The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group has donated the funds to Tea Leaf Vision (TLV) to provide support to ten interns.
The Tea Leaf Trust provides education and vocational training to the poorest communities in the mainly tea growing region of Sri Lanka, known as the hill country. The Trust runs the Tea Leaf Vision Centre, an educational centre which allows students to find employment away from manual labour on the tea plantations.
Jon Elsmore, Dean of Students and Chair of the Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “The University itself receives small donations each year from our catering suppliers which we have been able to redirect to charities like the Tea Leaf Trust. We felt that this was an ideal charity for the University to support because of its links to educational development in a region where the University operates (we currently have over 100 Sri Lankan students studying here).
“Raising aspirations amongst the tea plantation workers in this region was seen as a further good link to our commitment to supporting and spreading the word about Fairtrade.”
The money will be spent on training ten students in Sri Lanka to an advanced level in both English and teaching, as there is a shortage of well-trained teachers within the rural tea estates. Under the scheme interns will study the theoretical aspects of teaching in the first semester and put this into practice during their second and third semesters, firstly by shadowing teachers and acting as assistants and then progressing to teaching classes by themselves.
Tim Pare, of the Tea Leaf Trust in Sri Lanka, added: “Thank you so much, this will make a huge difference to us.”
The University of Wolverhampton is a Fairtrade University and is supporting Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 (28 February - 11 March). Full details of events going on at the University throughout the fortnight are available at our website: www.wlv.ac.uk/fairtrade
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