Stephanie and Matthew

I met Matt when I was 18 at college. We spent over 8 years dating before finally getting engaged this Christmas Eve. Love to me takes the form of your partner standing by you every day no matter what little life challenges you face. I love the adventure of building a life with someone and an adventure our marriage is likely to be. We have both been involved in community and youth work on a voluntary basis for years and have a really heart to work with deprived and disadvantaged communities. Matt has recently supported me through my MSc in Poverty and Development. He knows how important poverty alleviation and as part of that Fairtrade is to me… so he went ahead and spent a long time saving to be able to gift with a hand designed and made Fairtrade engagement ring on a crisp and windy Christmas eve walk in the countryside. That is love – your partner paying attention to what you really care about! We are planning a wedding for December but have a limited budget….  as it stands we cannot afford our wedding bands as we want them to be Fairtrade. A gift of fairtrade wedding bands would be a real blessing to us !I am off to volunteer with Tearfund on disaster management projects in Bangaldesh for 10 weeks soon and won’t be receiving an income whilst away which is making the budget even tighter. After we get married in December we are looking to move to a developing country to use our skills and passions to serve and empower others.

 Why Fairtrade Gold? I’ve had a real passion to help the poor since I was 14 and first visited a HIV/AIDS hospice in South Africa. Buying Fairtrade to me is one way of helping to combat poverty, inequality and injustice. I don’t think anyone should have to suffer just so I can have a material possession.  Fairtrade is a simple and effective way for people to get involved in transforming lives and communities. Lives are improved through the giving of a Fairtrade Premium which can be invested in such things as health, education, agriculture. Ownership and management of Fairtrade International is shared by producers. Voice – Faitrade helps to give small farmers a voice through the small farmer groups by  encouraging democratic structures and transparent administration. Ensuring fairtrade minimum prices means that even when market prices fall farmers receive an income sufficient to maintain sustainable production practices.