This month I want to tell you about 3 lovely ladies who are part of the Coopain Cabana Cooperative. This is a group of around 500 small holder famers in Peru. They grow quinoa just north of Lake Titicaca.
The cooperative governs itself and is split into 15 local associations headed by presidents and delegates who hold their positions for one year before voting begins again. The three ladies are all members of the Coopain and have lived in Cabana all their lives.
Mercedes is part of the supervisory committee and is very involved in Fairtrade negotiations. As well as working in the fields to produce quinoa she also has a say in its sale and usage.
At our March meeting we had a talk by Di Wall on Stroud in WW2. It was illustrated with lots of wartime photos of people and places in the Stroud area, as well as local ones of Box and Minchinhampton. Di had obviously done a great deal of research for her talk and is still continuing to study new subjects for the future. A well recommended speaker!
In March, 5 of our members went to the GFWI Annual Council Meeting in Cheltenham. The speaker was Adam Henson of Countryfile fame, who was a very entertaining speaker who kept everybody amused.
It was with some trepidation that Jackie Natt and I took over from Clare Cooper at the beginning of 2017. She has always been so enthusiastic and committed to the Traidcraft brand and the whole philosophy of Fair Trade. However, with the support of many members of the congregation, and Clare’s advice and experience, we have managed to have a very successful first year.
At our February meeting we had a fascinating talk by Eileen Hopcraft on Dolls Houses. She brought along a display of dolls houses made by herself aided by her husband, based on various themes. She explained the problem was keeping all the items in the houses in proportion, which in-volved ingenuity and imagination in the construction and lots of patience!
There are lots of hidden entrepreneurs in the world….and not all of them drive sports cars!! Many are people who have the talent and determination to succeed, but lack the opportunity. They don’t run international businesses but have the raw ingredients to create something special.
Although talent , ingenuity and skill are distributed evenly across the world not everyone is able to access education or an economy that supports their ambition . Not everyone even has three meals every day.
Traidcraft Exchange seeks to help these hidden entrepreneurs. They offer advice on soil erosion, seed choices and fertilisers. They also offer training courses on business, finance and marketing matters.
The Minchinhampton W.I met in the Library on the 7th February. The President welcomed all members and a special welcome was extended to a new member. A thank you was received from a member who had celebrated her 90th Boxing Day birthday at the last meeting.
Members were invited to participate in walks around Lydney or Staunton or take part in a glass engraving workshop.
It is intended to join Rover European on a day out to Richmond on Thames and the Poppy Factory in November.
Arrangements were made for the Craft Group, the Scrabble Group and the Skittle lunch. We no longer play skittles but enjoy the lunch!