Thursday, October 23, 2014

TradeAID on air

On the 22nd of October, 2014 ICS volunteers working with TradeAID Integrated took part in a radio discussion on URA 89.7 FM to raise awareness on issues relating to volunteering, development and Fair Trade.

Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and is intended to promote goodness and improve human quality of life; it does not involve any form of financial gain but freely offering oneself to do something. Volunteers often work in the area of development, which is the progression or advancement of people and communities.

A key area of focus for the TradeAID volunteers has been the promotion of Fair Trade. Fair Trade is an organized social movement with the goal of helping producers in developing countries to achieve better trading conditions and more sustainable livelihoods. Volunteers can play an active role in promoting Fair Trade by raising awareness in the communities where they operate to sensitize the people about what Fair Trade is and why they should embrace the concept.

We discussed some advantages of volunteering and of Fair Trade in developing society:

  • Volunteering has positive benefit for both the volunteer and the person or community being served
  • Volunteering is famous for skill development, socialization and fun
  • Volunteering offers the experience of a life time as well as skills and knowledge
  • Fair Trade helps to eradicate poverty
  • Fair Trade secures the rights of marginalized producers and workers in developing countries
  • Bolgatanga is seeking to become the 2nd “Fair Trade Town” in Africa
  • Fair Trade enhances community spirit: With the whole community wanting fair trade, there will be stronger local partnership building
  • Fair Trade markets and events promote local business locally as well as regionally and nationally

We also discussed some challenges that have been identified in the communities where we work:

  • Unfair prices being paid for the products of producers
  • Limited access to international market and export opportunities
  • Funding for expansion of production
  • Conservative attitude towards production

Recommendations proposed were that development is all inclusive, so people should take up volunteering roles to contribute their quota to society.

Our key message was that there should be fairness in trade to ensure both the producer and the consumer do not feel cheated.

ICS volunteers on set!

Samantha Sergeant – (Team Leader, UK volunteer)
Michael Ogbey (National volunteer)
Munaza Tesneem (UK volunteer)
Edward Apokerah (National volunteer)

1 comment:

  1. Great work! We would definitely like to know more about Fair Trade and Bolga's aspirations of becoming the second Fair Trade town in Africa. Would one of you like to come over to our office anytime soon? Please contact me at dorienvenhoeven@hotmail.com