ONE WORLD LINKING Magazine Committed to supporting mutually beneficial partnership links between communities in the UK and other parts of the world
No. 77 Autumn 2013
Students at the Frontline Institute, Zimbabwe FEATURE - FAITH LINKS
Reports of York and Birmingham Conferences 1
This is, I’m afraid, a long awaited OWL—hopefully you will forgive me for such a gap! Things have become fairly frantic with a family and two jobs!
Contents and Editorial
It has been wonderful to read the stories from some of our Faith link members—we very much hope that our Community members will take up the opportunity to tell the membership about their work in the next edition.
Helping out in Paradise
Linking Conference ”Whither Linking” Birmingham 4
FEATURE— Faith Focussed Linking From Little Acorns ...
Some Reflective Thoughts
A plea—if you love reading OWL then please consider sending a thought, an article, a photo or perhaps suggest it to a colleague, friend or fellow linker. Have you read an interesting paper or found a great website? Share it with us! Holding an event? We would love to know. It’s only with articles that OWL can exist.
Berega Hospital, Tanzania
Sharing Our Stories
Looking for Partners
Sharon Sharon Leftwich-Lloyd
UKOWLA York Conference Report
UKOWLA Completes Transition to Voluntary After many years as a voluntary organisation, UKOWLA enjoyed a significant period of grant support and funded projects, requiring a paid (part time) Director and administrator, together with a full time worker on the Global Schools programme (GSP), supported by a board of voluntary Trustees.
UKOWLA as volunteers.
However, with the end of GSP last year and a big drop in funding opportunities, UKOWLA has (like other charities), had to reduce costs , meaning that we no longer have any paid staff at all and are very grateful to our Trustees, without whose voluntary efforts we would be unable to provide UKOWLA's services.
If you, or someone you know has an interest in UKOWLA's work, together with skills and experience to offer and a little time, we would like to hear from you. Please contact email@example.com Over the summer (since 1st April), Trustees have been settling into their new (voluntary) roles and have been pleased to maintain â€˜business as usualâ€™ at UKOWLA, albeit with a few delays initially. Going forward, we intend to continue to publish the OWL magazine and OWLET electronic newsletter, together with relevant workshops, conferences and access to support from a wide range of linking expertise. We are grateful to GLADE (Somerset Development Education Centre) who provided our paid resources ( Lynn Cutler Director and Sandra Aldworth - Accountant) over recent years and to Lynn and Sandra specifically, who are now supporting 3
UKOWLA's address continues to be : UKOWLA, The GLADE Centre, Resources for Learning, Parkway,
Somerset. TA6 4RL.
However, whilst our telephone number remains as 01278 439 347, please note that this will not be manned at all times. We would therefore ask members to make good use of the UKOWLA website www.ukowla.org.uk and communicate with us via email where possible on firstname.lastname@example.org, making it more efficient for us to log, handle and respond to your enquiries. We look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Kind regards, Averil Newsam
Linking Conference “Whither Linking” Birmingham 6th September 2013 Mike Smith is a Deputy Chair of UKOWLA This conference , jointly organised by BUILD and UKOWLA, following discussions with the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council, was organised to examine the climate in which all kinds of linking communities’ organisations are currently operating. As the invitation letter said, “The currently adverse social, political climate will, and in some cases already has, led to the demise of many community organisations whose members have done extraordinary work over many years – work that has changed many people’s lives for the better and contributed to a safer, more prosperous and just world for the next generation.” We are very familiar with the effects on UKOWLA. 24 people from 15 organisations attended the meeting to hear presentations from BUILD, UKOWLA (by our Chair Averil Newsam), Scotland-Malawi Partnership, Wales Africa Community Links, THET (Health Links), Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council and the British Council and to discuss the themes, suggested in the invitation, in the afternoon session chaired by Steve Curtis and Mike Smith of UKOWLA. The themes were: Where the community linking movement is at the moment What are the constraints – social, economic, political? Where we would like the movement to be in 5 year’s time How we might get there What resources will be required? Who will be our key allies? 4
Nick Maurice of BUILD introduced the day’s work and themes and John Whittaker, Chair of BUILD, summed up at the end. In the presentations it was clear that there were quite stark differences in perceptions of support and prospects, with Scotland and Wales prospering and effective because of actual and tacit government support for their work and the building of a national linking infrastructure. THET described a growing programme and the British Council, despite financial constraints, was maintaining a range of programmes, some of them newly developed, to take account of Government policies. It appears that general linking support organisations such as BUILD, UKOWLA, CYEC as well as others, including more local bodies, have been the worst hit. Whilst agreeing that more inter-organisational cooperation would be beneficial to all and the “cause”, the benefits of linking in the world as it is now (UKOWLA was founded over 25 years ago), needed to be made plainer to Government and to other potential funders and contributors so evidence of impact was needed. It was agreed that the linking movement needs clarity of view, a single goal for all, a ‘manifesto’ to convince anyone. The manifesto is being prepared, with contributions from others, by Nick Maurice and a full report is in preparation. A strategy for their use needs to be worked out.
