WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY - DUBAI, UAE
This years World Fair Trade Organization campaign was 'Fairtrade Innovates',
I am very grateful to the amazing M.E.S.H team and the ever graceful Moon Sharma for their time, love and hospitality during my visit to Dehli mid April 19.
It was an absolute pleasure and honour to meet with Moon Sharma of Tara Projects.
Apa (Big Sister) as she is lovingly known spent an evening talking about her travels around the world, Tara Projects, fairtrade and shared stories of Gateshead and Newcastle.
Apa! Thank you so much for your kindness, time and beautiful gifts.
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.
It was a dream come true to finally travel to the country of my parents birth, India.
I arrived in Dehli and was greeted by a beautiful warm evening.
I was humbled and privileged to visit 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, care and hospitality.
Sadly, I was unable to interview Mathew, Ms Jacky Bonnie or the producer groups on this occasion and hope to interview them the next time I visit.
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.
This April I was invited once again to judge 5 social enterprise businesses at the Middlesex University Dubai.
Many thanks to Shanthi Rajan, Sandra Stevenson, Suzannah Fernandes and Dr Michael Kloep and Dr Cody Paris for their hospitality.
It was a difficult decision as all the social enterprises were winners.
Congratulations to Pentagon and their initiative Mihriban for their concept and vision.
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.
February 2019 I applied to become an ambassador with World Pulse.
So here I am for the seventh consecutive year I'm participating in the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label.
This year the challenge commences 6th March - 18th April March 2019.
I have decided to participate and support the Six Items Challenge for the eighth 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.
This does not include under garments or exercise gear. You can wear an endless supply of these. :)
I submitted my video for Be the Change Awards 2019.
Many thanks to Sian Conway and Jo Salter for their dedication and tireless work to make the Be The Change Awards successful.
This year I decided to fulfill some long overdue ambitions and enrolled on a
play writing course with the Emirates Literature Foundation.
My play was a collection of seven scenes highlighting experiences of discrimination, acceptance and love.
Thank you Alex and best wishes to Brenda, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Padmini, Edwige, Deborah, Julia and Andrea for their love and support on this inspiring journey.
This year I celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight 2019 Dubai with friends.
What is Fairtrade Fortnight?
For two weeks each year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to celebrate the people who grow our food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid.
This year the Fairtrade Foundation are focusing on the people, in particular the women who grow the cocoa in the chocolate we love so much.
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.
This January I completed my Social Business Canvas, Graduation Presentation and Reflective Artifact for the Badiri Social Enterpreneurship Programme and School For Social Entrepreneurs International Scholarship Programme 2018.
Congratulations to my peers on your graduation.
I wish you all every success with your concepts and businesses.
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.
I was honoured to attend a workshop on entrepreneurship with renowned writer and computer tech expert/genius Bel Pesce.
Many thanks to NAMA and the BSEP team for organising this event.
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 November I travelled to the UK to attend appointments with medical professionals.
Completed a photo shoot of new fairtrade products.
This July I traveled to the UK and visited the London Textile Fair with my dear friend Sunita.
I attended the UK leg of the Social Entrepreneurship Programme in
London with the Badiri Academy, NAMA and the School for Social Entrepreneurs London and Cornwall.
Many thanks to all the guest speakers and the NAMA and SSE's teams for their support, expertise and wisdom.
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.
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