Tuesday, 26 January 2010
I am writing this sitting in my aluminium partitioned office one week into my 6 month secondment at the AFN offices in Moshi, Tanzania. And what a week it has been! The cold of London is a distant memory. The only snow I see now is remnants on the top of Kilimanjaro, which looms majestically over the city.
While here, I will be working on specific projects that aim to create strong links between Fairtrade producers in Africa and the market. Week one has been pretty busy. I have been getting to know the people in the office - Sanga (accountant), Ruth (programme manager) and of course Michael Nkonu who used to work at the Foundation and is now temporary Executive Director of the AFN.
We are all busy preparing for a Fairtrade coffee workshop that is taking place in Mombasa, Kenya in a couple of weeks. Organised jointly by Oxfam Belgium, TWIN and AFN. All Fairtrade certified coffee producers in Africa have been invited so as you can imagine lots of arrangements to make and strategy papers to write! The workshop will be an opportunity for African Fairtrade coffee producers to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities for increasing market access. The aim is that a coffee product network will be formed enabling producers to have a stronger voice in the Fairtrade system.
Ah, another street announcement is booming outside my window, apparently these can be anything from the water company telling people to pay their bills to calls to attend important meetings. Fortunately no calls to deport Hannah Harris who only just received her work visa – phew!
More news soon...
Posted by Fairtrade Foundation at 09:00
Monday, 4 January 2010
Volunteering in any capacity can be a very rewarding experience – at the Fairtrade Foundation it is particularly so. The Fairtrade Foundation, as clichéd as it may sound, is like a family. The office is open plan, the atmosphere busy but friendly. Feeling like a newbie doesn’t last long – and soon you’re settled in, getting to know everyone and joining in with the birthday/leaving/wedding/baby song in the kitchen (a Fairtrade tradition I believe!)
I first volunteered at the Foundation in May 2009 for a month. I initially applied as I had the opportunity to do a work placement on my university course and was looking to do a placement at a charity. I speculatively emailed Fairtrade’s volunteer services explaining that I was interested in working on Fair Comment and could I come in and get involved. It was a truly rewarding month and at the end of it, with a finished copy of Fair Comment in hand, I felt a huge sense of achievement, knowing it was all for a really good cause too – the staff at Fairtrade’s passion is infectious! - and now 7 months later I’m back at the Foundation doing it all over again...and loving it.
There are so many volunteering opportunities at Fairtrade, there really is something to suit whatever skills you have. I volunteer in the marketing team helping out Jenny, the Fairtrade Foundation Writer and Editor. There are volunteers who help with IT and data input (and other super clever computer stuff!), volunteers who help on the press team, volunteers who help with the website and digital stuff, volunteers who take pictures for us and volunteers who lend themselves to anything - they are especially useful in the lead up to and during Fairtrade Fortnight (22nd February to 7th March 2010).
If you’re looking to help support a fantastic and ever-growing cause as well as work with some brilliant and passionate people head to the ‘get involved’ section of our website to find out more about volunteering at the Foundation.
Posted by Fairtrade Foundation at 16:37