(Acknowledgement: Administration of the conference was carried out by BUILD)
NOTICEBOARD GUIDE TO LINKING: a Practical Guide to Establishing and Sustaining International Links
York One World Linking Association (YOWLA) produced this 37-page A5 booklet in 2012, with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The purpose was to help people from in and around York, who are interested in international understanding and co-operation, learn how YOWLA’s partnership organisations developed their links with various communities overseas. The advice contained in the booklet is based on consultations with these groups, and the final section consists of case studies of these organisations.
The booklet was on display at the UKOWLA conference in York on 16th March, for delegates to take away. Further copies are available for any member of UKOWLA at a token price of £1 plus postage. Please email email@example.com. Cheques should be made out to YOWLA, and posted to Mary Machen, 21 Neville Street, York YO31 8NP.
New Research paper from Institute of London 2013 sees The Development Education Research Centre (DERC) at The Institute of Education, London (IOE) publish their tenth research report —’School Linking— Where Next? Partnership Models between Schools in Europe and Africa by Doug Bourne and Olga Cara. All papers are available for download online at—http:// www.ioe.ac.uk/research/4502.html#ResearchPapers
Winter 2014 Owl The next edition of Owl will have a special feature about COMMUNITY links or community projects within links. Please email us your news on this topic. 5
Helping out in Paradise – Uganda’s Ssese Islands Liz Humphreys is Director of Help for Children in Uganda
White sands, palm trees, waves lapping the shore, tropical forests with families of vervet monkeys and a multitude of exotic birds and butterflies – paradise! This is one side of the Ssese Islands of Uganda’s Lake Victoria.
But there is a darker side. The fishing communities are made up of young men from all parts of the country, away from the taboos and restrictions of family life, and young women earning a living through prostitution. The men move around the 84 islands with the fish shoals and often leave a pregnant girl behind. HIV/AIDS is rife and many children are born with the virus. Surveys show that prevalence is 27%, nearly 5 times the national average. Locally it is claimed to be much higher. Health care is inadequate with no hospital and only health centres to serve the entire District. The islands are one of the neglected areas when it comes to Government services.
With no electricity and running water outside the main town (and those are somewhat sporadic), employment is problematic and the main source of income, fishing, is facing a crisis from overfishing. The islands’ forests have been decimated by an illegal timber trade and the advent of the palm oil industry which has taken 16,000 acres of forest in the last 6 years. Out-growers have given up farm land to plant oil palm and are finding themselves without the expected income and without land to grow food.
The majority of the islands’ schools are government schools and grossly underfunded. Central government provides less than $1 per child per year. Teachers are reluctant to come to such a remote area where transport is unreliable and the cost of living is higher than elsewhere because of transport costs. Schools are usually understaffed and staff are frequently absent, seeing to families on the mainland or supplementing their small salaries with other businesses. Parents sending children to such schools have often had no education themselves and do not see the value of education. Teachers can feel unsupported by the communities they serve.
Help for Children in Uganda was set up in 2003 to assist the most vulnerable children of the islands to access education. Selected in primary school by the local councils and schools, they stay on the programme until they are able to earn a living. There are currently two at University and two at college. In the past they have graduated as hairdressers, tailors, caterers and mechanics. These are all children who would not have
received more than a very basic education at best.
We hope to establish schools links and possibly other links and are planning a study tour towards the end of 2013.
Initially, we had a residential facility, but children now board during the term and go to Anyone interested in finding out more: relatives in the holidays. During the term we keep in close contact with the schools and the firstname.lastname@example.org students visiting frequently. Two girls, who www.helpuganda.org.uk have no known relatives, stay with the Director or a married member of staff.
For the last 3 years, we have worked with two schools to try to improve their facilities. We have brought volunteers from UK and US to work in the classrooms and a UK organization has built playgrounds in both schools. Bringing the wider world to these children has proved immensely rewarding on both sides.
