Learning for Justice: A Victorian Initiative

St Mary of the Angels Justice

On 8th February 2023, the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, Pope Francis instigated a global ‘year of action by young people’ – an opportunity for young people to raise their voices to make a real difference for a fairer world. In response, a group of Victorian ACRATH Members devised its Learning for Justice Project. Its aim was for secondary school students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of a human trafficking issue and determine an appropriate action that they would commit to taking.

ACRATH is a member network within a global network called Talitha Kum. Talitha Kum is committed to the protection, empowerment and healing of victim survivors of human trafficking. Our Learning for Justice Project has given students an opportunity to be part of a global movement of young people – culminating in a series of special events on 8th February 2024.

Students at one of the involved schools, St Mary of the Angels Secondary College in Nathalia, examined the issue of slavery free coffee. They uncovered the reality of trafficking in coffee production and responded creatively, investigating available slavery free coffee brands and offering their teachers and peers a coffee tasting session. Their aim was to introduce the most popular brand of slavery free coffee throughout the school. They produced a video highlighting their learnings and showcasing their coffee tasting session. Colleen Jackson and I were delighted to be able to visit the students and their teacher Ruth Bakogianis to acknowledge and applaud their impressive work on their Coffee Project, culminating in the formal introduction of Jasper Coffee across the school. We were truly impressed by the knowledge and conviction displayed by these young people and their effective actions to address the injustice of human trafficking.

Marguerite Buckley
VIC Region Co-coordinator.

If readers wish to read an article about this in the St Mary of the Angels’ College newsletter, the link is: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15z4xTCR0VXq7CbZHhZ1Yk_0jFkxmmr8Q/view