Fair trade

Young People Earth’s Summit 2013

After the success of the first Young People’s Environmental Summit held last year as part of the 10th Anniversary of EkoSkola, we decided to organise the event again to give our students another opportunity to develop citizenship skills. This year, the summit was held on the 25th February 2013 in an effort to provide students with an opportunity to talk to the political parties in preparation for the coming General Elections. During the 2008 General Election campaign, students had presented a memorandum to the political parties based on the feedback obtained from a questionnaire distributed to over 8,500 households in Malta and Gozo. Children wanted to invite the political parties contesting the elections to make a tangible commitment towards the local environment. Students from 24 schools were given the opportunity to meet and discuss their environmental concerns and their future at Xrobb l-Għaġin Nature Park and Sustainable Development Centre. The discussions were organised into 6 workshops: 3 for primary and 3 for secondary schools. The themes discussed included: Land use and Misuse; Water Management; Alternative Energy Sources; Waste Management; Junk Mail; Fair Trade; Transport and Traffic Pollution; and Marine Life Conservation. Conclusions from each workshop were then collated to form a declaration that was approved by the attendees and presented to representatives from the political parties contesting the General Elections.

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Fair Trade Activity

On Friday, 11th May 2012, St Joseph School, Blata l-Bajda had a Mother’s Day Activity.  So the school took this opportunity to promote Fair Trade, which is the theme the school chose to tackle in the HSBC Eco-School Climate Initiative of 2012. A stall was set up at the reception selling Fair Trade products and leaflets about Fair Trade were distributed.  These leaflets were produced by secondary school students and printed professionally on recycled paper. During the morning the mothers who were here for the activity could visit the Home Economics room where a group of secondary school students were cooking chocolate chip cookies made mostly with Fair Trade ingredients. Secondary school students preparing the chocolate chip cookies. Cake Baking day! Another stall was set up with cakes made mostly with Fair Trade ingredients.  These cakes had been previously made by a group of students and teachers in the Home Economics room of the school.  A free recipe book was given with each cake sold.  These recipes were compiled by a group of students and teachers and printed on recycled paper. Students selling cakes made with Fair Trade ingredients The mothers and other visitors visiting the school showed a great interest in all the information about Fair Trade and besides supporting the cause by buying Fair Trade products, they also gave donations. Through this activity, the school managed to give its share by informing the wider community about an issue which needs to be tackled urgently, as many people in third world countries are working from dawn to dusk but not getting a fair wage for all their hardship.

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Fairtrade Information Day

St Joseph Primary School at Blata l-Bajda organised a specific Fairtrade Information Day also with the intention to participate in Global Action Weeks. The project started with all the pupils of the school being introduced to the subject of Fair Trade through an informative power point prepared by one of the LSAs coordinating the activity. Parents and relatives also attended and learnt about Fairtrade. Students of a Year 6 (10 year olds)class worked in groups to produce power points, charts and Fair Trade Logos.  The charts and logos were put up on two big display boards in the Media Room of the school as well as on the Eco Board.  Another class made flags with the Fair Trade Logo while another group of pupils made a banner with Fair Trade Logos which was hung up in the entrance hall of the school for all the parents to see when they brought their children to school. The power points were presented to the three classes who replaced the guest pupils who could not attend.  During the showing of the power points, there were discussions during which many of the pupils spontaneously expressed the unfairness many people from third world countries were going through.  At the end of the activity all the students present stood up and unanimously expressed that they wanted to support Fair Trade.  After the activity a number of students produced write-ups about Fair Trade on their own initiative.     A great deal of awareness was created among all pupils and they passed on this awareness to their families.  In fact many pupils bought Fair Trade products when they visited the supermarkets with their parents.  They brought these products to school and they were displayed for all to see   A group of year 4 students who visited a local supermarket with their teachers and LSAs  for an activity related to mathematics were continually looking out for products with the Fair Trade logo.  A journalist from a local newspaper also visited the school and interviewed two students who had taken an active part in this initiative.  Their interview were published shortly afterwards as part of an article which described another activity related to the environment.  All this informing and involving of the community about such an important issue is  surely a great recommendation to other schools to tackle the issue of Fair Trade. Special thanks to the following teachers and LSAs: Maria Cassar, Margaret Gobey, Polly Ann Muscat, Agnes Scicluna, Maria Teresa Spiteri,  Natalie Zahra and Gloria Camilleri.

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