Leyla and Niall attended Comhlámh’s Global Trade Justice Course last year, run by our Trade Justice member group. We had a brief chat about their experience
Why did you take the course?
Leyla: In early 2018, I was going through the Eventbrite website to see if there were any upcoming events that I would like to attend. Then I came across the Trade Justice course which was organised by the Comhlámh Trade Justice group. I have been interested in Fair Trade for a while and I had been doing some research on a project I wanted to start relating to international trade. I registered for the course because I wanted to learn more about the subject of Trade Justice.
Niall: When I signed up to attend the Trade Justice course, I was on the lookout for something new to do. I felt like my life and mind had been stagnating and I wanted a fresh challenge. I impulsively signed up online and committed myself to the 6-week course. I felt like it would be a mini-adventure, something to push me out of my comfort zone and towards learning about a new part of life.
What did you get out of it?
Leyla: I have certainly learned a lot doing the Trade Justice course. I have learned about the different international trade agreements and how they can negatively impact on us. The general public are not aware of these Trade Deals; for example CETA – EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement I have learnt about companies that are trying to produce their products by using conflict free minerals like Intel and Fairphone (https://www.fairphone.com/en/). I have learnt about a few NGOs and companies who are trying to make a difference, for example NU (sustainable fashion) (https://www.thenuwardrobe.com/) and Proudly Made In Africa
Niall: I went into each week of the course with a completely open and unassuming mind as to what I might learn. I learned about the need for Trade Justice, how trade inequality affects the world, how there is a great need for awareness in relation to this topic and that we can be empowered through knowledge.
I learned that there were entire sections of life that I had never consciously thought about and the Trade Justice course opened my mind to some of these things in a fun and engaging way.
Any other impacts?
Leyla: It has made me realise that I too can make a small difference and change the world order in my own little way. It has awakened a spirit of activism in me and I realised even as an immigrant, how important it is to be engaged in what’s going on in our political system. I also became aware of the different agreements that are put into laws that affect us all in one way or another. The Trade Justice course gave me hope that by educating one person at a time, we can help to empower each one of us to change the world for the better.
Niall: Attending this course gave me the opportunity to connect with a group of like-minded people that I may not have gotten the chance to know otherwise. I’ve been taken out of my social bubble and entered a group of differing opinions and viewpoints, a group that strives together towards the goals of equality and fairness for all. This course has pushed open the boundaries of my mind. It has allowed me to continually learn new things, to challenge some of my preconceived ideas of the world, to question the current structures of life, and to do all of the above in a fun, interactive and ambitious way.
Since the course has finished, I’ve had the opportunity to continue with the Trade Justice group and to engage with the group’s ongoing projects.
The Trade Justice course will be running again in the autumn 2019. For more information on the group click here