WHEN IT IS NOT ONLY THE INDIVIDUAL WHO ACT
To consolidate ecological and social awareness in retail, a vocational school in Hannover has placed fair trade at the center of its training. There will no longer be any unfair trade with these students.
“How can you not care about the condition in which a product reaches the shelf?” says the aspiring retailer, his voice rising high and gesturing frantically with his colorfully tattooed arms. The words that Sven Seidensticker then finds to explain the lack of knowledge and ignorance of countless consumers are equally unequivocal. First you have to find a lot of enthusiasm for something in a vocational school. But 25-year-old Sven, a student at BBS Handel, the vocational school in the Hannover region, works hard. And Veli Balli, 29, who studies at REWE and discusses much more calmly, also praises the fair trade roses from her employer’s range with concrete data: “They last much longer, smell wonderful and only cost 3!49 euros !” It almost seems as if Veli has forgotten that he is sitting at a gray table in a bare classroom and that he doesn’t have to sell anything. Young people should tell them about their project Hannover acts fairly. But they obviously internalized the learning units on the topic and developed a real enthusiasm for fair trade.
BBS Handel has been committed to the issue of sustainability for a long time and has also formulated it in its declaration of principles. The demands of the Agenda 21 adopted in Rio in 1992 do not always want to be left in the hands of others. And faithful to the principle “think globally – act locally”, she feels identified, wants to participate and assume responsibilities. This requires energetic people – like Hans Georg Grahle, who says of himself that he acts because there is no alternative. And as a teacher, he feels obliged to contribute practical content to pedagogy and inspire his students for a significant cause. He recalls: “Most of the work on the project Hannover acts fairly was done in the first two years.” Because, in addition to looking for cooperation partners, the didactic foundations had to be developed.
Not all colleagues had the door open to the interdisciplinary and action-oriented project, which was supposed to have a very specific professional and social relevance. However, director of studies Grahle and his team were not deterred: “We wanted to impart professional skills that combine specialized skills with general human and social skills.” A target from Hannover acts fairly< a i=2> is, therefore, to inform consumers about fair trade products and increase sales of “good” goods compared to “bad” goods. But it is much more important to offer young people the experience that it can really be worth developing a social and professional commitment. And this aspect is especially important for Grahle: “Students get much more excited about something that makes sense. And because they can apply their knowledge immediately, the experience is especially valuable.
A preparation team of seven teachers and two students sat down, planned the event down to the last detail and, in long meetings, developed the teaching materials that everyone uses today. In class, students first learn a lot of technical knowledge: “Responsibility towards people and nature, controlled trade, resource consumption – – this is really stuff challenging for most students, says experienced Professor Grahle. The fact that economic interests must be in harmony with ecological considerations and social justice to protect and preserve life on our planet makes the future profession appear in a completely new light for many of the students. Like Sven, for example, who previously felt helpless and helpless and now loudly demands social justice and denounces the negligent use of raw materials in our throwaway society. Of course, he always chooses a fair trade product when he has the choice.
In role-playing games and simulations, potential sellers practice answering questions such as: Where can I get fair trade products? What does fair trade really mean? And how can I be sure it’s not mislabeling? But of course they also learn to react to resistance and misunderstanding, for example when it comes to rising prices of fair goods. You will learn the guidelines of fair trade, the TransFair association and the Fairtrade– Know the seal. The practical implementation of what has been learned is carried out during the Fair Week, which is national and annual in scope. Students are then sent to shops, cafes and restaurants. “More than 400 students work for a week as fair trade and product agents in more than 50 companies,” director Joachim Kreter proudly reports. “Without the participation of numerous Hannover branches of large retail chains such as EDEKA and REWE, the campaign could not take place.”
Although cooperation costs valuable time on a daily basis, more and more companies seek to contact BBS Handel. After all, the project has caused quite a stir in recent years and has also attracted the attention of the media: in 2010 it received the Hermann award for the teaching material, which also is made available to other Vocational Schools as free software: Schmidt Prize awarded by the Bonn Vocational Training Institute. Grahle is especially happy about this “because it is proof of pedagogical and didactic quality.” But the other awards also make his heart race: in 2010 he received the Fairtrade Award from TransFair. < association /span>Education for Sustainable Development< /span> by the German Commission for UNESCO immediately afterwards. and in 2011 it was re-elected as the Official Project of the Decade of the United Nations,
The last laurels that the federal president gave them personally are still fresh: in the contest All for ONE WORLD for all , the federal president Joachim was the winner. In June 2012, Gauck defined BBS Handel as a particularly committed school. “I got goosebumps,” reports Edina Resulbegovic, 18, who was allowed to accompany her teacher Grahle to the Bellevue Palace and who is otherwise enthusiastic about other idols. “The federal president seemed totally relaxed and shook everyone’s hand.” Naturally, these awards motivate students. And they make life easier for organizer Grahle: “With the prize money we can now at least buy some chocolate bars and give them away at the campaign stand.”