Volunteers Peter Jones and Joan Risby visited St Thomas More School in Westcliff for a session to introduce Harvest Fast Day and the theme of hunger. There were lots of activities to get involved in, from debates to thinking of phrases that include food: from “cheesed off” to “they’re well orange”!
One of the Fairtrade activities involved building a tower from either newspaper or straws.
Joan writes: “They all started off with good ideas but the straws were at a disadvantage from the word go. The paper tower groups made the highest and most stable towers. The best straw towers were not as high and not as stable. They collapsed very quickly (unless they cheated and sellotaped them to the desk!)
The straw groups said it was unfair because they didn’t have enough equipment and because we changed the rules twice in favour of the paper groups.
It was an excellent way to show that life is unfair for some producers.
The winners had access to as much high quality raw materials as they needed whilst the losers had to make do with what little they had. Then just when they thought they had cracked it we changed the rules so that only the top dogs benefit.
It was a really good intro to Fairtrading!”