IT’S a case of several small steps could make a giant leap at one school where boys and girls have created hundreds of footprints to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.
Almost 400 youngsters at St Paul’s Catholic Primary in Paulsgrove have coloured in individual footprints to make a trail to their local Co-op store, which stocks Fairtrade products to support farmers in developing countries.
The schoolchildren are combining this initiative with Lent so that rather than fasting, their families are committing to buying Fairtrade products.
Anna Lucia Navato, 10, who chairs the school council, said: ‘I’m incredibly proud of all the children at St Paul’s who are supporting the Fairtrade movement.
‘It’s so important because it’s about improving the lives of people in poor communities who work very hard to put food on our shelves but struggle to feed their own families as they don’t get paid enough.
‘I hope we can make a difference to their lives and that we inspire people in the area to buy Fairtrade products not just now, but for life.’
Aimee Joyce, eight, said: ‘We’re part of a Catholic community which is very caring, and we have a responsibility – not just to people in Paulsgrove but also to people across the world who need help.
‘Even though Fairtrade products are more expensive, it’s important we buy them and support the people who produce ingredients.
‘I love chocolate and I’m prepared to pay extra every time if it means the farmers get a fair price.’
Aron Pascal, 11, and Tia Aqualina, four, won the competition for best footprint and were rewarded with baskets filled with Fairtrade goodies.
Aron said: ‘I filled my footprint with pictures of bananas, coffee, chocolate and other Fairtrade products and I made it very bright to make it stand out. It’s such an important cause and I feel very proud to have won.
‘People always look for bargains in shops but it would be nice if they stopped to think that spending a bit more would do a lot of good to hard-working people across the world.’
Taki Jaffer, the school’s community liaison officer, said he was very encouraged by the level of enthusiasm from the youngsters.
He said: ‘These children are taking Fairtrade seriously and their commitment gives us all a lot of hope for the future.’
n Pictured on the front page, from left, are: Amalicia Navato, Aime Joyce, Aron Pascal, Sandra Dennies, Kasey Chappel, Tia Aqualina, Sony Smith, Jack Pinhorne and Callum Deacon