This piece was published in the December 2015 issue of the Prep News
As a Jesuit school, Rockhurst holds the ideal of commitment to justice. One way in which the school seeks to promote this ideal is through the Fair Trade Fair. This year, on December 9 and 10, Rockhurst held its 10th annual Fair Trade Fair.
Every year, the fair gives students an opportunity to browse and purchase various items made by individuals from impoverished or developing countries. Some of these items include unique jewelry, such as coffee-bean necklaces, handmade clothing, crafts, authentic coffee and chocolate.
A couple of the major goals of Fair Trade are to take into account the workers behind the products and the environment.
“Fair Trade is so important because it is about helping individuals and communities,” Mrs. Martha Drone said, Rockhurst Spanish teacher who sells crafts at the Fair Trade Fair. “It is a community effort. The money from this goes to communities and individuals who need it, not wealthy corporations.”
While proceeds go to people in impoverished countries, a major part of the Fair Trade Fair is what the Rockhurst community can gain from it.
“We want to educate people and build their awareness,” Mrs. Drone said . “But, the priority is to help ourselves and others. By being aware and participating in things like this, we help ourselves become better people.”
Along with items, pictures of the disadvantaged people who work to make them are included. This allows people to put a face to the things they are buying, which helps create a stronger sense of solidarity.
“The people are the most important part of the Fair Trade Fair,” Mrs. Drone said . “It allows us to place a face to the items and experiences of these impoverished people.”
As winter break approaches, the 10th annual Fair Trade Fair gives students an opportunity not only to purchase Christmas gifts for friends and family, but to strengthen their sense of awareness and compassion.