Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 began with exciting news for the Leeds diocese as an eight-year old boy from Huddersfield reached the Top 10 of a national design competition by designing a sock around the theme of Fairtrade!
Gabriel Muramatsu, from St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Birkby, beat 6,000 budding young fashion experts from across the country to be named as a runner-up in the Find Your Feet Fairtrade Competition.
Reflecting on his success, Gabriel said: “I felt really, really happy when I found out I’d made the Top 10 of the competition! I was also shocked!
More than 6,000 pupils from a staggering 142 schools submitted designs which were judged by a panel including award winning actress Jo Joyner and a senior designer from SockShop.
CAFOD – a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation – and SockShop, launched the special competition for 7-11 year olds which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first Fairtrade products being sold in the UK.
Gabriel will receive a £25 SockShop voucher as a prize for his design which was praised for its creativity and understanding of Fairtrade.
Jo Joyner, formerly Tanya Branning on Eastenders, said: “There was so much thought, time and creativity that had gone into the designs. Some of the slogans were worthy of a top ad agency!
“Most impressive was the fact that all the kids seemed to have grasped completely the concept of Fairtrade. Congratulations to the runners-up, the overall winner, and everyone who entered the competition.”
Gabriel explained that his design is of a farmer in his field looking after his crops. He said: “He wants to get the best price so the Fairtrade people take his crops and bring them to the shops in England.
“It’s really important to buy Fairtrade products; I help my family choose them in the supermarket. Sometimes we buy dark chocolate from Peru, or other places in South America and the famers’ stories are on the back of the packet.”
CAFOD Diocesan Manager for Leeds, Ben Oldham, said: “We are absolutely thrilled at the number of schools and individuals who entered the competition from all over the country, and I’m personally very proud that a pupil from West Yorkshire did so well.
“It’s clear that the children have loved learning about the important issues surrounding Fairtrade in an interactive and creative way whilst taking part in a unique competition. This has been the perfect way to celebrate 20 years of Fairtrade products in the UK.”
Schools volunteer David Arblaster has been getting children involved with CAFOD and SockShop’s Fair Trade feet sock design competition.
I have always been an active supporter of CAFOD, with much involvement with my own parish CAFOD group at St Aelred’s Church Harrogate. When Margaret Siberry, our Diocesan CAFOD manager, found out that I was soon to be retiring she warned me that she had a job in mind for me. It didn’t really come as a huge surprise, after a working life spent in education, that her idea was to invite me to join the diocesan team of CAFOD education volunteers. As I had mostly worked in further and higher education I found the thorough training and induction programme equipped me well in stepping out of my comfort zone in making contact with the five primary and one high school that I had been allocated in my home area…
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