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An update on our research project

Our Outreach Worker Aled Pickard writes:

After several months of silence, you’d have every reason to believe that our research project had come to an end, but thankfully, our third Welsh Government grant, via Hub Cymru Africa, means our work continues until March 2018. The focus of the previous grant was on sharing the findings of the research I conducted into the impact we have when we purchase fair trade items. More than 4,000 people heard about how we’re enabling families across Africa to meet their needs and educate their children when we choose to buy fair trade. This helped generate more than £2,500 of sales of fair trade products that will further benefit the producers of some of our favourite items.

The focus of this grant has changed. The outreach work continues, so if you haven’t yet heard the presentation, now’s the time to book me or one of our volunteers! We’re also working more closely with Denur Crafts , one of the partners featured in our research. Denur produce a variety of craft items in Kenya, including soapstone bowls, jewellery and wooden animals. Currently, they’re enabling 40 mothers to earn what they need to send their children to school – to date, 96 children have benefited from this project. Due to the fair trade ethos of Denur, 60% of profits are returned to the mothers to cover the cost of educating their children and bonus incentive payments.

The project is having a wider impact on the families involved. In Kenya, one person working supports nine people, something that Leah Mitula, the founder of Denur, can see happening as more children complete their education. In this YouTube video below, Leah talks about watching Priscilla’s daughter progress through school from the age of 7. Leah also says that most of the mothers involved in the project are illiterate and their children are teaching them how to read and write. Four children have also been able to move their parents to live in better conditions. Leah told us, “You may not think of the impact you’re having. Your shopping has made a lot of changes for the children of Kenya and it’s greatly appreciated.”

Fair Do’s is working with Denur to develop new products that a group of eight mothers are waiting to produce so that they too can earn what they need to send their children to school. We’d love to know what fair trade products you’d like to see produced.
Complete this quick questionnaire (it should take no more than 10 minutes) in English or Welsh to share your ideas and maybe your product idea will enable a group of mothers in Kenya to earn the income they need to send their children to school!

 [Leah at Fair Do’s unpacking Denur Crafts stock.]