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Our September blog set the scene on the forthcoming October UK visit of Vishwaraj, the Managing Director of our Fairtrade-licensed Mauritius factory.
Well, we said it would be an action-packed trip…and it was!
Warm welcomes and highly engaged students were the order of each frenetic day as we hot-footed it around the UK from Sunday 1 to Saturday 7 October.
Vishwarj’s Inspiring Story
First stop was Ysgol y Creuddyn in Llandudno. A very impressive gathering of students from several schools in the area joined Year 7 Ysgol y Creuddyn students, Ffion Storer from Fair Trade Wales and representatives from the Conwy Fairtrade Group. The audience soon became spellbound as Vishwaraj shared his remarkable and inspiring personal story. This was the response in school yalla shoot after school on the tour.
From managing sweatshops in Mauritius and other countries to setting up his own Fairtrade-licensed factory in 2016, Vishwaraj’s personal journey towards Fairtrade is both harrowing and inspiring in equal measure.
Koolskools is proud to be able to work with Fairtrade-
friendly schools like Ysgol y Creuddyn to ensure that stories like Vishwaraj’s continue to be heard by UK students, our consumers of the future.
Where DIDN’T we go?!
We were spoilt for brilliant, Fairtrade-friendly school hosts as we travelled from Llandudno to conduct schools conferences about Fairtrade at Esgob Morgan Primary in St Asaph’s, North Wales, who have recently embraced Fairtrade uniform after the new Welshpool CIW School students told the gathering of their amazing experience of kitting out their new school in Fairtrade uniform; Honley High School in West Yorkshire; Archibald Primary in Middlesbrough; St Columba’s Primary in Cupar; Sunnybank, Riverbank, Ferryhill and Fernielea Primaries in Aberdeen; and Corpus Christi Primary in Glasgow.
There was another special welcome for us at Linlithgow Primary, where the students sang a lovely Fairtrade song for us and Currie High School students made a strong case for the merits of Fairtrade school uniform.
From Edinburgh City Chambers to a North Link Ferry!
Tuesday 3 October was quite a logistical challenge!! We woke up in West Yorkshire; then we visited Middlesbrough; then we had a business meeting with our friends and Fairtrade business partners at Shared Interest in Newcastle. As if that was not enough for one day, we had to be at Edinburgh City Chambers in the Royal Mile by 7.15pm for a presentation on our project as part of World Justice Week, supported by the Edinburgh Fairtrade City Group.
At the special Edinburgh event we were also treated to talks from Susan Cochrane, Headteacher at Parsons Green Primary school, plus Alison Nind and ex-student Damaris from Currie High School, about how their schools had embraced Fairtrade school uniform. Martin Rhodes, Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, who have been tremendously supportive of Fairtrade cotton, was also in the audience.
Aberdeen and North Link Ferries
Together with the Montgomery Development Education Centre/Aberdeen for a Fairer World and one of our major corporate Fairtrade workwear clients, North Link Ferries, we had the great pleasure of running a Fairtrade schools Conference aboard North Link Ferries’ HV Hjatland on 5 October in Aberdeen harbour.
This was a hugely successful and innovative event, where one of our star client schools in Aberdeenshire, Fyvie Primary, gave a terrific presentation to the many participating schools on what embracing Fairtrade school uniform meant to their school.
Unfortunately neither Vishwaraj nor Andy managed to become stowaways on HV Hjatland to make the journey to the beautiful Northern Isles, and Vishwaraj has long-since departed for the warm sunshine of Mauritius!
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