Fair, Aware and Engaged

Photo taken by students from Zespół Szkół Handlowych in Katowice during Fair Trade 2014 event. [Photo taken by students from Zespół Szkół Handlowych in Katowice during Fair Train 2014 event.]

Project description

Fair, Aware and Engaged. Creating foundations for the Fair Trade Schools campaign is a nationwide educational and engaging pilot project related to social injustice and economic discrimination in the globalized supply chains.

Project partners

Fairtrade Česko a Slovensko (Czechy)

Drustvo Humanitas

TVU Mondo

Fair Trade á Íslandi

Project objective

We want to raise students’ awareness about working conditions in the countries of the South; develop consumer awareness and citizen attitudes, engage children and young people to campaign for a fairer world; re-engage student bodies and students cooperatives to work towards responsible consumption.

Our hope is to build foundations for the regular Fair Trade Schools campaign which is needed to affect choices of future consumers. We assumed that within the project framework we will be able to co-ordinate educational activities in 40 Polish schools.

Project stages

The project implements the following elements:


This project needs campaigners and educators since managing activities in 40 schools located all over Poland is impossible without a team. So our first activity was to get in touch with KSH founders to introduce them to the project and deepen our relationships with them.

Promoting Fair Trade in schools In order for to support teachers with practical tools we created two publications on Fair Trade for use in schools. The first one is a teachers’ guide. It has 90 A4 pages (initially we planned to provide 40) and contains a thorough description of Fair Trade as well as 4 very detailed lesson plans to engage students in the classroom.
Here’s the publication’s TOC:

Promoting Fair Trade in school canteens The second publication, also in A4 format, contains 28 pages of content (against 20 initially planned). We use it to show how to introduce Fair Trade products in school canteens, how to display and market them and even include Fairtrade stickers to cut out and use.

Here’s the publication’s TOC:

Both publications were done in-house (source files are in Adobe InDesign 6), printed and made available online in full color and grayscale (the latter more friendly for home printers).


At this stage we asked our partner NGOs to help us man the project. Then we prepared a mailing sent to around 10,000 schools in Poland. The result exceeded our expectations – over 90 schools registered for the project. We had to narrow our choice to 40 of them. During recruitment we put a special emphasis on young people at risk of marginalization, including people with disabilities, living in rural areas and small towns as we believe schools from such regions have fewer opportunities to take part in projects. We also examined their level of knowledge, existing commitment and ability to implement the project tasks.

The +40 schools which did not make it into the project were invited to be on a waiting list. The waiting list serves two purposes. First, if any of the 40 selected schools had to back away, schools on the waiting list could replace them. Secondly, the schools on the waiting list are also being informed about project’s progress but are not given the same level of support.

For the actual mailing we used phpList software which allows us to track information such as how many recipients opened the message and how many clicked the links in it.

The registration form was a Google Docs spreadsheet into which all data was collected. This or similar solution is recommended because you have all the data in one place and you are able to quickly compile a list.


For training we organise both seminars and webinars. Last year in October we ran two seminars in Kraków, inviting as participants our partner NGOs and teachers interested in this subject. However, the primary purpose of the seminars was to help NGO representatives prepare for going to schools with Fair Trade lectures. Participants were also trained how to make their presence in schools interesting and interactive. Below you can find 3 presentations from the seminars (in Polish).

In between the seminars we also organised two webinars for the teachers. We invited teachers both from the project list as well as the ones who are on the waiting list. Each webinar was repeated three times to make it easier for the teachers to take part. The first webinar was an introduction to the project so that the teachers know what to expect, what their tasks are going to be and what support they can count on.

The second seminar was devoted to describing what Fair Trade is and how best to present Fair Trade in schools.

Since we support teachers from around 90 schools we decided that for such a big group simple communication tools such as skype are going to be inadequate and therefore we purchased a monthly access to one of the many available webinar systems – in our case it was www.clickmeeting.pl.

Campaigning in schools

For the direct project recipients it is the most intensive phase and includes activities for students in 40 schools run by teachers and representatives of Fair Trade organisations. Students are going to prepare and conduct activities related to the World Fair Trade Day (WFTDay – Saturday 2 May 2015), the Global Education Week (TEG – the third week of November 2014 and 2015) and the World Consumer Rights Day (15/03/2015 and 03/15/2016).

In order to extend the project influence to a wider groups of school employees, all active 40 schools received Fair Trade products to organise a Fair Trade Breakfast for the school personnel. At the same time our representatives (workers from our partner NGOs) were sent to these schools to run activities related to Fair Trade and global education.

Prior to each important event, such as a representative visit, Global Education Week or the World Consumer Rights Day, all project participants received relevant mailing with ideas for student engagement and simple promotional tools such as banners (see banners for Global Education Week and World Consumer Rights Day – banners for World Fair Trade Day are in the making), QR codes to be placed on any print-outs etc. The QR codes contain links to relevant web pages.

Our main campaign website which runs on one of the open-source platforms contains all the resources we prepare – mailings contain only a summary of suggested activities.

Sample ideas

Engaging and motivating

szpdsh-dyplom-piatkowska-screen-450 In order to increase student engagement schools are encouraged to apply for the Fair Trade School title. You can see a sample Fair Trade School certificate on the right. Another way we engage students is by organising a competition on the best presentation of the campaigns conducted by students. To make it easier for students, we prepared a simple PowerPoint template with suggested sections to complete.

Evaluating and sharing results

We encourage feedback to be shared with us via the campaign website (this website). When we ask teachers to share what they are planning to do in relation to a given event (or to report what they did), we always use a webpage with a Google Docs form which teachers complete. The same is true when we organise surveys. We carried out a survey of the two above mentioned publications by using Google Docs solutions as it makes it very easy to analyse results later.

In 2016 we are planning to organise a seminar to summarize the project for all the stakeholders (teachers, partners and NGOs). The seminar will also be accompanied by a project report with a presentation of good practices (40 pp, A4 color).

During the project we are regularly verifying Fair Trade Schools criteria as well as procedures and documents related to Fair Trade Schools campaign.

Project results

Our broad goal for this pilot project is to test our Fair Trade Schools campaign to be able to fully implement it once all details will have been finalised and polished.

We want to increase student economic knowledge on unfair trade relations in the globalized supply chains so that they know why Fair Trade is needed in the first place.

We also hope that young people from 40 schools will acquire knowledge and practical citizen skills in order to use them through participation in public life and initiatives for the local community and in local governments. Students will be encouraged to volunteer for the common good through the Fair Trade Schools campaign in order to promote responsible consumption, making young people sensitive to their rights as consumers and the right of producers in the global South.

Embedding banners

Here are some banners we would like to ask you to embed on your websites to help us promote the project. Thank you very much in advance!

Banner 125 x 125 px

Fair, Aware and Engaged
The code for copying and pasting:

Banner 160 x 500 px

Fair, Aware and Engaged
The code for copying and pasting:

Banner 750 x 200 px

Fair, Aware and Engaged
The code for copying and pasting: