Foto: Archiv Člověk v tísni
Students of the foreign language-focused High School in Volyně joined the World School project five years ago. This project’s main contention is that our actions can influence people´s lives in other parts of the world.
Students and teachers in the small South Bohemian town of Volyně took this idea to heart and started to take an active interest in what is going on around the world. The main topic they decided to focus on was Fair Trade. They were inspired by the possibility of promoting fair working conditions in countries where it is not a given, as well as the idea that this is an issue that the whole of their community can get involved in.
To start off, students organized screenings of documentaries about Fair Trade, public tastings of Fair Trade products and they also attempted to raise public awareness about this topic through a number of other public events in the town.
For example, in 2012 they prepared a “Fair” breakfast for Volyně inhabitants. “We baked muffins from Fair Trade ingredients and sold them with Fair Trade coffee or tea in the streets,” says Kateřina Bláhová, a student of the Foreign language High School in Volyně.
Last year, students sold Fair Trade Valentine´s Day chocolates in cooperation with the town. They donated the proceeds from this happening to help the people affected by the war in Syria. The school also regularly observes the World Day Against Child Labour and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
After a number of years spreading awareness of Fair Trade products and their impact the students in Volyně managed to persuade the town hall as well as local businesses of the need to actively support Fair Trade. Thanks to their efforts, there are now two stores in Volyně that sell Fair Trade products and two patisserie shops offer Fair Trade sweets and coffee.
The town hall officials had decided to take this issue even further and managed to meet strict international standards to become a Fair Trade Town. Volyně has thus become one of the 1,400 cities around the world that proudly display this international title.
Volyně´s mayor Václav Valhoda recalls:” The school began working on this topic about two years ago and the interest did not die down; on the contrary, two local businesses got involved. Then we thought it was also time for us to take a step in this direction.” Among other things, Volyně hopes to gain more prestige from becoming a Fair Trade Town.
The students are not resting on their laurels, though. The school has joined the Active Citizens project. And the students are now working on a new topic: overcoming barriers between generations.
People in Need started the World School project in March 2006. The main aim of this project is to encourage schools and teachers to use active learning methods when teaching about global topics.
The Active Citizens Project – community education for secondary schools is organized by People in Need in cooperation with the British Council. It has been running since 2012 and its aim is to involve students in solving local problems and through these activities, teaching them about active citizenship and the importance of volunteering.
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- Autor: Člověk v tísni
- Škola: SŠ a JŠ Volyně