), WFTO’s formula to eradicate poverty: 

Fair Trade + Economic Opportunities = No Poverty  

For the campaign, the icons of Fair Trade Principle 1 and SDG goal 1 were implemented to represent the formula of change.

Saima Tahqiq and Me!

 

The World Fair Trade Organization started its global observance of anti-poverty week and asked other fairtraders to share their photographs.

Global Goals for Sustainable Development - Anti Poverty Week Dubai and the UAE with the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Fairtrade Breaks Poverty interview for Anti Poverty Week by the Lilfairtrade Shop and Anna Sadeghpour Dubai UAE 
To read my interview in full please click on the blue link below.

 

My heartfelt thanks to Anna Sadeghpour for featuring The Little Fair Trade Shop to mark the beginning of anti-poverty week in the United Arab Emirates through her wonderful blog AnaHata Dubai's Community Service Blog.

Anna Sadeghpour supporting global goal 1 No Poverty for Anti Poverty Week in the UAE with the Lilfairtrade Shop

 Agent for Change Anna Sadegphpour supporting the global goal for

sustainable development 1 No Poverty 

 

Many thanks to all my friends in Dubai particularly the Super Sisters Dubai for participating.

Lamya Tawfik supporting global goal 3 for Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE with the Lilfairtrade Shop

 Agent for Change Lamya Tawfik supporting global goal for sustainable development 3 Good Health and Well-Being

 

Ellen Van Dongan and her sustainable goals for development, Dubai, UAE with Sabeena Ahmed

 Ellen Van Dongan - Creator of Responsible Shopping Dubai

 

Fair Trade and the Sustainable Development Goals

 Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 1 No poverty - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 1 No poverty - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Sajidah Ali supporting global goal 1 No Poverty Anti Poverty Week Dubai UAE the Lilfairtrade Shop

 Sajidah Ali promoting SDG1 - No Poverty

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 2 Zero Hunger - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 2 Zero Hunger - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Irem Ahmed shows her support for SDG 2 Zero Hunger at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai September 2018

Irem Ahmed shows her support for SDG 2 Zero Hunger

at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai September 2018

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Lamya Tawfiq supporting global goal 3 good health and well-being Anti Poverty Week Dubai UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

Agent for Change Lamya Tawfik

 Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 5 Gender Equality - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 5 Gender Equality - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Sajidah Ali supporting global goal 5 gender equality Anti Poverty Week Dubai UAE with the Lilfairtrade Shop

Agent for Change Sajidah Ali

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Fair Trade Breaks Poverty - Anti Poverty Week with Yasmeen in Dubai the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

Agent for Change Yasmeen

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

 Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 13 Climate Action - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 13 Climate Action - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Irem Ahmed shows her support for SDG 13 Climate Action at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai September 2018

Irem Ahmed shows her support for SDG 13 Climate Action
at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai September 2018

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 16 Peace Justice and Strong Institutions - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 16 Peace Justice and Strong Institutions - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

 Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 17 Partnerships for the goals - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development Global Goal 17 Partnerships for the goals - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

Global Goals for Sustainable Development What you can do - Anti Poverty Week in Dubai and the UAE by the Lilfairtrade Shop

 

How you can get involved...

Be an ''Agent for Change'' and take a selfie of yourself with a sustainable development goal that resonates with you.

Use the hashtag #SDGs, #GlobalGoals and #2030Agenda  every time you post your photos or anything about the campaign.

 

 

Final Thoughts

As a person of colour my fairtrade advocacy/campaigning and ethical living activities are often ignored and dismissed by social entrepreneurial organisations, UAE environmental forums and platforms.

I feel very passionately about reducing my carbon footprint.

 

Fairtrade promotes the Sustainable Development Goals particularly responsible consumption and production and Climate Action (SDG 12 and 13).

 

I believe it is every individuals duty to protect people, animals and the environment, precious eco-systems, advocate for fair wages and decent working conditions.

 

However, it is not my place to judge others on their sustainable journey and I hope to encourage and motivate others while documenting my efforts.

 

 

 

My thoughts on Fast Fashion

For the past 8 years I have participated in the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label patiently raising awareness for garment workers, a living wage, clean and safe working conditions.

Sadly, garment workers, cotton workers and farmers around the world still face low earnings and wages, a disparity in earnings has caused a domino effect causing poverty, hunger, social immobility, poor housing, and an absence of literacy/education decreasing future prospects accelerating a cycle of poverty.

Fuelled by a desire by international fashion houses to exceed profits year on year, garment workers predominately protest for a living wage and clean and safe working conditions that are often dismissed and ignored as often activists are threatened with violence and removed from employment.

Poor wages, exploitation, inadequate working conditions, long hours, sexual harassment, sub contractors, non transparent supply chains, working with hazardous chemicals and environmental and water pollution are just a few of the monumental issues that are highlighted by organisations supporting the rights of garment workers.

I have recorded many videos about fast fashion in Urdu and English encouraging the Pakistani/Indian Diaspora in the UK and UAE to learn and understand how their clothes are made, fair wages, sustainable and ethical fashion and to avoid the purchase of fast fashion.

It has been is a slow, painful process and changing mindsets regarding fast fashion and encouraging the uptake of fair trade, sustainable, recycled and up-cycled fashion and materials in the Pakistani/Indian Community will take time and much patience.

As the eternal optimistic...I remain hopeful.

 

 

My thoughts on recycling in the UAE

All residential buildings should have access to recycling facilities. Recycle bins should not be a luxury but a necessity.

Local residents should be encouraged to promote, educate and enforce good recycling and up-cycling practices through workshops and talks.

