There's always something new to learn

There's always something new to learn

November 2, 2012 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments


oikocredit stand patrick rodrigo y andres  -2-.jpg

After a nice walk in a surprisingly sunny morning, I arrived at The Hive, where the media training for Rodrigo and Andrés took place. I have attended media trainings before, but, as always, I learned something new: using accurate words is no guarantee that your message actually reaches your audience.

The best thing is to use simple language and examples that match your in-depth knowledge of the topic you're addressing. And what is also very important: people will only remember three messages of a presentation, so choose them carefully and repeat them in different ways throughout the presentation.

The coffee break brought me another surprise: organic coffee and tea of our fair trade equity partner Cafédirect was served. My latte could not have tasted better.

Visit Cafédirect's website

Besides sharing some tips, the training included practical exercises such as presenting in front of a camera. Who likes doing that? Not me, for sure. Both Rodrigo and Andrés gave a 5-minute presentation followed by critical and non-critical questions. I helped translating from Spanish into English and vice versa.

Lost in translation

Afterwards, we reviewed the footage and shared our opinions. It was a good exercise that gave me some useful tips for bridging the gap in the messaging because of constant interruptions and getting lost in translation. ¿Qué dijo? (What did you say?)  

It’s a small, small world

1 November 2012 – 15:15hrs | The diversity of the visitors of Cooperatives United is huge in terms of nationality, gender, age and interest. In our stand Patrick is busy answering questions and telling the Oikocredit story. Most visitors speak English, but from time to time there is someone who speaks Spanish or  Portuguese because they might be from Brazil. I heard the Brazilian delegation is about 100 people – or from Mozambique.

The perfect icebreaker

The small Divine Chocolate complimentary chocolates with our logo are the perfect icebreaker to start a chat about the importance of financing the whole value chain and about getting involved with Oikocredit.

A sweet revolution

1 November 2012 – 18:55hrs | One of the peaks of the day was the informal chat I had with Andrés when the visitor flow had slowed down. He explained Manduvirá's “sweet revolution” aiming to bring changes in the lives of the small farmers not only in economic, social, and environmental ways, but also in terms of strengthening cohesion among members to achieve their dreams. 

In 2002, the lack of independence and the bad practices of sugarcane buyers and manufacturers made Manduvirá farmers decide to seek their own organic certification. “Thanks to fair trade we broke with this dependence”, said Andrés. “For two years, we saved the premium for our fair trade sugarcane, so we could get our own organic certification. At the beginning we started with 100 small farmers and little by little this number increased”.

Guaranteed: #1 best workplace

1 November 2012 – 18:55hrs | Andrés told me about when he was young. As there was no money to send him to school, he stayed at home to help his father in the sugarcane plantation. He helped growing, harvesting, and transporting the sugarcane to the refinery with an ox-ulled cart that went 5 km/h. He learned to be patient, which has helped him in many ways. 

After two years, he started working for Manduvirá, where he developed professionally until becoming general manager. “A cooperative is the best workplace you can dream of. It gives you equal opportunities to grow. Because of its structure there is little room for corruption, so promotion depends on your merits”. 

I fully agree with him.


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