25 September 2003

Young Christians to witness first hand injustice of world trade rules

The impact of the injustices of trade rules are to be witnessed first hand in a MAYC World Action fact-finding trip to Ghana next month. Taking part in the visit - which takes place in the wake of the collapse of world trade talks in Cancun - are two winners of a young people's writing competition.

Cheap US subsidised rice has flooded the market in Ghana, causing farms to close and putting many rice farmers into desperate poverty - unable to compete. Lizzie Jeans, World Action Co-ordinator, said: "This is what the recent World Trade Organisation talks in Mexico were all about - not jargon and committees but life and death, the wealthy causing poverty."

The MAYC World Action trip to Ghana in October includes the winners of a young people's writing competition, London student Chris Cornell and Essex youth leader Anna Brett - as well as President of the Black Methodist Youth Conference Winnie Gasa from Leicester, JMA Secretary Steve Pearce, and Ms Jeans. The three young people will report on their experiences in Ghana. They hope the stories they tell will encourage others to support the Trade Justice campaign.

Ms Brett, 25, said ' It's really exciting to have the opportunity to help raise awareness of an issue that's so important. Trade Justice is something that we should all be campaigning for, and it will be a privilege to be able to help in a small way. I'm looking forward to how meeting the farmers will bring the reality of international trade home to me. I'm sure it will have a great impact on my life'.

The President of the Methodist Conference, the Rev Dr Neil Richardson congratulated the competition winners, saying: "Efforts like this demonstrate clearly that young people are taking a lead in raising their voices about the damage that world trade rules are doing. We should all be as enthusiastic. I look forward to reading their eye-witness accounts and hope these will change hearts and minds on an issue vital to our common humanity."

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