Certified Fair Trade Education!

Fair Trade Education

Image credits: Eco educational

I know, the title may look awkward, yet the intention is unchanged: don’t we need Fair Trade Education?

During a morning ride to work, I thought of this situation where, we the populations who live in relatively privileged countries, regions and continents; we did some remarkable actions towards the less rich populations, our governments contributed to health and care programs, the united nations various organizations, some NGOs are actively on the filed providing active help, the fair trade certification to favour small and limited in resources local producers, coffee, agricultural products, and many other ways to help native producers are implemented every day in most of places where allowed and welcomed. This trend is booming and moving forward, hopefully these will also one day reach the social practices, not only a « help when needed » initiative, but rather getting into deeper to the roots of the happening of such difficulties: knowledge and education.

 Provide to the young generations all the means to take control of their destiny and reduce the importance of external help, such generations creating all the conditions to own their own solutions, adapt any existing technology into their geographic and social locations, thus contributing to the social wellness humanity is so keen on.

There is still a lot to do, maybe as a start we need to address such issues differently. Instead of sending goods and all chewed solutions, such may not be appropriate or adequate to suit the native living according to different cultural and geographical realities, we rather need to collaborate and share with them the real tools that would make them reach their own adapted social well-being and freedom from a never ending state of mind that makes them feel poor, unable to access to knowledge and always look at rich countries as dominant.

But what about education? Why aren’t there actions of the same nature and scope, education, sharing knowledge? I do not mean these limited and well-targeted initiatives from some religious-oriented programs and organizations who have – and this is totally normal – some hopes and obviously a hidden agenda to see these people they help, to adhere to the benefactor’s religious views. Why do we still need to think like conquerors, who own the ultimate wealth, and provide charity to poorer populations? My understanding and belief is to allow any human wherever he or she lives, to access to the wealth of education, such wealth preparing them to take their own destiny in their own hands.

We know how important and how critical is education and we also know how people who do not have access to such knowledge, can become, behave and feel towards rich nations. Knowledge and education owners know perfectly well the challenges can this wealth drag entire generations to negative outcomes. Do we need to elaborate about the young kids who are forced to fight in other’s wars, or the children who are obliged to slavery-labour in factories, or underground mines just to make corporate richer and wealthier? How could we address these nations with advice on ruling their own countries, asking them to establish justice and democracy when we prevent them to freely access to knowledge and education? I think these are the true and real challenges, and the responsibility falls on the ones (us in fact who live in developed regions of the world) who own knowledge and the means to share it with the less fortunate ones.

Some may think that these new solutions such as open online courses (the MOOCs) allow everyone to access to knowledge that I agree, yes it is true, provided the people who need the most these courses can access to a low level of technology (A computer and a connection to the Web) I would say, provided they can afford to have electricity… and further more …

If we need to be helpful, we need to provide all what it takes to make our help initiative profit the people we want to help. I would not like to criticize things for the principle of criticizing, but I would rather hope that we wake up from our self-centered comfort and for one 1 minute in a day, a week, a month or a year, we put ourselves in the same shoes of those who need us. It is only ONE (1) minute of our time, if we can afford such for the sake of human kind…

How can we help? I think solutions can be found closer than we think. Imagine if every night we turn off our Laptops, tablets and other devices we do not need, because we simply sleep? This will save the consumption of internet servers, online services this extra, this information is based on a real survey that was conducted some 2 or 3 years ago about how much of these essential resources we could save for the benefit of other countries. Besides if we don’t know what to do the rest of the world, let us start with our own, our communities, and our own children who have no access to higher education, because they simply cannot afford it… Let us live realistic things and learn by example how we could share our knowledge and education with others the close and the far ones…

Be assured I am not a dreamer, I am simply sad to see we always project our lack of initiatives to excuses we always put in the midst that in appearance look very logical but in fact can be surrounded. If I look at my social connections, the virtual and real ones, I am connected to around 18000 persons, who are connected to other thousands, let us pass the idea, and let us be creative in our close communities. Living solutions by example, will help figuring out solutions. There are thousands of success stories that can inspire us, and by the way we do not need to wait until such times Christmas and New Year to think about that, it is an opened around the year project… One minute a day is that so much asking from ourselves to make a difference?

2013 is closing, 2014 will be knocking at our doors soon, could we add this idea to our New Year resolution’s list? One minute to offer to our kinds a minute of certified fair trade solidarity!

Michel – December 16, 2013

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