Fairtrade Fortnight is nearly here. From the 27 February to the 11 March, people all across the UK are being asked to take a step for Fairtrade.
It might be a small step, like swapping your tea to Fairtrade, or a bigger step, like organising a Fairtrade event. By doing so you will join with thousands of others taking their own steps to help producers around the world get a fair price for their produce.
Fairtrade is one vital way to help people work their own way out of poverty and an easy way for us to have a positive impact on our global neighbours through our everyday actions, simply by choosing a product with the Fairtrade mark instead of one without. The range of products is so large now that you have more chances than ever before to take that step and choose Fairtrade, whether you’re in a coffee shop or corner shop, a supermarket or a super restaurant.
One of the ways that The Salvation Army have been taking steps for Fair Trade is through our Sally Ann programme in Pakistan.
‘Sally Ann’ is about putting bread on people’s table, empowerment and self-help. Sally Ann is a Salvation Army initiative working with people who live in poverty in slums, brothels and in villages around the world to earn a fair income by using their skills. These skills include handicrafts such as handmade paper products, knitwear and IT training, support and software development.
The producers are earning a good income which means that their family lives are being significantly improved. Many of them can now feed, clothe and educate their children, afford safer housing and improve their health through better nutrition. All these factors go some way to help them get out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
Shakeela Jamil is just one of the many who is slowly lifting herself out of poverty. When asked how the Sally Ann programme had changed her life she replied “I have nine brothers and sisters in my family and my parents have been sick for many years. We are very poor and I could not study due to our family situation, but working with Sally Ann is enabling me to educate my brothers and sisters, look after my family and provide for my parents medical needs. I am so happy to work with Sally Ann, it is so helpful and is changing my family’s financial situation, helping us not to be discouraged but to grow forward.”
Sally Ann gives their producers respect, honour, dignity, and hope by providing them with the tools to help themselves and pay them a fair wage for their labour.
GET INVOLVEDSally Ann is just one project that is being supported by donations to our GENERATION programme. Through GENERATION we are working to shift the balance of inequality by giving people access to the small loans, grants or skills training they need to work their own way out of poverty. Visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/generation to find out more or contact us to find out how you can make a donation to this work. Find out how you can take a step for Fairtrade Fortnight here and help even more farmers and producers get a fair price for their produce. Sign up your church, school, uni or workplace to become Fairtrade – it’s really easy to do and can make a huge difference. Click here to find out how. Also, Salvation Army centres receive special rates on products through Fairtrade foodservice provider Peros – click here to contact us and find out more about this opportunity.