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Garstang Fairtrade Town

Garstang The World's First Fairtrade Town

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Addendum to the Garstang and New Koforidua Partnership Agreement August 2008

Following the GANKLA AGM in April 2008 and discussions with the NKGaLA Committee during the visit to New Koforidua in June 2008 the following Addendum was made to the Partnership Agreement.
 

Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding
Between

The members of the Garstang And New Koforidua
Linking Association (GANKLA)
and
The members of the New Koforidua and Garstang
Linking Association (NKGALA)

 Garstang and New Koforidua Action Plan 2008- 2011

The Garstang and New Koforidua Partnership Agreement signed in June 2007 contained the following two statements:

1. That “We will develop a three-year strategic plan by September 2007 to determine the time scales of some of the projects mentioned above”
Unfortunately this was not achieved in 2007.

2. That “This agreement comes into force on the day of the signing by both parties.  We see this memorandum as a living document, which shall be reviewed initially after the first year and subsequently every two years”.

The Partnership Agreement was therefore reviewed at the GANKLA AGM in April 2008 and with the NKGaLA committee during the visit to New Koforidua in June 2008.  The following three-year strategic plan or Action Plan was formulated.

The 11 projects listed in the Partnership Agreement are copied below with the reviewed action and time scales written in italics.

1. To set up an IT centre at New Koforidua to enable better communication and eventual video conferencing facilities that can be used for events and by schools.
With the installation of the satellite dish by Comic Relief video conferencing facilities are now is use.  We plan that by the end of the 2008/09 school year all 4 schools in Garstang will hold at least 1 video conference with schools in New Koforidua every academic year.  The cost of maintaining the satellite dish (£500 - £1,000/year) will initially be raised by the 4 Garstang schools in agreement with Trading Visions (the campaign arm of Divine chocolate) and further funding will be reviewed before June 2009.  A section on the Garstang Fairtrade Town website (www.garstangfairtrade.org.uk) will be devoted to the Garstang and New Koforidua link.

2. To continue exchange visits between the two communities e.g. the visit of drumming and dancing cultural troupes to Garstang’s Arts Festival.
Starting in 2008 we plan to hold an exchange (involving at least 1 person travelling each way) every two years.  A group from Garstang has already visited New Koforidua in June 2008 and we are arranging to bring the teacher Samuel Opare Ofori to Garstang in November 2008.  Visits from Garstang to New Koforidua will be self-funded and return visits will cost an estimated £1,000/person.  GANKLA will hold a Diminishing Dinners event from July to December 2008 that should raise up to £3,000 which should be sufficient to cover costs up to 2011.  Schools in New Koforidua will form a young persons drumming and dancing cultural troupe with the aim of visiting Garstang during the Arts Festival when funding permits.

3. To continue joint campaigning activities against poverty such as the ‘Take the P out of Poverty’ event held in October 2006.
Starting in 2008 we will hold a least one joint campaigning event each year.  When Jocelyn and Stephen visited Garstang with Trading Visions in June 13th they took part in a ‘stock the choc’ campaign on Garstang High Street which received good media coverage.  Also in conjunction with Trading Visions it is proposed to make a Guinness world record attempt for eating chocolate using Fairtrade Divine chocolate on World Fair Trade Day in 2009.  This will be done using the Yahoo Live video conferencing service which will allow multiple locations to be viewed at once, as well as allowing anyone to view the event.  Media, the first Fair Trade Town in the USA will be invited to take part.
 
4. To reduce the traffic deaths on the main Accra – Kumasi highway at New Koforidua e.g. by the building of a footbridge.
With the widening of the highway speed bumps and traffic islands have now been added.  This has significantly reduced the number of accidents with none so far reported in 2008.  The building of a footbridge no longer appears necessary but this project may be revived when the highway is further widened into a dual carriageway.  The Local Authority should then be responsible for making the road safe e.g. by building a footbridge but NKGaLA will approach GANKLA if any assistance is required as they would like to involve the link.

5. To build a community house in New Koforidua to host cultural visits by people from Garstang.
Thanks to donations from both communities, corporate and community organisations in the UK and individuals throughout the world this project which has received major funding from the Co-operative is almost complete.  The eco-friendly house will be named the co-operative House and contain a reception area, a computer area, three double rooms, a meeting room (incorporating a library), a kitchen and store room and bathroom with shower and flush toilet.  The NKGaLA committee will install a landline in the house using the money that has been previously donated by GANKLA.  Accommodation will cost £3/person/day but will be free for up to six weeks/year to Founding Friends.  Guests can be fed with three generous meals/day for under £5/person/day.  Bookings are already being made for the house and two visits are planned by a Co-operative delegation and students from Edge Hill University.

6. To set up a fair trading relationship between the two communities allowing items from New Koforidua e.g. handicrafts, Kente cloths, tie and dye cloths and Batik to be marketed in Garstang.
These are projects that will develop as opportunities arise.  At present the Garstang Chamber of Trade is working with New Koforidua on a cotton bag project and we hope that by April 2009 a ‘fairly traded’ relationship will be in place for cotton bags to be sold in Garstang.

7. To establish small scale industries in New Koforidua for the extraction of orange/pineapple juice and/or the processing of cassava and black pepper.
NKGaLA will explore this further and have a wish to involve the link if at all possible.  GANKLA will offer any advice and technological support that is available and appropriate until possible funding is available.

