Category Archives: fair trade

Fair Connections update 

In December last year rather that wait for the company to take off I decided to provide story sacks and the book I have written to schools in Nepal.  It was really important that training was also provided so that teachers understood what the book was about and also the potential for the puppets to be used not only with the book but in other areas as well.  This video clip shows teachers from 5 schools in Kaski being trained in how to use the puppets and story sack. It is really important that I get feedback from teachers about what they like and don’t like about the resources and also what other resources they need to help them make their teaching methods  more child friendly and their schools more fun places to be. From the training provided I realised that for the story sack to maximise it potential it needs to link into the local curriculum and be used as a fun way to engage children.


The story sacks were also provided to 14 schools in Lapse Phedi and training was provided by myself, Kiran Bohara and GAN staff – we are currently getting feedback from teachers in Nepal about the puppets and also finding out what resources they also want in their schools to help them improve the quality of education for children in Nepal.  Updates will be shared here but also in the Fair Connections Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so please follow us there

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Filed under education, fair trade, nepal, social enterprise, Uncategorized

Brussels and blogging

Well here I am in Brussels with two sociology students on a field trip – which is a new experience for me as many of you will know I don’t know Brussels so much so was a bit worried at how it would all work out! My main reflection so far is to have more faith in myself as despite a lack of contacts I think it’s going really well and we are making the most if the contacts we have! Lauren and Selina are mature responsible students who are a pleasure to be with (and I’m not just saying that because they will read it!) and have fully immersed themselves in the tasks I have set them. On the plane I made too use of a great map Lauren had managed to find when that morning I had declared ‘Oh my life I haven’t evern prepared an urban trail !’ The map she gave me was full of great suggestions .. But more on that later.

The first visit we made was to visit the fair trade advocacy group here in Brussels and hijack the first 20mins of an interviewing that Bob had set up – some really interesting insights into the important role of advocacy and forthcoming events followed by a mega long chat about education, which is the focus of the research being done her by Lauren and Selina. Lots of questions for us to think about such as the role of mayors in today’s society, why is the UK so conservative and in today’s recession is it easier for males to get a place on PGCErt courses and why.


We then did a massive urban walk taking covering most if the south side of the city having a lunch stop along the way as we headed to the British Council then European Parliament. The BC was not so much use given they don’t let anyone in but the European Parliament had an interactive exhibition which was interesting to reflect on. The best bit for me was the maps and globes – reminding me of my geographical routes !

Then coffee an cake in a great little organic fair trade cafe – lots of these about in Brussels.


Met the girls for breakfast and had briefing session on diaries and set them a task for the day ready to meet up later tonight – I had some time to catch up on work and plan my trip to Leuven tomorrow. Being away and travelling makes you realise the value of having on your own time as you really can step back and reflect – my problem now as I am posting my ideas onto Facebook and blogs and generating more and more work for myself – note to self plan in some chill time !

Using the great map mentioned before I planned out a self guided tour on my own to check out others area of the city and set of on tram and a metro to check out the ‘exotic’ international sector in the north – which turned out to be no so exciting and rather dull. The most exciting thing a I saw was lots of tubs of olives – but to the north of the area was in interesting looking Art project on gender what ill have to check out.



However I did come across the offices of use it who are the people, behind the map and ended up with the most brilliant discussion with the two volunteers who were in the office that day on a whole range of top is from how the projects work, how the maps and are made and possibilities of how we can engage young people in Liverpool in the initiative – I’m sitting in the cafe next to the offices now just buzzing with ideas and hope that it leads to something practical in Liverpool but only time will tell … If you are interested in what use it do – engaging and empowering young people to make maps for other young people – then check out Also came away with ideas for where to go tonight so all in all a good days work.


And finally about to head back but having great Moroccan soup and cappuccino in Via Via which is the nearest type of bar cafe I have found to the pass by bar in Beijing – and very similar to cafes in Kathmandu – very laid back and chilled – alternative – off for one more coffee



Filed under Brussels, fair trade, field trip, sociology, Uncategorized

First day in Pokhara

Well not literally just the first day for this trip ! Quickly dropping my bags of at Mikes Hotel and then out for an excellent lunch at the Moondance. Dorje has done an amazing job of redesigning the space whilst keeping its’ character and charm – the widening of all the paths in pokhara also new.

Excellent to catch up with Dorje and see my best mate Ruth (a proper Dr) who is out here at the minute assessing the candidates for the Gurkha army – a tough tough challenge for those who try. The film Who Would be a Gurkha is well worth watching to gain insight into the process and the emotional journey those who do and don’t get in go through.

I then went to see Ram Kalis new shop on Lakeside which just has to be seen to be believed – all the goods are fair trade and it is just immense – will have to figure out how to post photos ! She now has over 400 women members producing goods for her organisation Women Skills Development Organisation – fantastic to see her organisation flourish – and having her own shop on lakeside will help tackle the problem of people copying her products without the ethical and social element which is the core of her company.

Ram Kali with us in her shop ….. so great to see her company expand looking forward to revisiting her again.


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Filed under fair trade, nepal, Pokhara, social enterprise