A Voice for Justice: Students go mining and dig out some valuable lessons

February 3, 2014
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

Who knew that a cookie could teach so much! This year, as part of our campaign A Voice for Justice calling for an ombudsman for responsible mining, we gave students the opportunity to understand the realities faced by communities in the Global South when a mining company doesn’t respect their rights. How? By mining cookies!

In this activity, students were given a chocolate chip cookie on which they built a small house, a garden and a river out of modeling clay. Then, another student “mined” the land by trying to remove the chocolate chips with a toothpick within a certain amount of time. The students quickly discerned that it was difficult to get the chips out without affecting the house and the environment, in the same way communities could be displaced or their water sources could be contaminated by a mine.

The activity allowed the students to SEE the ecological and human impacts of mining, to JUDGE the situation through the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and to ACT in solidarity. As a way to show this solidarity, the students wrote messages or drew pictures that expressed their concern for their brothers and sisters in the Global South who are negatively impacted by mining.

This activity has been taking place in schools across the country thanks to the Voice for Justice Youth Activity Guide. Some students sent us the results of their reflection, which reveal wonderful creativity, imagination and compassion. Take a look at a slideshow which features some of the solidarity messages and images produced by the students after doing the cookie mining.

It is not too late to participate in this activity! If you would like copies of the Youth Activity Guide so that you can lead the activity with a group of students or youth, order it by calling our office at 1-888-234-8533 or download the activity from our website.