Traidcraft - September 2020

In the last few months, we in the UK have stayed at home and avoided contact with others wherever possible. However, being able to stay safe by socially distancing is a privilege, made possible by financial stability and government support. For many people across the world, it’s simply not possible.

When you live in poverty, the reality is that you survive by working together in communities, not by retreating into isolation.

That is why setting up associations and farmers' groups is an integral part of how Traidcraft Exchange helps people in poverty to recover from this crisis – because people are stronger when they unite. At the moment, the practical side of this may look a little different – smaller numbers and outdoor meetings – but the aims remain the same.

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Marah Trust during Covid-19 Update July 2020

After almost 4 months of pandemic restrictions, Marah is still going! We are still serving hot food in takeaways from the scout hut and our guests greatly appreciate the meals. We are also grateful to the many people who have baked cakes for us to give out. Waitrose and Tesco have been great at giving us their dated fruit and bread which we also give out to supplement our guests’ diets. The food bank let us have food parcels for distribution which keeps the most needy going throughout the week. Our guests can also request milk, tea, coffee, sugar, toiletries, toilet paper and washing pods.

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Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - June 2020

Although the Nkokoto-Minchinhampton Committee has not been able to meet, the delivery of projects continues and could be more critical than ever in this vulnerable population. We rely on our local contacts to work in the villages and their commitment and regular communication continues unchanged.

Regarding COVID-19, Tanzania has reported (1st May) that there are 480 confirmed cases with 16 deaths; however there are international concerns about the response. Although all schools and Universities remain closed (since 17th March) the President John Magufuli has not imposed stringent restrictions; attendance to places of worship is encouraged and on International Workers Day, workers were told that coronavirus should not stop them from serving Tanzania. The President is also quoted as saying that “this virus is like a change of wind and it will go like others have gone…….the virus is satanic and it cannot survive in the body of Jesus. It will burn.”

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Traidcraft - May 2020

It's been a shocking few weeks across the world. Here in the UK, we are experiencing lockdowns and changes unprecedented in our lifetimes. Schools and offices are closed, and many face huge financial difficulties. It's no exaggeration to say that life has become more difficult for most people and will in all probability get much worse as the virus spreads.

For many of the people where Traidcraft Exchange works in the global south, this insecurity and difficulty isn't new – it's part of daily life. But with coronavirus sweeping the world, the most vulnerable face extreme difficulties. In the countries where they work, healthcare systems are already fragile and stretched beyond their capacities. Coronavirus has the potential to endanger huge swathes of the population. Many places are starkly under-prepared for what is to come. At the time of writing, the number of cases across Africa is growing daily.

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Traidcraft - April 2020

At first glance, ‘making trade fairer’ and ‘protecting the plant’ might seem like two different objectives but looking at what they both mean shows that they go ‘hand in hand’.
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For far too long, conventional trade and business has been driven by both exploitation of some of the world’s poorest people and a sapping of the planet’s natural resources. As a result, the climate crisis continues with rising sea levels, burning forests and entire communities being uprooted.

It is obvious that anything that affects the planet has very real consequences for people too. Traidcraft Exchange has seen evidence that weather patterns are becoming so unpredictable that they are affecting crops and soil is being depleted of nutrients. Trade must be fair to the planet or it will never be fair to people.

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Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - March 2020

Readers and sponsors will know that the Link sponsors twelve Nkokoto students at the Folk Development College in Urambo on vocational courses in building, Nkokoto0320mechanics, electrical, computer skills, carpentry or needlework/ tailoring. At the end of the course, the Link presents each student with a tool box, in the case of the needlework students, a sewing machine plus materials. Last year, the group of girls who qualified from their course combined their machines, equipment and materials and set up a cooperative, making clothes for the villagers and uniforms for the school students and FDC students. This enterprise has been such a success that the three students who completed their course at the college in December have joined the group, called the Minchinhampton Tailoring Group. It is great to see the students who we sponsor making such a success of their venture. And now, the engineering students have taken a leaf out of the needlework girls’ book and, with the help of their families in building the garage and yard, are establishing a garage in Urambo which they are calling “The Minch Nkokoto Garage.” This the Link is supporting with the finances that would have been used to buy their tool kits (plus a little more!) Both groups have a constitution and local trustees, including involvement by the Urambo Council Officers. We wish both groups of Nkokoto young men and women every success with their ventures.

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Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - September 2020

Whilst we have been in isolation, Nkokoto has not suffered so much; all schools are now reopened and the Uhuru clinic is fully operational. Alison and Rod met regularly and felt that it is important that we continue to meet all commitments, which we have done. Fortunately, our bank balance has allowed the Link to make good on all commitments. Charles Mswima, the Urambo Government representative has also provided us with updates regarding government funding, so this is have included for your information.

