Materials for Activity
- Fair trade chocolate (See Global Exchange website for a list of fair trade chocolate suppliers.)
- Marshmallows (Vegan marshmallows available from Vegan Essentials.)
- Graham crackers
- A gas stove, preferably a portable camping stove
- Optional: Information about chocolate, slavery, and fair trade (see links in Preparation for Activity, below)
- Optional: Materials to make a Fair Trade Chocolate display: poster board; markers; scissors; tape or glue sticks; Fair Trade chocolate packaging; downloaded pictures or magazines to cut up for pictures
Preparation for Activity
- Learn about modern-day slavery used to produce chocolate and find out which producers offer Fair Trade chocolate. Read a Fortune magazine article that illuminates the relationship between international chocolate production and modern slavery. On the Stop Chocolate Slavery website, find a list of dozens of brands of chocolate produced without slavery.
- Investigate an organization to whom you can donate proceeds, if you will make this event a fundraiser.
- Work together with your minister, religious educator, and/or social action committee to plan your Fair Trade Chocolate & S'mores event. Look for a launch date that coincides with worship and congregational action plans that focus a relevant theme, such as modern day slavery, child slavery, or fair trade. Identify and arrange to use a gas stove or an outdoor fire pit location where you will be able to stage and supervise safe S’mores-making. Publicize the event in your congregation and the larger community. Invite your minister to preach about fair trade efforts during a worship service prior to your sale.
- Find a source of Fair Trade chocolate you can sell as a fundraiser. Check out Equal Exchange.
- Enlist children to help sell chocolate and adult volunteers to supervise making S'mores.
- Work with children to create an informative poster or display about fair trade chocolate.
- Set up table with fair trade chocolate and poster/display.
- Set up S'mores ingredients by gas or camp stove.
- Optional: Identify someone in your congregation or a neighboring congregation who has been involved in international anti-slavery or child advocacy or fair trade work. Arrange a time for them to speak to the children or the entire congregation. Be sure they understand the age range they will be addressing.
Description of Activity
Engage the whole congregation to learn about modern-day slavery and encourage children to work for justice by choosing to consume Fair Trade chocolate and educating others to do the same. You may wish to sell Fair Trade chocolate to raise funds for an anti-slavery or international child advocacy organization.
Before the S'mores event, sit down with the Love Will Guide Us group and explain in simple but honest language that slavery still exists in many parts of the world. You can say something like:
We learned about Harriet Tubman who knew that slavery was wrong and helped people escape from it. Because of the courage of people like Harriet Tubman, slavery is illegal all over the world. Nobody is allowed to own another person or make them work for free.
Even though it isn't allowed, slavery does still exist. There are people called traffickers who find someone who needs a job and trick them into coming to a place where they are forced to work without getting paid. They trick them by promising a good job. But it's a lie.
Before it is made into candy, chocolate comes from cocoa plants. Some chocolate companies buy chocolate from cocoa plantations that have slaves. Other chocolate companies will only sell chocolate that has been grown and harvested without slaves. That is called "Fair Trade chocolate."
Explain that you are going to work against slavery by selling Fair Trade chocolate and teaching other people about Fair Trade chocolate. Invite the children to ask questions. Answer simply but honestly, emphasizing that you are going to work together to stop modern-day slavery.
Host your Fair Trade Chocolate & S'mores event. Sell chocolates from your sales table and encourage buyers to look for Fair Trade chocolate whenever they shop. During the sale, enjoy Fair Trade S'mores together, made by heating the marshmallows on the skewers and eating them with Fair Trade chocolate in a graham cracker sandwich.
After the event, gather participants in a circle and process the activity with questions such as:
- I wonder if you learned something surprising or new today?
- I wonder how you felt to learn that some of the chocolate you might eat could have a connection to slavery? How do you feel about chocolate being harvested by people who are forced to work for no pay?
- I wonder if there is anything more we can do, to continue our work to end slavery?
Including All Participants
Be aware of vegetarians and vegans in your congregation and people with food allergies, sensitivities, and medical restrictions. If any of the children are diabetic or allergic to chocolate, provide an alternate treat for them to enjoy. Most marshmallows are made with animal products, so, for vegetarians/vegans, obtain vegan marshmallows. Vegans can eat many dark chocolates that are made without dairy products.