Feb 25, 2016 9:02 EST

Fair Trade Lessons From Malawi – towards a dramatic expansion of the 90kg Rice Challenge

iCrowdNewswire - Feb 25, 2016

Over the last 7 years, the 90kg Rice Challenge has been taken up with enthusiasm by over 1500 schools and community organisations. All of which have risen to the challenge to sell 90kg of fairly traded Kilombero rice – the amount of rice sold that would enable a Malawian farmer to pay for a year’s basic secondary education for one child.

This has led to more farmers being able to send their children to school and to provide a better environment for their families; and it has meant that thousands of children in the UK have gained an understanding of how fair trade helps farmers to work their way out of poverty.

The Challenge was developed on a shoestring and it is time to improve it. We are seeking to make the pack more appealing more accessible and to improve the quality of lessons contained within. By doing this we believe we’ll be able to and reach some of the remaining tens of thousands of schools that haven’t yet taken part and show them the transformative impact that fair trade is able to have in Malawi.

We need £4,000 by World Fair Trade Day (May 14th) to:
• Survey teachers and school pupils on the resources and how best to improve them
• Design the new pack, including production of quality posters and producer photographs to bring the learning to life for a wide age range of children and young people
• Develop engaging fact sheets, lesson plans and DVD resources
• Launch new materials through events and promotional campaigns

“We’ve been told so much about Fair Trade at School and Guides but this challenge makes it seem real” – school pupil in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire. Help us make it real to thousands more young people.

Will you helps us?

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?

Malawi – Farmer empowerment and development and children’s access to secondary education.
UK: consumer education and empowerment, helping to inform pupils about their role as global citizens.  
We will accomplish this through a radical improvement of our 90kg challenge resource pack.
The Challenge is to sell 90kg of fairly traded Kilombero rice – the amount of rice sold that would enable a Malawian farmer to pay for a year’s secondary education for one child. In taking the challenge children learn about the life of farmers, the difficulties they face and how opening up new markets for them can bring new life to their communities.

Although the challenge has been running for almost 7 years, we have had feedback from teachers and community leaders that the pack is not easy to use. We want to develop and re-design the resources to address this and provide a more impactful and transformative resource.

Can you give us some statistics on this problem?

Over the last 7 years, the 90kg Rice Challenge has been taken up with enthusiasm by over 1500 schools and community organisations. The Challenge was developed on a shoestring and it is time to improve it – starting with its promotion and the resource pack’s accessibility and presentation – so we can try and reach some of the remaining tens of thousands of schools and youth groups that haven’t yet taken part.

What is your solution?

Our project will involve:
• End user research and evaluation in order to establish views, particularly from teachers and school pupils, on the resources and how best to improve the resources offered.
• Designing the new pack, including production of quality posters and producer photographs to bring the learning to life for a wide age range of children and young people involved
• Developing engaging fact sheets and activity/worksheets in both booklet and electronic format
• Developing DVD resources with “easy to navigate user interface”
• Printing and production of new resources and packs

How will you deliver this?

We promote understanding through educational work. When groups order the 90kg Rice Challenge from JTS, they will receive the redeveloped pack along with their 90 bags of rice. Then it’s time to get creative! Groups have sold the rice through curry nights, stalls, inter-house competition, school recipe books, as part of the Guide badge-work and various other Fairtrade events! The pack will include refreshed and easy to use resources to support people in their sales and through this to develop a sense of global citizenship by learning about where food comes from and more generally about global trade.

Contact Information:

Just Trading Scotland (JTS) trading arm of Balmore Trust

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