Traidcraft fair trade tea – the classroom connection
Ever wanted to make a difference to the lives of children in Africa? Well, if you pour yourself a cup of Traidcraft fair trade tea, you’ll be helping people like Tanzanian teacher Richard Angetile to provide a better education for his 650 pupils.
Richard is head teacher at Itulahumba Primary School, just a few miles from Kibena Tea Factory, which provides fair trade tea sold by Traidcraft. The Fairtrade premium on Traidcraft teas helps to provide community benefits in the surrounding area, which include two new classrooms at Richard’s school.
The classrooms and two teachers’ offices, which were completed at the end of 2006, were much-needed additions to the school. And building them was a real community effort. While the premium paid for most of the materials, teachers, parents and other local residents provided the labour to build them.
"We are very pleased with the new classrooms," Richard said. "It is making a lot of difference, because without the assistance of the money from fair trade we would not have such buildings. Toilets are also being built with the money from fair trade and we have got 20 chairs.
"We are contributing just our physical labour. We are very thankful for the assistance."
Education is the key for development
Teacher William Kiswaga said: "First of all, we want to say thanks for everything coming from the customers, but we need more. Some money comes from the government but it is not enough. We need a library and renovation of the older classrooms. We have already applied to the KTFTF for a duplicating machine to use at the school."
Just a few miles away, fair trade is helping Lihogosa Primary School to put its motto, 'Education is the key for development', into action. The school was built using the Fairtrade premium, which also paid for six of the seven teachers’ houses.
Around 175 children attend the school, which has also benefited from teaching materials, a photocopying machine, printer and furniture – all funded by the premium. As well as enjoying modern school facilities, the pupils face an easier journey to and from school. Before the school was built some of them had to walk up to 10 kilometers a day to their old school.
"We would like that people in the UK know how much this is helping as we still need textbooks and computers for teaching the children," said head teacher Martina Mdendemi. "We hope people will continue to buy the tea from Kibena because it benefits our villages."
Kibena Supplier Background
Most of our fair trade teas come from sources in East Africa, especially Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. In Tanzania the major supplier is Kibena, which has excellent wages and conditions.
The majority of Traidcraft's fair trade tea comes from suppliers on the FLO register. This includes estates with good wages and conditions for workers, and factories buying from small-scale growers on fair terms. Traidcraft provides a support and development programme for the producer organisations involved.