Thursday, 21 June 2007

Intern from Cyprus getting Fair Trade experience in Malta

Information provided by Nuri Silay, Cyprus, and Nathalie Grima, Koperattiva Kummerc Gust, Malta

In March/April, Nuri Silay form Cyprus carried out a 2-months internship with the Maltese Fair Trade organisation Koperattiva Kummerc Gust (KKG). During this time he was involved in different activities of KKG and showed deep interest in how KKG runs its shop in Valletta. He had the possibility to make himself familiar with basic information on current fair trade issues including European structures in this field. The host organisation provided Nuri with an insight into how Fair Trade started in Malta, pointing out both the achievements and the difficutlies KKG encounters in its work.

Coming from a business studies background, Nuri reports on his new voluntary work experience:

"It was a good opportunity to take two months off from conventional trade in Cyprus and experience Fair Trade in Malta. Nothing could be this much a multidisciplinary subject for training. It involves everything - from Business Management to Politics, from Social Sciences to Education. It was about trade with poor and disadvantaged people - but to enable them to get involved in the global circulation rather than just receive aid. In addition to my regular work in the shop and help with office management activities, I’ve been involved in two different projects to promote and raise awareness on fair trade. In the first project which I called "Letter Project" I’ve worked mainly on my own. The task was to distribute hard copy catalogues to the Fair Trade Cooperative members with the aim to establish closer links with them and to increase sales by offering them the possibility to order by post (not only through the internet). In the second project I’ve worked as part of a team. It was a development education project with 6-13 years old pupils about Fair Trade in practice through the simulation of football production in Pakistan and textile production in Cambodia. The aim was to let pupils perceive the working conditions in Fair Trade and Conventional Trade (e.g. learn about child labour) and to enable them to distinguish one from another. Finally, my internship was a good opportunity to get work experience in an international environment."

Nuri Silay's internship was supported by TRIALOG, a second internship for a person from Cyprus is planned for September. It is hoped that both experiences will feed into the Cypriot NGO scene and support the emerging efforts to establish a fair trade movement in the country.

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