CHILRENS ADDRESS - Part of the Fair
Trade service held on the 4th Feb. 2018
March 4th was the middle Sunday of Fair Trade Fortnight,
and that's what this address was all about!
"Can you tell me what this is?
a picture that tells you about items like this bar of (Divine) chocolate; it
says it's been made and sold at a fair price, produced under decent conditions,
and that the people who made it were treated properly whilst they were working.
It's called the Fair Trade logo, and, when you see this sign, you know that
farmers have been paid a fair price, plus---and this is very important---a
special extra payment, called a premium, which helps the farmers buy equipment,
build better houses, schools, hospitals, and health-centres, and provide
electricity and water for their villages---all of which we take for granted, but
people in other countries don't necessarily have.
some other pictures to show you today, and here's the first one.
anybody know who this is? Well---to be honest, I didn't expect you to! But our
story is about this girl, who's called Jennifer; she's 16.
Here's a map of
a continent composed of lots of different countries; here's
away on the south-west coast---it's very small, in comparison to the other
countries. And here's a map of
showing all its districts.
see the town here, called
That's near where Jennifer lives, near a farm called Kapua Kokoo, in the west of
the country. Jennifer's family help to grow cocoa-beans, which are used to make
cocoa---and something else that most of us like to eat: chocolate! Cocoa-growing
is very important in
it produces more than 48,000 metric tonnes of high-quality cocoa a year; employs
more than 3 million farmers and workers, and has 865,000 smallholder farms.
was 8 years old, her family wanted her to go to school, but there was a
problem---there wasn't a school in her village, and that meant that Jennifer had
to leave home, because the nearest school was two hours' drive away, on very bad
roads. Jennifer's school was built of mud; the roof leaked, and the children
only had rickety benches to sit on. School only lasted for 2 or 3 hours---and,
before you say that sounds good---that's because, afterwards, the children had
to go and work on the cocoa-farms, to help their parents and earn money for
their families. Jennifer was lucky; many children in Ghana never go to school;
their parents can't afford the costs, uniforms or books, so the children never
learn to read or write. Thanks to Fair Trade, a new school was built in
Jennifer's village, within walking-distance of her house, so she was able to go
back home, eventually. But she still had to work on the farm, after school! Once
she finishes school, Jennifer wants to train as a nurse, so that she can help to
look after the health of the people in her village.
If you lived
like Jennifer, it would be very different from Bury. For a start, it's four and
a half thousand miles away! Your house would probably be a round mud hut, with a
thatched roof; it wouldn't have running water---you'd have to fetch that in a
bucket, from the nearest well or stream; it might be a long way away, and not
very clean; you probably wouldn't have a toilet, or a bath, in your house,
either. If you were ill, there wouldn't be a doctor to go to, or a shop where
you could buy medicine; in fact, there wouldn't be any shops; if there was
something you needed, you'd have to wait until market-day, and then travel quite
a long way to the nearest market. Worst of all, I suspect, for you, would be
that there wouldn't be electricity in your house, or, even, in your village---no
television, no phone, no computer! So, everything we take for granted, people in
won't necessarily be able to access.
life is hard; on average, people earn £325.00 a year, which isn't very much.
Compare that with this: every person in the
spends £72 a year (nearly a quarter of what people in
are paid!) on chocolate alone, and children here buy chocolate about 4 times a
week! If you want to help children like Jennifer have better lives, then look
for chocolate, and other items, with the Fair Trade logo on them. It would make
such a difference to youngsters like Jennifer, who, in turn, can help all the
people who live in their country. I hope you'll look again at the pictures and
remember Jennifer and all the improvements Fair Trade has made to her life."
written and delivered by Anne Mills, Chairman of the Congregation.
FAITH WORTH THINKING ABOUT
click here for a free download