Wednesday, 17 March 2010

My first Fairtrade Fortnight as a volunteer by Marzia Manconi

Marzia Manconi volunteers for the Fairtrade Foundation's Fairtrade Towns campaign. Here's a blog she's written about her first Fairtrade Fortnight...

What an amazing couple of weeks! I am still coming to terms with the fact that my first ever Fairtrade Fortnight has come to an end and I can’t wait for the next one! I had the most enjoyable time campaigning alongside my fellow ‘Fairtraders’ in an attempt to increase the awareness of Fairtrade across the country. These intense two weeks have represented a great opportunity to be catapulted from the day-to-day buzz of office life into the wide range of events organised in London, the largest Fairtrade City in the world, to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.

For me, it was great fun as well as a massive learning experience. I marched up and down central London dressed up as a Tea Lady, I took part in the amazing ‘Strictly Fairtrade Tea Dance’ event in Spitalfields and I volunteered at a Fairtrade stall during the ‘Fairtrade Chai: an Islamic Perspective’ event in Whitechapel. More than anything else, it was incredibly inspiring to get the chance to meet, speak to and attend the presentations of the Fairtrade producers who travelled all the way from their countries to the UK to report on the impact that Fairtrade has within their communities.

This Fairtrade Fortnight has been an incredible success and I genuinely feel that a massive ‘thank you’ should be given to all the Fairtrade campaigners around the country. Over the course of the year, they give up part of their free time to promote the principles and values of Fairtrade. They represent the main reasons why we have so many Fairtrade Towns, Schools, Universities and Faith Groups all over the UK.

Personally, this experience has furthered my belief in the saying that ‘knowledge means power’. This is why we must keep campaigning to sensitise the general public on trade justice and persuade them to switch to Fairtrade. This gives them the power to make the difference for disadvantaged communities in developing countries and gives these communities the power to socio-economic self-determination.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks ~ pity reporter was not more positive, but all pressure is important. I was very worried by his "rescue" stunt ~ did not seem to be so clever. Need to tackle the root problems ~ at least the programme opened up some issues. Having seen some folks "tweets" looks as though some people just want an excuse to rubbish Fairtrade ~ oh how sad ~ every little helps.