Over the last month, CAFOD Education Volunteer Maureen Thompson has been working tirelessly alongside the fabulous Fairtrade Forums in Waterlooville, Havant and Portsmouth to promote Fairtrade Fortnight – and what a fantastic job they have all been doing!
St Thomas More’s school were the first to ask for a Fairtrade visit from Maureen. Three Year 3/4 classes played an interactive simulation game to get them thinking about some of the difficulties of being a banana farmer such as weather problems, family difficulties and world trade pricing. Maureen then visited the Reception class and sang a song about the journey the bananas make from the farm in Colombia to the supermarket here, using the characters from CAFOD’s banana split game. The children enjoyed it so much Maureen was asked to “sing” again to the pre-school children too!
Maureen then joined Mugeni Sumba at Oaklands Catholic school in Waterlooville for assemblies each morning to introduce Fairtrade Fortnight and prepare the young people for the visit of Dorothy, a banana farmer from St Lucia.
During her visit, Dorothy spoke passionately about the need to give every farmer a fair deal. Students bought bananas to wave for the cameras while each year group handed over giant posters of bananas petitions signed by all the students.
In the mean time students from St John’s Cathedral Catholic primary school and Swithun’s Catholic Primary schools in Portsmouth joined the Mayor of Portsmouth in giving out bananas in the street to promote the Fairtrade message. St Paul’s primary in Paulsgrove also had an Fairtrade assembly. Wow! Such great support across the whole area!
St Edmund’s RC Secondary school’s Justice and Peace group also organised a lovely Fairtrade evening where the young people acted out the Fairtrade Foundation Sketch and Mugeni Sumba (who teaches at Oaklands Catholic School) spoke passionately about his Aunts and their desire to work at a Fairtrade farm near their home in Kenya.
St Joseph’s church in Havant and St Michael’s church in Leigh Park also held Fairtrade coffee mornings and after discussing justice and Fairtrade in children’s liturgy at St Thomas’ in Emsworth, everyone was given a Fairtrade Malteser on the way out of Church!
As Maureen said;
“Being part of the local Fairtrade Forum has also given me the opportunity to spread the hope and justice message of Fairtrade further giving me the chance to involve two other schools locally and meet others with shared values. We presented the Mayor of Havant with the Fairtrade Borough Certificate at a full council meeting, encouraged business to serve Fairtrade products at a Chamber of Commerce Event and after a Fairtrade dinner at the URC church we used the Banana split characters again to entertain after dinner!”
This really is WONDERFUL!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us Maureen and thank you to all the schools and members of the Fora for all their hard work.
If you’ve been inspired by all these wonderful events – please show your support by signing the online ‘Stick with Foncho’ petition calling on Vince Cable to investigate unfair supermarket pricing practices and act to protect banana producers. Sign up here today!