CHRISTMAS is a time for enjoying ourselves, but also for remembering those less fortunate than we are. 
When you are buying treats and presents, look out for the Fairtrade logo on chocolate, biscuits, nuts and dried fruit, and on handicrafts, silk and even gold items. 
When you buy Fairtrade products you know that the producers are being paid a fair price, which does not keep fluctuating, so they do not suddenly find themselves destitute. Even more importantly, Fairtrade communities receive a premium payment, which they spend on projects they decide upon for themselves. 
A group of Kenyan tea farmers built a maternity unit to save women in labour from a long journey to the nearest hospital on unreliable public transport. 
A South African wine co-operative replaced the lorries which used to collect them from home with buses, so they were not covered in dust when they got to work.
Banana farmers in the Windward Islands provided lighting for a sports field so the young men played football instead of getting into drugs and crime. 
These are simple but effective projects which advisers from overseas, who don’t know the community, wouldn’t necessarily think of. People who are financially secure and feel in control of their lives are much less likely to make the expensive and dangerous journey to what they hope will be a better life in Europe.
Devizes has been a Fairtrade town since 2006, and there is a lot of support from individuals, churches, schools and businesses. But the same small group of people have been organising all the activities since we started in 2004., and we are getting tired (and old)!  We urgently need some new people with fresh ideas and more energy to keep the group going. E-mail or phone 01380 728565. Happy Christmas!
Devizes Fairtrade Group