For several years now we have been bringing our Fairtrade cotton chain to life in UK schools in various ways.
Our interactive Fairtrade schools’ presentations, films and even Koolskools tours of UK schools with workers from our Fairtrade-licensed factory in Mauritius have given tens of thousands of UK school children a real-life insight into the benefits of Fairtrade.
The positive action on the part of the Headteacher of one of our UK client schools means that we have broken new ground once again!
Queniborough Primary School Sets a New Precedent!
As the Koolskools project has grown, so has our ambition to keep innovating with the unique Fairtrade education partnerships we run with our client schools.
So, we are delighted to report on the first ever visit of the Head of one of our UK client schools to our Fairtrade-licensed factory in Mauritius! Joy Hardy, Headteacher at Queniborough Primary School in Leicester, went on holiday to Mauritius this summer with her husband Steve.
During their holiday they spent the day with Vishwaraj, the Managing Director of our Fairtrade-licensed factory in the pizzatown-ship of Bambous, South of the capital Port-au-Prince. This really was an historic visit, as it was the first time that anyone from one of our UK client schools had actually visited the factory where their Fairtrade school uniform was being made.
Enhancing school-to-school linkages
Not only were Joy and Steve able to visit our factory where the Queniborough Fairtrade school uniform is made, they also visited a local school, Petite Riviere Government School, where Mr Qushal Kumar Caliaberah arranged for them to spend some rewarding time meeting teachers and students.
It is early days yet, but we are hopeful that this can become the first UK/Mauritius school linkage that has come about through the education side of the Koolskools Fairtrade project.
Speaking about the visit on her return, Joy said: “Steve and I had a brilliant time at the factory. It really brought home to us the difference Fairtrade can make to people’s lives. It was great to visit Petite Riviere school too, meet the teachers and students, and discuss possible co-operation with them.”
In September 2016, Queniborough Primary was the first port of call for a Koolskools UK schools speaking tour. Vishwaraj, the Managing Director of our Mauritius factory, was the star attraction of that tour, telling UK students of his life spent in the clothing industry, a large part of it working in “sweatshops” in countries such as Mauritius and India.
Joy Hardy was so inspired by Vishwaraj’s “epiphany” story of finding Fairtrade 10 years ago and starting his own Fairtrade factory last year that she wanted to visit the new factory and see for herself where her school’s uniform was being made. To be able to visit Petite Riviere school too was the icing on the cake, and we are enormously grateful to Vishwaraj, all at the factory and also the teachers and students at Petite Riviere school for making it happen!