Global Learning Programme The GLP is a ground-breaking new programme which will create a national network of likeminded schools, committed to equipping their students to succeed in a globalised world by helping them to deliver effective teaching and learning about international development and global issues at Key Stages 2 and 3. Schools with outstanding practice in development education can apply for accreditation as GLP Expert Centres that will act as hubs for good practice to provide local, peer-led training and support for teachers. Each Expert Centre will establish a local network of between 15 and 23 partner schools and will host half-termly support meetings to help them to identify each schoolâ€™s particular training priorities and access the most appropriate funded professional development through the GLP website to meet their needs. Funding available for Expert Centre and their Partner Schools. Find out more http://globaldimension.org.uk/glp
FEATURE—FAITH LINKS From Little Acorns ... Linking and Inter-Faith work
Margaret Griffiths lives in Swindon; she worked as a volunteer promoting inter-faith work
Don’t undervalue the chance that brief meetings through links can bring! Several years ago I was a volunteer promoting Inter-Faith work in Swindon. I used to be invited to a group meeting in Marlborough led by the Marlborough Brandt Group. MBG had been challenged by the Bishop of Salisbury, David Stancliffe to get some InterFaith activity going in Marlborough and its surroundings, given their relationship with the Muslim community of Gunjur in West Africa. MBG was also beginning to establish relationships with Muslims in Swindon by taking friends from Gunjur to Friday prayers in the Mosque there. MBG invited people they thought could help, including a few from Swindon. I sat by Imran, an English Muslim convert whom I had never met. I am not sure whether those meetings had any lasting result in the Marlborough area – but some of us in Swindon have been very grateful for them. When I discovered how extensive Imran’s knowledge and understanding of Islam was, I began to send all my queries about Islam to him. (I remember my very hesitant emails – I was a woman, writing to a Muslim man! Would my questions offend such a devout Muslim? How should I greet him and how sign off?) Now, some years later, our family and Imran’s have built a lasting friendship and trust. Swindon’s Inter-Faith group has been enriched by Imran’s whole family’s participation. Above 8
all, for a couple of winters, we had a study group of 11 Muslims and Christians, sharing our beliefs and practices in deep trust. We worked with Hans Kung’s book: ‘Islam, Past, Present and Future’, all doing our preparation faithfully, using the book’s index to study stories common to the Qur’an and the Bible. *After an introductory session on ‘No world peace without peace between the religions,’ we started with our common ancestor Abraham, where we discovered that the Muslim story of Abraham’s ‘obedience test’ relates to Ishmael, but draws lessons familiar to us. Moving to the Trinity, and the position of Jesus, we came to a central difficulty of Muslims – are Christians really monotheistic? ‘Do you pray to Jesus or God?’ was a leading question. We really recommend this kind of study group if a small number can commit to meeting regularly and doing their homework. Once real trust is established, people can speak honestly without fear of giving offence. At this level, asking and accepting searching questions can result in increased mutual understanding and a deeper personal faith. We have been sad to see Imran and his family move to USA – but we know that they will share their Inter-faith experiences with their new friends. Just before leaving, Imran’s wife Irzana found time to write the following:
from Irzana I met Margaret and Vernon through my husband. I was instantly drawn to their sincere desire to build bridges between faiths, but nervous that I would be preached to sooner or later! I had a few bad experiences with some very excitable Christian
evangelicals many years prior when I was a student at Swindon College. I could not be more wrong and we have met many wonderful people through the Swindon Inter-faith (group). Margaret and Vernon have become our close friends and my children love to see them. Initially, I was a little worried about studying a book about Islam written by a Christian. However, Hans Kungâ€™s, â€˜Islamâ€™ was a joy to read, both with the group
and also on a personal level. I learnt more about Christianity than Islam! It made me more appreciative of my Christian brothers and sisters. The fact that I already knew the other Christians and Muslims in our study group made it easier and I doubt a study group like ours could stay together without the mutual trust and friendship we had developed over the years.
