In our April blog we told our readers about the fantastic day we had had at Southampton Football Club at the end of Fairtrade Fortnight in March when, courtesy of the Saints Foundation, we had the pleasure of hosting officials from the Fairtrade Foundation plus local Hampshire schools. They all took part in Koolskools donation of an entire football strip to Henry Matenda of the Kasinthula (Fairtrade) Sugar Growers Co-Operative in Malawi. After a fantastic tour of the Saints FC stadium, we all had the privilege of hearing all about Kasinthula from Henry.
‘Below is how one of the students attending the event, Rosie Patton of Ringwood school, reported the day in the Ringwood school magazine:
On a very dull Monday in March, seven students from Ringwood School travelled by mini bus to Southampton’s famous St. Mary’s stadium for a really Kool experience. When we arrived we were given a tour by Peter, one of the lovely staff. He showed us most of the ‘ins and the outs’ of the stadium. Then we had a talk from a man called Henry from Malawi who had come over to talk to school and groups of students in the UK to tell them about how Fairtrade helps him. He taught us about how the sugar farm that he set up, operates and the processing that is carried out before export. We even learnt that some of the sugar you will find in food in the Co-operative comes from Henry’s sugar farm! At the end of the presentation students had the opportunity to present Henry and his friend from Malawi a Southampton football shirt signed by all the players on the Southampton football team. Koolskools, who make our Fairtrade polo shirt, had invited Ringwood students for this presentation. They had made a logo for Henry’s local football club.
Koolskools presented Henry with a strip for the entire team back in Malawi. Henry said that he couldn’t wait to show the children back home the new kit. “The visit and the Southampton stadium were brilliant; I wish we had more time to stay there!” said Sam Kimberley.
Katy Barrett commented, “It was all brilliant, but meeting Henry and his friend and learning about his background was particularly interesting – I really enjoyed finding out about how what we do helps people in other countries. The experience was amazing, and we are all planning to keep in touch with Henry to see how Fairtrade helps him even more in the future.”
(Koolskools again) Such events show that it really is possible to spark connections between the generations, and to bring developed and developing countries and communities closer through Fairtrade. Such inspiring gatherings also make all of our hard work to make Fairtrade cotton work for our supporters and customers worthwhile.
Read Fairtrade Foundation blog by Kate Jones, Education Campaigns Manager.