Town launches fair trade bid
Dominic Bareham THE objective of the lesson was to teach children about global poverty on the day Great Yarmouth launched itself as a Fair Trade town.But it was not just the Edward Worlledge Middle School pupils who were gaining knowledge - Ivan Lewis, minister for international development, learned just how passionate the younger generation is about issues concerning others less fortunate than themselves.
THE objective of the lesson was to teach children about global poverty on the day Great Yarmouth launched itself as a Fair Trade town.
But it was not just the Edward Worlledge Middle School pupils who were gaining knowledge - Ivan Lewis, minister for international development, learned just how passionate the younger generation is about issues concerning others less fortunate than themselves.
The MP for Bury South joined Yarmouth MP Tony Wright on a visit to the Suffolk Road school to watch the youngsters taking part in a quiz, Race Against Global Poverty, which tests children aged 11 to 16 on their knowledge of world poverty.
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Multiple choice questions were asked, from which diseases had been eradicated from the world to how many people bought wristbands for the Make Poverty History campaign in 2005.
And the impressed former junior minister in the Department of Health said the pupils' enthusiasm dispelled the common misconception the young are selfish and don't think of others.
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He said: “It was brilliant to see the children so active and so enjoying the game. Obviously we want children and young people to learn more about what is going on in the real world and I think by using a game in this way it turns them on to learning. It excites them, but there is also an exciting message as well.”
The minister was interested to learn more about how the game worked after the school had downloaded it from the website of the Department for International Development.
Headteacher Dawn Kightly said the visit had been arranged through the school's good connections with Mr Wright and lessons had been tailored to a theme of sharing and of thinking about others.
The staff have also been trying to forge links with colleges in third world countries, such as India, but Mrs Kightly said this had proved difficult because of poor communications with places that did not have the internet.
The Oxfam shop in King Street, Yarmouth also welcomed Mr Lewis during his whistlestop tour to promote the town's Fair Trade credentials. The aim is to create a greater awareness of the plight of third world farmers by encouraging the town's retailers and businesses to sell and use Fair Trade products.
To become a Fair Trade town, the borough council would have to pass a Fair Trade resolution and support the campaign by serving Fair Trade tea and coffee at meetings and in its offices and canteens.
Mr Lewis said his visit was to support Mr Wright's campaign to get Yarmouth the same Fair Trade town status as neighbouring Lowestoft.
“If Yarmouth was successful, it would be great for the town and the contribution it is making and it would be great to get more people taking an active involvement in the Fair Trade campaign,” Mr Wright said.