College creates links with Ghana

TAKING an active interest in Fairtrade led to Rye College students making a trip Africa.

Last year saw the first exchange visit by Rye College to Presec, Tema, in Ghana.

This inaugural trip developed from students supporting the Fairtrade committee locally to gain Rye Fairtrade status.

Students in year 8 investigated, researched and debated the ethics behind the movement and used music, dance, drama and fine arts to express how they felt about Fairtrade issues, the products available and the countries that create the products.

From cocoa to bananas, shea butter to coffee, the images and colours of the products and the countries that produce them provided inspiration for students to create a carnival parade for the town.

Coffee beans, sugar cane and banana leaves became motifs in the dancers colourful skirts whilst producers became giant puppet characters exploring the tale between producers, farmers and the Fairtrade movement. Not only did Rye enjoy a celebratory carnival and become a Fairtrade town but Rye College became very interested in Ghana, Africa. Further investigation led to an idea to partner a school and learn more about Ghanaian life, its history and its rapidly developing economy.

In April 2011 a group from Rye College set off to Ghana to create a partnership with Presec Secondary School in Tema. The trip covered social and historical issues, explored geographical diversity and sealed a partnership between teachers and young people.

This is just the beginning says the College – further trips to Africa are planned, a British Council Grant is supporting a reciprocal grant for a teacher exchange to investigate sustainable energy and further fundraising is to be put in place to enable a trip for the Ghanaian students to come to visit Rye.

If you would like to know more, come and join an evening review of the trip to Ghana, meet the staff and students that launched the partnership and see the Fairtrade costumes created in the very beginning.

Footsteps to Ghana takes place on Friday March 2 at 7.30pm at Rye Learning Resouce Centre.