This September I am still tolerating the torn ligament in my right shoulder, however, I managed to Skype with Paksy Plackis-Cheng founder Impact Mania based in Calfornia, USA.
My tribute to my late mother was tweeted by the Women's Words Manchester project.
I received a wonderful birthday present my new business cards from my Creative Director Helen Barlow Scott.
Attended the Salam Sisters Network Dubai (SSND) monthly meeting.
Taught fair trade to Year 5 at the Manor Park Primary School, Dubai.
Attended the ZB Foundation lunch with founders Dani Wilson and Saima Khan and presented a fair trade talk to over a 100+ ladies.
Participated in Live Create Meditate event with Mariam Yasin and Amruta Kshemkalyani.
This August I was diagnosed with a torn ligament in my right shoulder which will require surgery and physiotherapy.
I finally managed to Skype with Dr Sara Calvo Martinez founder of Living in Minca and professor at the Middlesex University Business School, London.
My fair trade story was featured in the Story Exchange Women Mean Business website.
I organised meetings with Mr Daniel Ludvig and Mr Sayed of Sheraa, Sharjah.
Had coffee with Sandra Stephenson senior lecturer at the Middlesex University Dubai, and met founder and chairperson of ZBFoundation Dani Wilson and Saima Khan.
It was inspiring to finally meet Dr Sara Parker professor who is a lecturer and reader at John Moores IUniversity Liverpool.
Dr Parker has spent the past 30 years researching Nepal in particular Sikles a town in Nepal and supporting fairtrade producers WEAVE in Pokhara.
She has written and designed a fairtrade puppet set for children called Fairis the Frog and established her own company Fair Connections and Fair Connections Foundation supporting local schools in Nepal.
For every fair trade puppet set purchased one is donated to a school in Nepal educating children in the most rural areas and regions.
I was excited to finally meet with fair trade ethical, organic pioneer and research scientist Dr Mike Thair and Marketing Head Ms Le Thant Thuy at their head office Penang, Malaysia.
Dr Thair and Ms Le arranged for me to visit the Asia Community Centre and Stepping Stone Penang.
Many thanks to Hasra Othman (Manager), Shogu artist in residence from Osaka Japan and the other volunteers who took valuable time out of their schedules to show us the centre and its facilities.
I had the good fortune to visit Bruce Crowther, MBE during November 2016 and spent a morning learning how to produce fair trade chocolate bean to bar.
Fredrick is a member of the Kuapa Kukoo Farmers Cooperative Ghana, and it was wonderful feeling knowing he had grown the cocoa for our chocolate.
We began our chocolate making at the crack of dawn and I was nervous not to make any mistakes and spoil Bruce's batch of chocolate.
I have posted all the photographs chronologically as we produced the chocolate.
I spent most of August 2016 with my siblings in London and mustered the energy to board a train to historical York to visit Shared Earth and talk with founder and owner Jeremy Piercy.
Many thanks to David Piercy for his time and support during my visit.
The FIG Tree Garstang/Lancaster, United Kingdom
I first visited The Fig Tree October 2011 when it was a mere shell and was invited to a fair trade tea party, August 2012.
The enthusiasm, passion and the warm welcome I received was overwhelming and humbling. I was impressed by its amazing transformation.
I revisited The Fig Tree November 2016 where I was invited to participate in a Chocolate Master Class with the Godfather of Fairtrade Bruce Crowther MBE.
I fulfilled a life time ambition to visit Pakistan December 2011 and February 2015 and met the only two fair trade certified organisations in Karachi and Rawalpindi.
I also conducted interviews with a government official and non profit organisations who are working towards implementing the ten principles of fair trade. Each organisation has a dual role and purpose;
1. to support rural artisans establish and develop strong sustainable projects and
2. revive traditional skills and techniques.
I have attached interviews with Fairtrade and NGO's I visited during December January 2011/12 and February/March 2015.
THE DOMINION TRADERS
THE RA'ANA LIAQUAT CRAFTMEN'S COLONY
THE HOME BASED WOMEN'S WORKERS FEDERATION
AHAN - AIK HUNAR AIK NAGAR
KAARVAN CRAFTS - PRIDE PAKISTAN
AL FALAH TRUST AND EMBROIDERY PROJECT
The Dominion Traders
Fairly traded Marble and Onyx Producers
The Dominion Traders have been promoting fair trade in Pakistan since 1947.
I had the good fortune of interviewing Mr Syed Fahad Ali, Chief Executive Officer and his team of talented artisans when I visited their offices and factory, December 2011.
Since it's inception the organisation has supported approximately 60 employees who are treated with the utmost love and respect. Employees receive fair wages, are employed in good working conditions and are provided with medical care.
KAARVAN CRAFTS - PRIDE PAKISTAN
Kaarvan's mission is to be a fairtrade market leader by producing and retailing affordable and sophisticated hand crafted products in local and export markets.
It provides employment opportunities and marketing and advisory services to women and girls in low income communities so that they can enhance their economic realities.
I was honoured to interview Dr Badar Siddiqui of The Al Falah Trust and Embroidery Project, December 2011.
The Al Falah Trust and Embroidery Project was founded by Mrs. Shahina Siddiqui in 1995.
The organisation supports disadvantaged and marginalised women from, Taluka, Mirpur, Sakhro, Thatha (Tatta) in the province of Sindh.
Traditional embroidery and home accessories are produced using traditional patterns and colours that promote their rich heritage which would otherwise be lost or forgotten.
During Ramadan my husband decided to take a weeks annual leave to Kuala Lumpur and I was luckily enough to accompany him.
I'd never visited Malaysia during Ramadan so I felt privileged to see Malaysia from an fasting perspective.
I enjoyed visiting the Butterfly Park which was an oasis of calm and tranquility in the concrete jungle but didn't like the netting.
This years World Fair Trade Organization campaign was 'Agent For Change', Human Chains for Fair Trade and the Planet.
I am very grateful to the beautiful ladies at the Dubai Business Women Council who very kindly modelled the Agent for Change posters for me.
I also managed to go to Jumeirah beach and conduct an impromptu beach photo shoot near the iconic Burj Al Arab.
Best wishes to all fairtrade producers, artists, supporters, volunteers and friends around the world for being the voice and change for social, environmental and trade justice.
RESPECT, STAY STRONG, PEACE AND BLESSINGS!
Fair Trade Lebanon
In this month recap I've talked about my Ramadan reflections and participating in my first ever International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2016, Baskinta, Lebanon.
Fair trade Banana Lesson Plan
I was invited to teach fairtrade to a group of 25 children at the Star International School, Mirdif, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The children were enthusiastic and eager to learn about fairtrade.
I decided to introduce the banana supply chain and used role play cards for them to understand and emphasise with the difficulties and challenges faced by farmers and banana workers.
My Visit to Traidcraft
I recently visited Alistair Menzies at Traidcraft's head office, Gateshead, UK and was invited to provide input for a video the Traidcraft team is producing for FairtradeUAE.
This was my second visit to Gateshead and I was interested to learn about Traidcraft's new initiatives and fair trade products.
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