I celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight and International Women's Day 2020 Dubai, UAE with my sister Irem.
This year the Fairtrade Foundation UK's campaign is all about the women, who grow the cocoa in the chocolate. The hashtag is #SHEDESERVES.
I was so pleased to learn about the House of Commons UK also supports Fairtrade Fortnight 2020.
In this blog I explain how Fairtrade supports the Sustainable Development Goals and how I have attempted to implement them in my everyday work and life.
I have concentrated on the following SDG's, SDG1, SDG2, SDG5, SDG8, SDG10, SDG12, SDG13, SDG16 and SDG17.
After a brave 4 year struggle with metastatic breast cancer my beautiful mother Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano returned to her maker.
My siblings and I miss her terribly.
I have recorded this video for World Cancer Day 2019 and hope it will assist others in the Pakistani and Asian community to talk openly about cancer prevention, palliative care and those left behind.
August 1st 2017 marks my mother’s 65th birthday.
My beloved mother was a ‘courageous woman, she was my first school of thought, love, compassion and my paradise.’
Mum was an extraordinarily humble, kind and charismatic lady.
She could strike up a conversation with anyone. An empathetic listener, amazing chef and gardener, she possessed a sharp wit and humour that would instantly lift your spirits.
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.
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.
I was privileged and honoured to interview Ms Zehra Khan, Mrs Jameela and many other ladies at the The Home Based Women's Workers Federation during December/January 2011 and February 2015.
The Home Based Women's Workers Federation with over 4600 members in Quetta (Balochistan) and Hyderabad and Karachi (Sindh).
It's main aim is to advocate and lobby for the rights of home based women workers in Pakistan.
The Federation provides training such as embroidery, leather production and jewellery and fashion design.
Ladies proficient in their chosen skills are selected to mentor and train ladies in their local areas and campaign for a decent living wage by negotiating fair prices through collective bargaining.
HBWWF hopes to develop international partners who can provide assistance with marketing, advertising and product development.
I have been campaigning for fairtrade and ethical producers and ethical consumerism in my beloved home city of Manchester, London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the past eleven years.
One of greatest accomplishments is converting my mother to fairtrade products.
It was a wonderful experience to meet Professor Mohammad Yunus at Salford University.
A privilege to discuss fair trade with Dr Jamil Sherif and Mrs Naseema Begum at the Muslim Council of Britain November 2016.
As the only fair trade campaigner, educator and modest retailer in the United Arab Emirates I have struggled to create a niche market for fair trade products.
Nevertheless, I have never lost heart and am more determined than ever to dispel the myth about fair trade being ''charity.''
I continue to educate people about fair trade artisans and groups by promoting the principles of a living wage, self-reliance, empowerment, transparency, environmental sustainability and dignity and self respect for all.
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