Global Issues Training

In life we experience things but how do you go about talking about your experience? How do you go about sharing your experience? Things that have caused heartache and pain, things that have made us cry, that have made us happy, things that have also affected our life patterns. We share many of our experiences. Indeed, making the most and sharing an experience might be difficult in the beginning but once you are willing to share it than people will be willing to share it with you too. Having attended a long term training course in Ivory Coast through SPYS and working within a fair trade organization in Malta (Koperattiva Kummerc Gust), have reinforced the need of a training on global issues. This training is focused on fair trade and what it actually means to have a fair trade product.

The first session was held on 4th November 2009 in Hal Balzan. We started by having each of us answering a question related on global and local issues such as "Can you mention 3 children's rights?", "Can you mention the fair trade shop in Valletta?", "What is the green house effect" an so forth. These helped us to get to know each other and break the ice. We moved on to do the "Banana Split Game". This game focuses on the breakdown of how a banana is produced and how much each person gets from the production of a banana. This breakdown is fairly accurate but is obviously simplified for the game.

The banana split game shows how we are connected with people around the world through the things we buy and eat. Many products in our shops are made from raw materials imported from poor countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean Islands. Many workers do not earn enough to meet their basic needs: food, shelter, clothes, medicine and schooling. This is unfair. Fairtrade labelling has been introduced so that we, the shoppers, can guarantee that workers get a fair deal for their work and products.

From the banana split game we moved on to the "Compass Game". This focused on the four points of a compass- North, South, East and West. The S stands for social, E for economics, W well-being and N for Nature. Participants were asked to answer how Fair Trade is related to the four points of the compass. They got to know the different aspects that any global issue can have and through this we concluded as Loesje once said "Fair trade. Would it not be more logical to label unfair products?"

written by Mahira