During the last week of Ramadan, June/July 2016 on a hot bright sunny morning I took a flight to Beirut, Lebanon.
I'd never been to an International Fair Trade Towns Conference but was excited to know that I would be representing the United Arab Emirates.
I was so excited and anxious to display all the beautiful WFTO certified products at Safa Park Dubai.
The World Fair Trade Organization's Campaign for World Fair Trade Day May 2009 was:
BEAT CLIMATE CHANGE
BEAT FINANCIAL CRISIS
BEAT A DRUM
09 MAY 09
A BIG DAY FOR THE PLANET
To read more click below.
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.
Hello! My name is Sabeena Ahmed.
I'm a fairtrade campaigner, educator and social entrepreneur.
I was born and educated in Manchester, UK.
I'm a qualified PGCE ESOL Practitioner, adore fairtrade chocolate and support breast cancer research.
I promote the sustainable development goals, fair trade ethical living and the circular economy.
This is a brief summary of my fairtrade activities and campaigns in the United Arab Emirates spanning 2009 to 2020.
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.
The World Fair Trade Organization's Communications team asked me to share the names of inspirational women in my life for International Women's Day 2020.
This years campaign hashtag is #SheEmpowersMe
I chose to mention 4 ladies and invited them to continue the video challenge.
Ms Christina Longden - The Lorna Young Foundation
Ms Samini Bibi - Sabah Pakistan
Ms Roopa Mehta (Apa) - WFTO President
Ms Moon Sharma (Apa) - Tara Projects, India
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.
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.
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.
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've been meaning to write an article illustrating my fair trade journey for the
Sister-hood team for some time but then I had surgery for a rototar cuff and everything stopped.
After months of painful physiotherapy I finally edited my interview.
During my visit to my home city of Manchester I attended the North West Regional Fair Trade Conference.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable intensive day and I was exhausted by its end and had to rest my poor shoulder.
Many thanks to Chrisi, Adam and the Fairtrade Foundation team for organising this event.
This year the World Fair Trade Organization asked for my support with their Anti Poverty Week 2017 campaign #LiveFair & #BeatPoverty.
During the week I attended a Coffee Morning organised by my friend Maryam and kindly asked ladies to support Anti-Poverty Week 2017, Dubai, UAE.
I talked about Fair Trade, Fair Trade Chocolate and Anti Poverty Week.
There were approximately 30 ladies present and I made a few fair trade friends.
I also asked my dear friend Joanna who was visiting me from Poland to model for me.
Joanna was a great sport and I am grateful for her support during Anti Poverty Week.
To read more please click here and support social and trade justice!
Thank you! Sabeena
During October 2015 I had the privilege to interview Mr Stephen Salmon of Thaicraft, Bangkok, Thailand.
I had previously visited Thaicraft during 2009 and 2011 and was interested to learn about the history of the fair trade movement in Thailand.
Many thanks to Mr Salmon and his team for their time.
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.
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
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!
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.
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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