“The trinket sale covers a lot of what is required in the curriculum,” says Renate Bach. The teacher and her third- and fourth-graders get involved in selling the trinkets every year. “The children get practice in dealing with numbers and they can sell something and learn through experience what it means to manage money.” But what is even more valuable, she says, is that “it’s a wonderful lesson in social skills. They make contact with people, communicate and do something for those who are worse off than we are.” This is why Renate Bach has been running trinket sales for 41 years. She has taught at the Rütti primary school in Gstaad for 37 years. In her experience, most children areally enjoy taking part. “The feeling that even they can already make a difference gives them confidence. And they learn that helping is fun.”

“And they get something back,” says Renate Bach. 10 percent of the trinket sale income may be kept for the class treasury. “Every year we use this money for a one-day trip, for example to the museum in Bern.” This is an additional motivation for the children, she says.


Renate Bach, teacher

“The feeling that even they can already make a difference gives the children confidence. And they learn that helping is fun.”

Renate Bach is also a fan of the annually changing trinkets: “It’s lovely that they are products made by the people in the SWISSAID project countries themselves. That’s more fun than selling some matchbox or a cheap ballpoint pen,” she says and with a laugh.

In November 2019, Renate Bach had the chance to take her class to the Federal Parliament. Federal Councillor Simmonetta Sommaruga welcomed her and three other classes who had taken part in the trinket sale – as a thank-you to the children for their hard work and as a reward for teachers like Renate Bach, who have been working for SWISSAID with joy and passion for decades.