The cooperation for fair trade in Africa (COFTA) has called on their biggest sponsor, Big Lottery Fund of the United Kingdom, to renew their three-year sponsorship deal that runs out next year.
The United Kingdom fund had injected money into the local crafts association, managed under World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) GBP 257,000 (Rwf238 million) - three years ago - but the sponsorship is running out.
“We are very thankful to Big Lottery Fund for its sponsorship of our cooperation which has brought a positive impact to the members; and we request them to continue funding us,” said Donatien Mungwarareba, the project coordinator, Rwanda.
This was revealed yesterday during a five-day training workshop for COFTA members that took place at Hotel Isano in Gikondo.
Mungwarareba also said that since the start of the cooperation with Big Lottery Fund, the members’ household incomes have been increasing every year; an indication of a positive change in the lives of the members.
Among other sponsors that have partnered with Big Lottery Fund are the Private Sector Federation of Rwanda and the Shared Interest of the United Kingdom as well.
The training program has seen 50 cooperatives trained in capacity building for producers, market access for producers and promoting fair trade country network development as well as membership development.
“We want to directly link our producers to the buyers so that the primary producers earn more than 75 percent of the benefits from their products which has not been the case previously,” added Mungwarareba.
Since the Big Lottery Fund started the sponsoring deal, the average income per member for every year, has been increasing. In the first and second year it grew from Rwr584, 024,000 million and Rwf789, 854,080 million and the projection for this year is Rwf900,000,000 million.