8. To conduct an annual survey in New Koforidua and Garstang to measure and record public attitudes towards the link, fair trade and issues around global poverty.
Questions have now been formulated and a survey will be carried out in Garstang and New Koforidua in 2008.  We plan to repeat the survey using the same questions every two years.  It has been suggested that parents from the school’s pupils can be surveyed as well as the general public and hopefully the schools will follow up on this in later years.

9. To develop projects between the schools in both communities
See (1) and (8) above. Also we are working with Trading Visions to conduct lessons about "how to make chocolate drink from cocoa and the history of chocolate" that can be delivered to children in both communities via our video conferencing system.  An instructor from the Eden Project is available to deliver these lessons, the funding for which can hopefully be met by GANKLA.  Chris Barlow has developed a teaching resource pack about New Koforidua that can be used by schools and the children from all three Garstang Primary Schools designed and made posters that will be displayed in the Community House.  During the recent visit to New Koforidua Bruce Crowther spoke to children from both the DA JSS School and the Presbyterian School.  It was noted that 2/3 of the children in one class knew the name of New Koforidua’s twin town.

10. To develop and implement landscape projects for New Koforidua.
Richard Watts and students from Myerscough College demonstrated techniques to prevent soil erosion during their visit to New Koforidua in June 2008.  Richard will write a report and a plan for a drainage system using the map previously prepared by Chris Barlow.  Soil erosion is a very serious problem in New Koforidua and both GANKLA and NKGaLA see this as the next big project.  Repairing the drainage system will involve a lot of hard work and cooperation on behalf of the New Koforidua community.  They are more than capable of both. This is a project that will not necessarily involve large costs.  It is planned to have the project completed by the end of 2010.  The income generated from the community house can be used to fund this project.  New Koforidua will set up  a children’s ‘Womble Club’ for under 16 year olds to help collect litter and discourage children and adults in New Koforidua from persistent littering.  They have recently formed a young persons club (for ages 16 - 30) and will reform a women’s club that will also work to improve the cleanliness and appearance of the village. It is hoped that some or all of these groups may be replicated in Garstang.

11. To set up joint community activities between the two communities e.g. football matches
New Koforidua FC won the district championship cup in the 2007/08 season and have pledged to use Fairtrade footballs.  Mike’s Sports World in Garstang will donate five Fairtrade footballs and GANKLA have launched an appeal for football boots for use by the team and children of New Koforidua.  The Co-operative and the Fairtrade cotton company Tarameen will sponsor home and away kits made from Fairtrade cotton.  Edge Hill University have recently joined GANKLA and plan to send Physiotherapy students to New Koforidua to work with the football club in June/July 2009.  It is hoped that other departments in Edge Hill University may become involved with similar projects in the future.

The following three additional projects were also agreed.

12. A proposal has come from Nuruddin Boateng of the organisation Foundation for Learning And Merit Education (FLAME) to build an on-line university campus at New Koforidua using the co-operative Community House as an initial base.  This proposal has been accepted and further discussions between NKGaLA and FLAME will now take place.

13. Media, Pennsylvania (the first Fair Trade Town in the US) has shown a great interest in our link and Garstang’s Fairtrade campaign.  It is hoped that in the future our link can be extended to include Media.  Both GANKLA and NKGaLA have invited them to join our Partnership Agreement and form a modern day Fair Trade triangle that replicates the same three corners of the historic and infamous slave trade triangle.

14. The NKGaLA committee are keen to join with Garstang as the world’s first Fairtrade Town in helping to promote Fairtrade and the sales of Fairtrade products worldwide.  Discussions have taken place to explore ways that a community such as New Koforidua can achieve this when Fairtrade products are not available in Ghana.  The Garstang Fairtrade campaign has always used the link with cocoa farmers to promote Fairtrade but NKGaLA would like to be more directly involved.  One option being considered is to adapt the five Fairtrade Town goals used to achieve Fairtrade status in the UK so they can be used by New Koforidua.  This could initiate a ‘Fairtrade Towns’ movement in Ghana with New Koforidua being the first ‘Fairtrade Town’.  This concept of having Fairtrade Towns in developing countries does give rise to many challenges, first and foremost being how to develop a ‘Fairtrade Town’ in a country where the FAIRTRADE Mark does not exist.  These challenges will be taken up with the international Fairtrade Towns network and hopefully will be further developed at the next International Fairtrade Towns Conference in Lyon to be held in January 2009 and at the West African Building Understanding through International Links for Development (BUILD) Conference in Cameroon in 2009.

Funding

Funding for all the proposed projects has been covered above.  GANKLA subscriptions presently raise between £300 and £400/year.  NKGaLA will gain income from the co-operative House but the amount cannot be estimated at this stage.

Additional signatories

The following additional signatories for 2008/09 GANKLA Coalition Members were added at the GANKLA AGM on Thursday 3rd April 2008 and thereafter.

Will Nightingale, Treasurer

Mrs Anne Charnley, SS Mary & Michael Catholic Primary School.

Mike Hall, Garstang Running Club

Mark Leather, Edge Hill University

Alex Briault, Member

Belinda Hulme, Member

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