By acknowledging the EU’s citizens responses to the EU Barometer (2013) questionnaire, it was established that the majority of the EU population feels that supporting and strengthening developing countries should be within the EU’s top priorities. The year 2015 was therefore established by the European Union as the European Year for Development – EYD 2015, where for the first time EU’s actions are consciously directed towards the worldwide development and support of the Global South, in order to empower individuals and families throughout the world and radically improve their lifestyles. Several ways through which such an objective can be reached are the implementation of fair trade policies, equal human right regulations, shedding light on the global interdependencies and eradication of exploitation of farmers in the global south. The Global Education Unit of the Future Worlds Center is currently involved in some projects that are being realized in line of the EYD 2015.
Map Your Meal is 3-year EuropeAid funded project, under the leading role of Future Worlds Center (Cyprus), and along with another 4 European partners from Austria (Sudwind), Bulgaria (C.E.G.A), Greece (Fair Trade Hellas), and the United Kingdom (CDEC). Primarily, the project aims to enable consumers to trace the origins of their food by scanning the barcode of a product using a mobile application; bringing consumers closer to the production process, and assisting them in understanding the conditions and standards producers work in. The project aspires to highlight the vast extent of global interdependencies, on a personal, national and international level (i.e. consumer – producer). The activities envisioned are purposely crafted to raise awareness about sustainability, equity, global justice and global interdependencies, in young people, youth workers/trainers, community educators, and the general public. The project aspires to generate a strong and active coalition of citizens promoting human rights, equity, and sustainable ways of living, which will in turn have a positive impact on the quality of lives of farmers, producers and their families.
Supply Cha!nge is 3-year EuropeAid funded project under the lead of Christliche Initiative Romero (CIR) in Germany, along with 17 EU member state partners and 5 partners from Non-EU countries and 10 sub-grantees from rest EU countries. Through a variety of activities and awareness campaigns, the project aims to inform 25 million European citizens about sustainability, production and consumption patterns in all 28 EU member states during the EYD 2015. Specifically, the optimum goal is to influence the general public, decision makers and major supermarket managers to transform their brand name supply lines into sustainable. Through its activities, the project will encourage European citizens to take responsibility for demanding from policy makers to introduce sustainability to major supermarket supply chains and to be active in decisions that foresee constant sustainable growth in an interdependent world by demanding Fair Trade regulations, sustainable and responsible corporate business practices and credible certification schemes.
Through these projects we are hoping to add a small but substantial milestone towards the overall improvement of the target groups in developing countries. It is our common duty as global citizens to embrace the fact of global interconnectedness and realize that our actions and beliefs, whether conscious or unconscious, are not limited to a personal or national level; they affect our collective input on a global level.