Last week, School Volunteer Isabella and I returned to St Swithun Wells RC Primary in Eastleigh during the school’s special ‘Reach Out’ week to talk about the importance of Fairtrade to our global family.
We started off by thanking all the pupils and staff for their fantastic fundraising last Advent and gave them a copy of the letter we received from David Cameron in response to our Act on Poverty campaign. The pupils remembered writing their special messages to the Prime Minister and it was great to be able to show them his response!
As it was Ash Wednesday, we reflected on the fact that Lent gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what God wants us to do and how far we were following his command to love our neighbours – both near and far – as ourselves. Pupils then thought about all the ways in which we were connected to people throughout the world by asking each other questions about where each other’s shoes, clothes, computers and favourite foods were from. In a short space of time we had many examples of different places around the world and we thought about some of the people involved in the production of our favourite things.
We then looked at how something as simple as a banana arrived on our plate this morning (after tasting some!!) The class was then split into 5 groups (Banana workers, plantation owners, shippers, importers and shops/supermarkets) and given a few minutes to work out what their role might involve and how much of the cost of a banana they felt they deserved. The debate began!!
Everyone was shocked by the real amount the banana workers received and could immediately see the difference between that and the amount awarded to workers when the banana was fairly traded. Pupils then voted on whether they would be prepared in some cases to pay a bit more for their bananas if they knew workers or farmers got a price that would enable them to meet their basic needs.
We finished the session by looking at the thousands of Fairtrade products now available to buy and how – by telling others about the difference Fairtrade makes – they would all be taking part in Fairtrade Fortnight and helping to create a better and more just world.
Thank you to Headteacher Mrs Clark and all the teachers and pupils who invited us in during their important Reach Out week. We really enjoyed it!
For more information on the Banana Split game please go to http://www.cafod.org.uk/primary/fairtrade