Some Reflective Thoughts Father Philip , Polesworth Abbey,
I think that I might not be the best person anyway to write about faith links, though it is interesting that our own parish link (within the Birmingham Diocesan Malawi Partnership) has just taken-off again after a couple of years when it's been difficult to keep in close contact. The reason was a new appointment and then loss on email at the Mpondas end. I know from previous experience that it's really good (of course) for there to be a multiplicity of people involved in writing, emailing and keeping in touch. Sending little gifts and developing an interest in families is really good. But if the link between me and the priest at Mpondas (the Dean of the Cathedral, as it happens) doesn't keep at 'full strength', the whole thing starts to fade. Regular emails are really important for this to happen. Fortunately, emailing has started to be possible again with Mpondas and presently Fr Chilomba and I correspond a couple of times a week. We really keep up with one another and with what's going on at both ends. I find it really supportive, and know that he does too. We talk about the financial arrangement between Polesworth and Mpondas, but that isn't the primary focus. I think that the friendship aspect keeps the worry of dependency in check. 9
It's now four years since I last took people from the Abbey to Mpondas, and Fr Chilomba and I are agreed that with the inflationary state of the currency in Malawi, we are best at the moment to try to increase our monthly payment, rather than fund visits either to Polesworth or to Mpondas. We hope that things change and make that possible again. Curiously, one of the three priorities that we identified 10 years ago, when Fr Chilomba's predecessor visited Polesworth, was to make sure that they had good internet access. Our hope to sort that practically failed. But time has shown that was a good priority, together with a monthly contribution towards the parish' share and visits when possible. I like the email link. It enables me to bring into other conversations what's happening in Mpondas and I'm sure this is strengthening and inspirational for people here. Really there are so many similarities...
Berega Hospital, Tanzania John H. Green is The Reverend Canon John Green and Chair of The Worcester Diocese World Church Task Group.
Berega Hospital is a Church hospital, set within the Diocese of Morogoro, which now has an official friendship link with the Diocese of Worcester. As part of this friendship link, the hospital director, Isaac Mgego, paid a visit to this area, which led to ten of us from the Bowbrook Group of Parishes making a special visit to the hospital in April 2012. During this visit, we were stunned by the significant needs of the hospital and this has led to developments in two important areas.
In the first place, the Diocese of Worcester, represented by me as Chair of the Diocesan World Church Task Group, together with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has begun to do some real work on setting up what we hope will become an enduring maternal health mentorship scheme, initially for Berega Hospital, then hopefully, rolling this out to other church and state hospitals in Morogoro and Tanzania. The need to provide mentorship in this area comes from the 10
high maternal mortality statistics for Tanzania and our heartfelt desire to equip the local assistant medical officers with the skills to give expectant mothers the best chance of having their babies delivered safely into this world. To this end, we are sending out a young doctor at the beginning of his career, who will spend about twelve months at the hospital in the first instance; he will be joined by a recently retired consultant obstetrician, who will spend some months mentoring the young doctor as well as the local medical officers. We hope to introduce the most recent advances and equipment to Berega Hospital as part of this process.
The second development from our parish visit in April of last year, is that the ten of us who visited Berega Hospital in April 2012 have formed ourselves into a proactive task group, which we have called ‘Mission Morogoro’,which has raised significant money to equip a clinic related to the hospital with solar heating for its wards. As this article goes to press, ‘Mission Morogoro’ is taking the steps to form itself into an independent charity which will, nonetheless, work closely with the Diocese and other organisations and charities, with the aim of serving the
staff and patients of a wonderful hospital, working valiantly to care for others in such difficult circumstances. John H. Green The Reverend Canon John Green
And that concludes our ‘FAITH’ feature. Have you interviewed your partner? Could you ask them to write for Owl? We would be delighted to hear from you. email@example.com
Next edition our special feature will invite articles on the theme of ‘Community’. Do you have a story to share?
A favourite photograph?
Perhaps a phrase or saying that is important within your link?
Long or short we’d love to hear from you!
Sharing our Stories Margaret Ling contributed this report to OWL. She is a trustee of the Zimbabwe Association The Zimbabwe Association’s first visit to Zimbabwe (made possible by Scurrah Wainwright Charity) took place from 15-27 July 2012. Sarah Harland (ZA coordinator), Margaret Ling (ZA trustee) and Patrick Sibanda (chairperson, Zimbabwe Association Manchester) visited for 8 days. As well as spending a significant amount of time in Harare, the group made short visits out to Chitungwiza, Shamva and Mvurwi, and spent three days in Gweru and Bulawayo. The group met and held in-depth discussions and conversations with over 120 individuals representing a wide range of organisations. They took part in two half-day workshops on culture in the diaspora and attended a public meeting on human rights issues. Objectives
To fact-find the situation in Zimbabwe from the perspective of the Zimbabwe Association, in particular on the opportunities and threats for returning refugees.
