Jamila spends a week with Divine

Jamila Hamze working with Divine

Jamila Hamze working with Divine

Before I came to do my work experience at Divine, I wasn’t aware that their main aim was to improve the livelihoods of smallscale cocoa farmers. For me, Divine Chocolate was just the 50p tasty chocolate bars sold in the school vending machines. But now I’ve met and worked with all you hard-working people. I realised that each of your jobs are unique and that you are all needed for Divine to succeed and run smoothly. I’ve completely enjoyed my work here from packing up chocolate to managing telephone calls. And even though I was nervous, and sounded glum at first (as Natasha said) I still enjoyed it because it was new and a bit of a challenge for me.

I’ve learnt so much about fair-trade, recognising the symbol and understanding its meaning. At school (St Marylebone C of E School), I don’t think that students are aware about Divine being fair-trade and its impact on the producers in developing countries. It would be great if everyone was aware of the need for Fair-trade and the importance of the FAIRTRADE Mark. Knowing that Divine is Fairtrade is great. To be honest it never occurred to me that chocolate, a product most people take for granted, could make such a difference. I think if everyone knew the amount of effort Kuapa Kokoo farmers put in, and the amount of effort staff at Divine Chocolate put in then people would realise how truly amazing Divine is. I also had the chance to cut out LOADS of press columns for Rosanna and was able to read so many great views on Divine.

During my first week, I watched some videos made in Ghana. Some made me laugh and some made me want to cry but it was great listening to their hopes and dreams, and inspiring to know that most of them wanted to be doctors and help others. One boy said he only wanted to marry a beautiful wife and have 10 kids! Their enthusiasm for their dreams of creating something new and imperishable was clearly shown as they spoke so animatedly and passionately. I surprisingly did enjoy tidying up the room downstairs for Tom because I had a chance to think as well as have a look at all the amazing products. If only my mum was there to see the result because then she might stop nagging at me to tidy up my room!

On day 4, I was typing up brainstorm notes for Charlotte, and I thoroughly benefited from reading the ideas. One point that stood out for me was “I wish that chocolate wasn’t thoughtless,” and it made me realise that people DO just go into supermarkets and buy what they feel like and not on what should be educated about the truth behind other brands.

I’m always on the lookout for fairtrade products now and I have made sure that my family are aware of it. It has all been such an amazing experience. I feel I’ve grown more confidence in certain areas and I’ve learnt so many things. I wish all the best for Divine Chocolate and will continue to tell people about all the ethical work that is done.

Jamila Hamze

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