As part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2010, a nation-wide effort to promote fair trade that took place in February-March, young people from the City’s youth groups performed during the “Do something different” weekend at the Barbican Centre. The concert was the result of a series of workshops, led by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, during which young people, aged 10 to 19, composed music and lyrics about fair trade – both related to the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark, and about fair and ethical trade in a more general sense.
Juliet Colyer from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama rehearses with the younger youth group (10-13)
The actual performance was introduced by Ghanaian cocoa farmers Comfort Kumeah and Kojo Aduhene-Tano invited by Divine Chocolate. Amazed by the young people’ engagement, they explained why and how fair trade does make a difference in their everyday life, fostering social economic development at their community level. Divine Chocolate also collaborated with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in providing information on Fairtrade and handing out Divine Chocolates during the workshops and the concert.
Reverend George Bush, Chair of the City Fairtrade Steering Group and Comfort Kumeah and Kojo Aduhene-Tano, cocoa farmers from Ghana.
Young people from the City’s youth groups said they really enjoyed the experience, not only because of the opportunity to express their musical and creative talents but above all for what they learned about fair trade and how purchasing products bearing the FAIRTRADE Mark guarantees a fairer deal to small producers in developing countries.
Michael Goodey from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama leads the younger youth group (10-13) singing “Shelter from Rain”.
As Robert Wells from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama reports, “through this pilot project, an exciting collaboration has started between the Guildhall School and the City of London Youth Service. The young people involved in the project enjoyed themselves and were very much engaged musically and in writing words to the theme of fair trade. The final performance at the Barbican Centre was a great way for participants to showcase their creative work in an inspiring environment.”
This innovative project is the first of its kind to combine the expertise of the Guildhall School and the City’s youth services’ involvement to raise awareness about fair trade and could well lead to future collaborations.