Devon Development Education coordinates Fairtrade Schools conferences in Devon for both primary and secondary schools. The aims of the conferences are always to help pupils learn about the benefits of Fairtrade and how they can promote Fairtrade in their schools. The conferences offer opportunities for pupils to learn about issues around trade and Fairtrade in an engaging and interactive way. Usually the conferences also offer an opportunity to meet and hear from a Fairtrade producer.Below is a summary of a typical school conference held at Bovey Tracey in 2009 together with links to some of the activities used.
The conference began with a Fairtrade quiz and a short presentation on the benefits of Fairtrade to producers.
The pupils also heard at first hand how a community had benefited from Fairtrade. They listened to a talk by Arsene Sourabi, a mango producer from Burkina Faso. Pupils then had an opportunity to ask Arsene questions.
Having heard about the benefits of Fairtrade from a mango producer, pupils went on to learn about producers of other products around the world. They did this through an interactive Fairtrade bingo game, in which they had to match a producer, the product they produced and the country they were from.
Pupils learnt more about the injustices of the world trading system, especially on producers in developing countries, by playing a version of the Banana Split game. In groups pupils had to determine what each of the main roles in the banana chain should be paid. The true split between different roles was then revealed. Pupils were shocked to discover how little the banana producers/workers receive for their work – just 1p on average from a banana costing 30p in the shops.
Next there was an opportunity for pupils and teachers to learn more about the Fairtrade Schools Award. There was a short presentation on the Award and a chance to hear from four pupils of Ilsington Primary school on how they had successfully achieved the prestigious award, the first primary school in Devon to do so. Here are extracts of what they said. Finally, pupils were invited to consider the most effective ways of promoting Fairtrade in their schools, take these ideas back to school with them and start work on becoming a Fairtrade school!