SUPPORT FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE: We were asked to support the clinics in buying supplies and in May we sent 750,000 Tsh, (£250.) Because there were some excess funds from the Uhuru clinic building works, a total of 1,019,000 Tsh (£335) was used for buying hand washing soap and masks for Nkokoto and Uhuru clinics. In June, Charles Mswima reported that there were no deaths reported at Nkokoto and Urambo District at large. Only four patients were quarantined and they all recovered.

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Traidcraft - July 2020

Imagine if no matter how hard you worked today, you couldn't afford to put food on the table.

For millions of people around the world, that's the reality they face. A fair income gives you freedom, security and hope for the future. It allows you to feed your family and educate your children. That is the power of trade done well.

But unfair trade amplifies poverty. It makes the rich richer and leaves the poor behind. Traidcraft Exchange exists to do two things...
To support people to harness the benefits of trade
To fight against injustice in global trade
It's a simple mission, but it is changing lives all over the world.

Development Programmes
Traidcraft Exchange run programmes in developing countries, supporting poor and vulnerable people to get a better deal from trade.

Campaigning
With our support, Traidcraft Exchange campaign to transform the way trade works - aiming for high-impact, sustainable changes.

Policy and Advocacy Traidcraft0720
Traidcraft Exchange advocate for better trade policies and better business practices in the UK.

If you feel compelled to take action, please, consider a donation, or get in contact with Traidcraft for ways you can support them from the safety of your own home.

At the moment and for the foreseeable future, we are unable to run our monthly Traidcraft stall in the porch room …

however, we do have some items for sale that we are now reducing .
If you would anything, please contact me or Deborah Smith.

Jackie Natt
01453 731018

Traidcraft - June 2020

For some communities where Traidcraft works, the impact of the lockdown has been immediate and devastating.

Migrant workers in Bangladesh and India have been left without work. Not registered for the government support available, and used to living hand to mouth, people are struggling to survive. Many are travelling hundreds of miles on foot trying to get back to their home villages.

Traidcraft Exchange has been amazing in adapting the programmes to meet these challenges - running a helpline, linking people up with transport and local support services, and critically, providing food.

Traidcraft0620Garment factory workers across Asia are also facing extreme hardship.The UK clothes market is down by a third. Factories have been closing as orders dry up. Some have not even been paid for work they did back in March.

That's why Traidcraft is calling on UK clothing brands to honour their existing contracts and not to leave workers destitute.

For others Traidcraft work with, the impact is less immediate but equally serious.

The crunch point for the farmers will come when they need to harvest their crops and sell their produce. Without access to transport and many markets closed, will they be able to do this? How will they navigate a completely new set of circumstances? As yet, we just don’t know.

We have never faced a pandemic of this magnitude before nor have we had to manage such unprecedented levels of uncertainty. At Traidcraft Exchange, they are focusing resources on responding to the immediate needs of communities who are most vulnerable and most affected by this crisis. But they are also turning their attention to how to support people beyond survival - to recover and rebuild their businesses and livelihoods.

If you feel compelled to take action, please, consider a donation, or get in contact with Traidcraft for ways you can support them from the safety of your own home.

Jackie Natt

Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - May 2020

The Link is thinking about all our supporters in the UK and we send all our best wishes to you at this difficult time.

Coronavirus is a global emergency and the latest news when writing this report (8th April) from Tanzania is that 20 cases have been reported with 1 death. Nkokoto is situated in the Tabora region and there are no cases reported here, but we are not sure what testing is performed. Over half the cases are in Dar es Salaam, which is a great distance from Nkokoto but some people do travel for work, study and health care. The Tanzanian Government is taking preventative actions and on 17th March all schools, colleges and universities were closed for 30 days. All public gatherings including meetings and sports activities have also been prohibited. We hope that our friends in Nkokoto and the surrounding villages will be spared any infection.

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Minchinhampton W.I. - April 2020

On Wednesday, March 4th, Minchinhampton W.I. met as usual. The President welcomed everyone, especially two new members. She gave details of activities organised by the Gloucestershire Federation of W.I.s, including a workshop on bookbinding and a talk on Elizabeth Fry, The Angel of Newgate”. More locally there is a group meeting in April at which the talk will be on Tudor swearing, sex and loos.

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Traidcraft - March 2020

This month Traidcraft Exchange is launching a new campaign in support of people around the world whose lives have been devastated by the activities of British companies.

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