When Fairtrade Went Marching In………to the Saints!

On Monday 11 March, courtesy of the Saints Foundation, the Fairtrade Foundation and Koolskools, Fairtrade really did go marching in, in a big way, to Southampton Football Club. This very memorable, rewarding and inspirational event centred on the visit to the UK during Fairtrade Fortnight of Mr Henry Matenda of the Kasinthula Cane Growers, a Fairtrade sugar farming community in Southern Malawi.

Henry came to the Saints following an arduous two-week “Fairtrade speaker tour”, a regular phenomenon organised by the Fairtrade Foundation where representatives of Fairtrade Co-operatives and Associations from around the developing world visit the UK and offer inspiring talks on the benefits that Fairtrade has brought to their businesses and communities. Henry was no exception, and so it was a great privilege for Koolskools to be able to welcome Henry to Southampton and to introduce him to some of the students and teachers in the schools (Cantell, Knightwood and Ringwood) that Koolskools supplies its Fairtrade cotton school uniform to.

A student, wearing Koolskools Fairtrade cotton, presents Henry with the new strip.
A student, wearing Koolskools Fairtrade cotton, presents Henry with the new strip.

The Kasinthula Community also has a football team, so Koolskools agreed with the Fairtrade Foundation that it would be fitting to mark Henry’s visit by presenting him with a brand new soccer strip for the team. The name of the team is Chinangwa FC. When, through the Fairtrade Foundation, we began the dialogue with Henry and the Kasinthula community, we realised that Chinangwa FC did not have a team logo either. So our fantastic Koolskools design company, Catchy Monkey, donned their thinking caps, armed with the knowledge that near to the Kasinthula Community is the Shire River and a national park, that is the northernmost habitat in the world for the nyala, a type of African antelope. They produced a super new logo for Chinangwa FC, which you can see on the first photo we have just received of the team wearing their new shirts below:

Henry was very kind in sending us a note shortly after the strips had been received, as follows:

“Hi Andy,

I just need to let you know that Chinangwa people and players are complementing for good jersey you gave me with students at Southampton stadium.

And let all students know this as well and if anyone has a question to ask feel free give my e-mail ok?

Regards to you and all students,

Henry(Malawi).”

Chinangwa FC with their new strip
Chinangwa FC with their new strip

So, a great day was had by all. In the next blog we shall share with you

some of the feedback we received from the students who participated in the day.”

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