My Plastic Free July 2021 Summary.
This year was a painful and difficult Plastic Free July, my shoulders caused me severe pain and typing and posting was very difficult.
I've tried my very best to continue to live a plastic free lifestyle and am making gradual changes.
This year the World Fair Trade Organization campaign has the following hastags
The world is still living under Covid-19 conditions and it is paramount that I support all farmers, workers, employees, and artisans by promoting them.
This May I received my certificate for the Future Learn MOOC
' Make Change Happen' with Oxfam and the Open University.
I embraced Ramadan 2019 and
celebrated World Fair Trade Day 2019.
It was a dream come true to final land in the native country of my parents birth, India.
I arrived in Dehli and was greeted by a beautiful warm evening.
What followed was one of the most memorable weeks of my life.
I met distant family and visited two World Fair Trade Certified Organizations, M.E.S.H and Tara Projects.
Many thanks to Mathew K and Ms Moon Sharma for their time.
Despite struggling with my shoulders I completed my Six Items Challenge for the eighth consecutive year.
I interviewed Alex and Marie-Louise of Valy Export, Madagascar.
Isatou Ceesay and son Madou stayed with me for 5 days during their 7 day visit
Isatou Ceesay is an environmental activist and social entrepreneur from Njau, Gambia.
For over 18 years she has been reducing the use of single use plastic.
She has co-authored a book about her plastic journey titled One Plastic Journey with Miranda Paul who I interviewed April 19.
The 21st January 2019 was a day I will never forget.
I finally completed my scholarship programme with the Badiri Academy, NAMA, UAE and the School For Social Entrepreneurs London, UK.
I presented my graduation presentation and received my certificate.
Many thanks to Jo Van Osch my mentor for supporting me throughout the programme.
During the final week of June I traveled to Thailand to visit Sister Louise of the Good Shepherd Sisters Bangkok, Thailand.
Many thanks to Sister Louise for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk about her pioneering work.
In a recently restored building in one of one of the oldest pats of Bangkok, the Heritage Craft Shop and Café is a beautiful respite from the heat and a wonderful place to conduct to some fair trade retail therapy.
Conveniently located in the old city of Bangkok near (Rattanakosin Island).
The Heritage Craft and Cafe is a treasure trove of lovingly hand crafted fair trade gifts have been selected by its founder Mr Stephen Salmon.
Highly recommended the gorgeous interior has been lovingly restored.
The cafe serves freshly brewed fair-trade coffee or tea and yummy chocolate cake.
I had the honour and privilege of visiting Mr Salmon again and thank him for his time.
This June I collapsed at the end of Ramadan and required urgent IVs for iron, glucose and vitamins. Betathalasemia minor is pain!
During the final week of June I traveled to Thailand to visit Sister Louise of the Good Shepherd Sisters Bangkok and Mr Stephen Salmon of the Heritage Crafts and Cafe, (ThaiCraft) Bangkok, Thailand.
Many thanks to Sister Louise and Mrs Salmon for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk about their pioneering work.
I had the good fortune to travel to Oxford during my visit to the United Kingdom.
I am very grateful to Clare and Miranda for taking time out of their busy schedules to conduct interviews with me.
I look forward to returning to beautiful Oxford soon.
Despite my slow recovery for this dodgy right shoulder this year I celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 in Dubai with friends and had the privilege to meet Professor Muhammad Yunus again.
Many thanks to Leah, Glenda, Professor Muhammad Yunus and all my fabulous fairtrade friends and supporters in Dubai.
So what are you waiting for?
This February I met with Mr Hassan Bello of the Ajala Project.
Was a panelist at the SHETRADES MENA HUB LAUNCH.
Started my Six Items Challenge 2018 and celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight 2018.
This January I started trading at The Boutique Market at JBR, Dubai, UAE.
I invited two wonderful Social Enterprise lecturers from the Middlesex University Dubai to lunch at the Olea Restaurant Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.
Received a new consignment of fair trade and fairly traded organic toys.
This December I was privileged and honoured to participate at the Swiss Business Council for the second time.
Many thanks to Ms Charoline Engel, Claudine and her team for organising another successful market.
It was lovely to finally meet the team from the Women's World Project, Manchester in association with The Pankhurst Centre.
I had a lovely afternoon meeting strong willed, ambitious, beautiful women.
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 Ra'ana Liaquat Craftmen's Colony
Income Generation Programme
The Ra'ana Liaquat Craftmen's Colony was founded by Begum Ra'ana Liaquat, 1954.
I visited their inspirational headquarters and observed training workshops where ladies were taught to produce beautiful up-cycled products.
Mrs Nisreen was happy to share her story and work experiences. It was wonderful to learn how the income generation programme had empowered her and given her the opportunity to supplement her income by designing crochet products.
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.
AHAN - AIK HUNAR AIK NAGAR
Ahan is a non profit company created by the Pakistani Industrial Corporation in 2006.
It has 4 offices based in Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.
It aims to provide employment for small marginalised craftsman and artisans around Pakistan.
It works to revive traditional handicrafts through skill enhancement, product development, technological output, quality control and market and financial support.
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