Introduction The Suffolk schools Kenya Link took place on 13 October 2021 as part of a programme of events during a special Suffolk Fairtrade Fortnight. Pupils from three Suffolk schools – Trimley St Mary Primary, Westley Middle (Bury St Edmunds) and Sir John Leman (Beccles) put questions live on Zoom to Patrick Kaberia, a Fairtrade farmer, on a tea plantation in Michimikuru, Kenya. Nine other Suffolk schools joined in as an audience. The session was recorded and an edited version is given below. Also on this page are links to a wide range of educational material featuring Patrick.
Patrick Kaberia and Fairtrade Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Activity in the UK is co-ordinated by the Fairtrade Foundation. During Fairtrade Fortnight they organise for visits from Fairtrade workers to the UK. In 2016 they arranged a visit from Patrick, who works for the Michimikuru tea co-operative and has his own 2 hectare farm where he grows tea. Patrick spent a week in Suffolk visiting various Fairtrade towns and talking to a wide range of people and groups – including many school children.
Inspired by his visit, the Fairtrade towns decided to set up an association – the Suffolk Association of Fairtrade Towns (SAFT). SAFT has kept up contact with Patrick and, in 2018, he agreed to become our Patron. Following a successful virtual conference in July 2020, which included a live link to Kenya, SAFT decided to embark on this ambitious enterprise for a live link with Suffolk schools.
Several of the videos for schools produced by the Fairtrade Foundation feature Patrick and are listed later on this page. You can also read a profile of Patrick produced by the Fairtrade Foundation for his 2016 tour by clicking here. Since then Patrick has a new daughter – Michele.
Patrick’s Virtual Visit (6-11) This is an excellent ‘package’ put together by the schools unit of the Fairtrade Foundation aimed at 6 -11 year olds and includes a 6:47 minute video of Patrick in a question and answer format. He talks about Kenya, about tea, his co-op, the benefits of Fairtrade to workers, climate change and its effects on workers and steps being taken to mitigate the effects of climate change.
You can also download supporting resources from here including: a home learning challenge; instructions for teachers; background notes about tea and worksheets for students
My Next Fairtrade Adventure Series This is another excellent package from the schools unit. All the videos are shot in Kenya and all include interviews with Patrick at Michimikuru. The series is fronted by ‘Tayna’ a schoolgirl from London. There are six videos altogether, two for each age range: 7 – 11; 11-14 and 14-16. All the packages include links to supplementary material.
The videos for the various ages contain much of the same material but, for the older age groups, the videos are longer and contain more detail. Part 1 of the series is about food poverty and how Fairtrade helps overcome this – for example by paying fair wages and encouraging sustainable farming. Part 2 continues the theme and provides further information on the effects of climate change and steps that are being taken locally in Kenya to mitigate the effects – for example by planting native trees.
Part 1 videos (Fairtrade and Poverty):
Part 2 videos (The Effects of Climate Change):
Patrick’s Tea Nursery During Patrick’s visit to Suffolk he was often asked: “What happens to the tea pluckers between harvests?” He had to reply that there was very little for them to do, particularly during the dry season. So, on his return to Kenya, Patrick resolved to generate more employment opportunities by starting a tea nursery. He invested some of his own money and took out a loan to finance the project.
The cuttings are taken from bushes that have not been plucked for 3 months and are carefully set out in sleeves in boarded beds covered with a wooden cage underneath a partial shade tunnel constructed from natural materials. They are then cared for and watered during the next 8 months before they are ready to be planted out on his farm or sold. Patrick explains about the tea nursery in the following short, amateur, videos.
Other Resources To find out more about Fairtrade generally visit the foundation website at www.fairtrade.org.uk. For additional teaching material click on ‘schools’ and then ‘teaching resources’.
Next steps We hope you enjoyed watching the videos and learning about Fairtrade. We plan to build on the links we have made with Suffolk schools to spread the word about Fairtrade even further in Suffolk. If you have any suggestions to make, or would like further information, please email email@example.com