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Fairtrade producers visit St Lawrence’s Primary School, Byker

St Lawrence's Fairtrade visits

Students learning about Fairtrade at St Lawrence’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, spent a morning in March finding out what life is like for farmers and their families in the developing world, thanks to two special visitors.

Beatrice Okeyo at St Lawrence's

Beatrice Okeyo, a co-operative development worker from Kenya, and Stanley Maniragaba, a coffee farmer from Uganda, were in the UK for a conference exploring the role of co-operatives in Fairtrade, but they took time out for a series of school visits organised by the Co-operative College.

Year 4 students from St Lawrence’s take up the story:

Stanley is quizzed by St Lawrence students

“We had two visitors from Kenya and Uganda, Beatrice and Stanley. Beatrice is a community worker and Stanley is a farmer.

Stanley grows coffee beans. He explained that this was a hard job and he had to work all day. However, Fairtrade gave him a good price for his coffee and he could afford to educate his children. He told us “the hardest part is growing the beans because it’s hot and hardly rains”. We felt a bit sorry for him.

Beatrice Okeyo is quizzed by students

Students question Stanley about Fairtrade

Beatrice worked with a lot of farmers. She told us that some of the money from Fairtrade is used to build schools, wells, houses and water pipes.

We didn’t know this and thought it was good. Now we try our best to buy Fairtrade goods. Even children in Reception Class in our school recognise the Fairtrade symbol.

The visit was interesting and has a lasting effect because we are more knowledgeable and we try to look out for Fairtrade products.”