Work was busy but it was good that now the secretary was back so I could concentrate on my own work. On Wednesday 5th March I went to help at a Fair-trade special event for junior schools set in Fairtrade fortnight. I was needed at Richard Taylor School Harrogate to register the groups as they arrived for the event. There was some delay at the start but it began with an introduction led by Rusy to welcome the school groups and they saw a short video about a Fair-trade Banana producer, called Foncho who encouraged us to make all banana production fair. Fair-trade means that the producers get a fair price for their bananas so that they can educate their children and improve their communities and support new growers starting out.
Then Hampsthwaite pupils did a presentation about how they had made their school a fair-trade school; activities to raise money included fair-trade knitted mug warmers to sell with fair-trade mugs. The top year had written a song about Fair-trade the previous year which the children sang; each pupil gave a presentation about their efforts. The groups had each been given different coloured stickers which placed them into groups for activities, such as team games flapping fair-trade paper pieces to be added to a jigsaw. Others had to sort pictures into order. They moved between activities until it was time for a break with of course banana cake and drinks. For those who had spending money there were stalls to shop at for small items. Some children had brought money; others would visit the Fair-trade shop later.As the groups were going on, I was separating bunches of bananas ready to hand out to the pupils as they left the venue to return to their schools. I also helped on one of the Fair-trade stalls.
The final presentation was given by a leader of a Fair-trade Banana Cooperative from Colombia in South America. She was a Spanish speaker so a Fair-trade interpreter translated what she said, as there were photos of her family and other members of the cooperative, and how the Fair-trade price helped their community. Then photos were shown of the process of growing bananas for our consumption; they had been a Fair-trade co-operative for 7 years.
While the final presentation was still in progress I got the bananas ready to hand out as the first group of children was leaving, but I had not realised that each child received a fair-trade chocolate bar as well, but fortunately I was informed before the groups left. I was exhausted after helping but I enjoyed the experience. The children all seemed to have a good time and learnt something. I am sure more schools will want to become a fair-trade school.
I was busy helping again at the Acorn Centre on Friday. On Saturday morning I went to a coffee morning at my former chapel to help raise money. It was good to share some wedding photos of my daughter Cathy and her husband Ken with my friends. I enjoyed seeing my friends too. I then went to have a mini pedicure and manicure special offer together with a facial and it was lovely and relaxing. We went out for late lunch at Ulrike and Andrew Hitchen’s home, as they were raising money for Christian Aid. We had delicious soup, homemade rolls and German Cheesecake. I was glad to relax with my beloved for the rest of the weekend.