> Today is World Fair Trade Day, a day organized by IFAT, the international fair trade organization, to inspire us to engage more in fair trade, meaning buying from producers who make sure the production benefits the workers and community of origin. These days more customers care about the ethics behind the products they buy and hopefully with a day like this even more people will open their eyes.
In Africa COFTA is the regional organization coordinating the producers and two Ghanaian companies with IFAT certification are Global Mamas and Getrade.
Global Mamas is a wonderful initiative for Ghanaian women in developing their own businesses. Together they form a cooperative selling clothes and home decor. I have bought several gifts and two really cute tie-and-dye tops for myself from them. Global Mamas main store is found in central Cape Coast, a smaller shop in Cape Coast castle and some of their stuff is also sold in lovely handicraft store Wild Gecko in Accra.
Companies like these with a stong sense of CSR are very inspiring, and I have already talked to some friends about starting up a IFAT-certified business in Ghana. I hope you will then buy from me!
>I was recently pointed to this collection of videos on the web that are not just entertaining, but also INSPIRATIONAL. There is so much to be done in the world, so many problems, so many suffering – but there is also people who make a difference in their communities and who were invited to TED to share their experiences.
TED is an annual forum bringing together the best speakers in the world to speak for 18 minutes each, charging a shitload for those who go there and use the money to broadcast what has been said online.
For you, I have posted two of my favorite (Ghanarelated) speeches below.
The first talk is the Swedish professor in Public Health Hans Rosling talking about what statistics can tell us about development, health and change (I earlier wrote about his initiative Gapminder here) Prof shows that Sweden 1891 had the development of Ghana today and that development is a possibility for Africa.
The second speaker is Ghanaian Patric Awuah who left a comfortable life in the US working for Microsoft to go back to Ghana to start up Ashesi University, a liberal arts college to educate future leaders. Mid speech he talks about the empowering effects of being able to create, something wich tangents the WORLDwrite documentary from yesterday.
Both these speakers have recieved a lot of attention and praise on the net – and that is no coincidence, they are simply great. So leave the laughs at YouTube behind and invite some friends over to together be entertained AND inspired.
> Here’s an interesting short documentary about visionary people in Ghana with plans on how to advance their country without foreign aid. The eight minute producation was made by WORLDwrite a charity who through film, exchanges and education of young people seeks to “challenge prejudices and stereotypes”. This film does just that, showing an Africa that is expanding by its own force contrary to images of despair.
>Over the last few days (as well as the last days of the year 2007) I Have made a very pleasant aquaintance – A refined, bilingual friend, knowledgeable about many things, especially recent events in Africa. The radio channel Radio France Internationale now brightens my mornings with its news in French, insights and reportages in English and call-in-shows about topics varying from Kenya’s recent election to birth control pills. I discovered, as so often, my new friend by chance and it is really remarkable how this accident now is enriching my life and language skills on a daily basis. For you who like to listen to some French and English news, download a podcast today!
Et non, j’ai pas recu de l’argent pour ce “blogpost” !
>Currently, I am looking for a job. When that is the case I today thought to myself, what is better than expanding my network? That is the reasoning behind giving my particulars to the network Linked In. So I filled in my email address, turned down the offer to invite everybody in my address book and happily started exploring the features. Suddenly this message covers my screen.
Invitations: Sent 344 (21 Bounced)
What? Does that indicate the mean application LinkedIn just went ahead and, against my will, invited ALL PEOPLE in my addressbook to join my “professional network”? According to all the replies I have gotten from puzzled people asking what this thing is, unfortunately that seems to be the case. So yes EVERYBODY, including my doctor, my boss, a friend’s friend who also got her travel pics and baby updates, an aquaintance from a project last year, the administrator for the union I belong to got invitations and I do not dare tho think about who else. So now, I try to go to my happy place, the Monet gardens outside of paris in May when everything blossoms…
> ..one hears about something very interesting. Yesterday I wrote about my lack of access to tampons, a few hours later I receive an email from a friend suggesting I should try something else- the Mooncup. Women friends, there’s an alternative to the tampon that is cheaper and friendlier both to our bodies and to the nature. Spread the word! I have already ordered one. Thanks for the tip, Em.
> Those of you who know me well have maybe come to know I love taking pictures. I also love showing them to people…unfortunately everyone seems to be really tired after like 10 pictures. Why is that? Anyways, there are a few exceptions to the rule. The most prominent exeption being that when you are travelling people have more patience for watching my pics. That is also why I now have decided to again share with you (ungrateful) people. The collage was made with picasa and the pictures are also presented – side by side – on my homepage. Click on “photos” and “Tema”.