Feedback from all residents is crucial.

Recycling campaigns should be promoted heavily on all social media platforms particularly television, YouTube and Instagram.

Unfortunately, the building management team where I reside are not interested to support recycling and are unable to help.

I recycle my waste by collecting plastic, paper and aluminum and glass weekly and driving to the nearest recycling centre which is unhygienic and inconvenient.

I am grateful and blessed to live relatively near to a recycling centre.

The Green Truck initiative is brilliant concept but not an affordable option for everyone in my apartment block.

It would be fantastic to see the introduction of reverse vending machines in busy malls, residential areas and tourist attractions.

Reverse vending machines have recently introduced by supermarket chain Iceland in the UK and have been popular and successful.

More consumers will recycle single use plastic if a monetary incentive is attached.

I personally make it point to refuse plastic bags at supermarket check outs, I take my own reusable bags and never use straws at restaurants.

I refill glass bottles and stopped purchasing plastic water bottles years ago.

I also feel fast fashion should also be mentioned here.

Sadly, we live in a world where cheap clothes are easily available and disposable.

I would love to see more of Generations X and Z supporting fairtrade, slow fashion ranges and supporting garment workers receive fair decent living wages and  better working conditions.

Supermarket chains, fast food outlets, restaurants, hotels and food manufacturers must take some responsibility regarding their sustainable packaging and food waste and consider their environmental impact on local communities and eco systems.

They must make it clear in their CSR policies how they will reduce the amount of single plastic use they create and not green-wash the issue.

Laws and legislation are required to alleviate the mountains of plastic and waste businesses and consumers create causing catastrophic implications for our health, the local environment and wildlife.

Zero waste is not an impossible dream. 

The time to ACT IS NOW!

Through intensive social media campaigns, competitions and consultation's with business leaders, key decision makers, the youth (our future), educators, environmental experts/bodies scientists, innovators and consumer focus groups we can reduce our single use plastic and recycle more to create a healthier, brighter tomorrow.

 

My Thoughts about E-waste and fairer electrionics

I am proud to say that the I am owner of a Fairphone, the Fairphone is the world's first ethical, modular and functional phone. 

 

It's the only smart phone I have ever purchased. 

 

It has been a natural transition from fairtrade campaigner, educator and social entrepreneur to Fairphone user and ethical consumer. I have been happy to lead by example and continue to patiently educate the public in particular the South East Asian Disapora about the environmental impact and hazards caused by the recycling of e waste and also encourage the practice of a circular economy. 

 

It has been exciting to support the global movement for fairer electronics which has opened up the supply chain and established vibrant conversations between consumers and manufacturers about ethical values.

 

The Fairphone has been making a positive impact across value chains, mining, design, manufacturing and the life cycle of the phone. 
 
Fairtrade and the Sustainable Development Goals
Fairtrade supports the Sustainable Development Goals in particular goals 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16 and 17.

 

I am incredibly passionate about reducing my carbon footprint and SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 13 Climate Action are goals that reinforce my personal values and principles of Fair Trade Ethical Living.

 

Sustainability = protecting and not depleting the earth's natural resources for future generations. 
Simply, People and Planet before Profits.

 

The detrimental effects of e waste. 
It's appalling and heartbreaking to watch documentaries about children in Pakistan, Bukina Faso and young men in Ghana, the worlds e waste graveyard inhaling hazardous chemicals that cause cancer when they remove precious metals from e waste for a measly pittance. These cruel inhumane working conditions must STOP NOW!

 

However slow and infuriating the e waste challenge, we must not accept defeat and work collectively to change the shopping habits and mindsets of individuals.
 
Consumers and governments must act and hold electronic manufacturers accountable, demand fairer electronics and legislate multi nationals to dispose e waste in accordance with health and safety regulations and make it illegal to transport e waste to other countries for disposal.
 
WE all need to make small changes to save our precious planet and protect innocent children and individuals from exploitation.  Purchasing a Fairphone is just one of them.
 
I am optimistic that there is a growing movement of compassionate ethical consumers in the UAE who are questioning how and where e waste is recycled?
 
I hope my efforts will encourage others to think about purchasing fairer electronics.'

 

Thank you for reading.
Sabeena

 

 

Further Reading and Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Sisters Environmental Award 2016 (TBA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Also in The Little Fair Trade Blog

July 2020 - Newsletter Video Blog Summary
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Participated in my second Plastic Free July 2020.

Was accepted on the prestigious World Literacy Foundation Ambassador 2020 Program and 

completed my Future Learn MOOC - The Power of Podcasting For Storytelling.

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Plastic Free July 2020, Dubai, UAE with Sabeena Ahmed
Plastic Free July 2020, Dubai, UAE with Sabeena Ahmed

This is my second year participating in Plastic Free July and due to my three surgeries and Covid-19 I have found the challenge difficult.

The UAE ethical movement is still in its infancy and substitutes for products like reusable/circular feminine hygiene and natural beauty products for acne/sensitive skin are limited.

I hope to continue my plastic/zero waste journey and hope to gradually reduce my consumption of menstrual hygiene and cleaning products and learn how to make my own soap, body wash, bread, conditioner and compost my waste..

It will be a long work in progress, but I'm optimistic.

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June 2020 - Newsletter Video Blog Summary
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This month I continued to heal from surgery.

Supported the Black Lives Matter Movement by forwarding links about organisations, activists and consultants promoting equality and diversity in the workplace to Sian Conway of Ethical Hour.

Was accepted on the prestigious World Literacy Foundation Ambassador 2020 Program.

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