To present the situation of refugees in the UK through the experiences of ZA members.
To build trusting relationships with prospective partner organisations.
To network and make contacts at all relevant levels.
To examine and develop working relationships with current pilot projects and identify other possibilities.
were introduced to the purpose and aims of the ZA.
Relationships – contacts were established with key organisations as a basis for potential ongoing collaboration.
Learning – all learned an enormous amount about the complexities, challenges and opportunities of the situation in Zimbabwe and the practical, day-to-day realities for individuals and local communities.
Direction – discussions helped to clarify some potential future directions for the ZA’s work, with regard to healing and reconciliation, information services for those thinking of returning, and cultural linkages in particular.
Organisations identified for potential future collaboration Pamberi Trust (Harare, umbrella body for the Book Cafe), Dance Trust (Harare), Nhimbe Trust (Bulawayo). These three arts and cultural organisations comprise SCAZIM, the Steering Committee of Africalia in Zimbabwe. Africalia is a Belgian funder largely supported by Belgian Development Cooperation which believes that ‘art and culture are essential elements in
Outcomes in practice
Re-engagement – each member of the group personally reconnected with friends, family and former contacts after over 10 years of absence.
Profile-raising – a wide range of organisations and individual contacts
Tree of Life ‘big circle’ of community-based facilitators
a sustainable human development process’. Outcome: Proposal to explore the feasibility of a partnership between SCAZIM and the ZA to develop a structured Cultural Diaspora Linkage programme. This would comprise an information website jointly managed by Pamberi Trust and ZA, and two-way exchanges by artists. Funding proposal to Africalia being prepared by Pamberi Trust. PAOMAC (Protect AIDS Orphans in Mabvuku Community), Harare PAOMAC is a community-based initiative to enable AIDS orphans and other children in need to access primary education in Mabvuku, one of the poorest high-density areas in Harare. ZA has given an initial donation towards school fees via Tom and Edwina Spicer, from the HIV/AIDS Legacy funding, and some further funding has been committed. Our discussion with PAOMAC committee members revolved around the need to develop long-term sustainable funding sources once the ZA’s one-off donations ended. Outcome: Proposal from PAOMAC to develop a community-based income generating project on the principle of ‘Education for Work’; members of the community to work voluntarily in return for profits being used to pay primary school fees. Candle-making is the first activity planned. Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) DAPP are one of the longest-established development NGOs in Zimbabwe, with longterm projects in education, agriculture, HIV/ AIDS, community development and environmental conservation in Mashonaland, Manicaland, Masvingo and Harare. It grew out of the Danish solidarity movement’s support for Zimbabwean refugees in Mozambique during the liberation struggle and has maintained good working relations with government ministries and local officials. DAPP Zimbabwe is one of 43 community-based NGOs affiliated to the Madrid-based Humana People to People, which provide 13
The Olympic winners at Mabvuku primary school funding and support and has a strong emphasis on self-reliance and developing its own income streams e.g. from second-hand clothing sales. At the follow-up meeting with David Karingamupembe and Matthias Paradzai in Harare, and during a visit with David to DAPP’s Frontline Training Institute in Shamva, we discussed the possibility of a pilot project for returnees to work on DAPP projects. The British Embassy in Harare, with whom DAPP have a good relationship, has responded positively to this idea. Outcome: In principle agreement to explore possibility of a joint project for returnees to work on DAPP projects, in collaboration with the British Embassy. CARITAS/Choices Assisted Voluntary Return Programme Caritas Zimbabwe, the development arm of the Catholic church, in partnership with Refugee Action in the UK, took over the administration of the Choices Assisted Voluntary Return Programme (AVRP) from the IOM in October 2011. Since then they have handled the cases of 65-70 returnees. Numbers are slowly increasing. At the initial meeting in Harare, Charmaine gave us an overview of the assistance available to returnees, the difficulties faced and the limitations of the programme. These include the limited scale of the funding available (does not allow for any significant capital investment), its restrictions (does not cover transport and communications or the import of capital assets), and the bureaucratic and technical obstacles faced by returnees (onerous customs duties on personal property).
Charmaine arranged for the group to meet four returnees, whose varied experiences and perspectives on return, both positive and negative, provided a wealth of useful information for ZA members in considering the AVRP and the possibility of return in general. Outcome: Good relations established with Caritas and agreement to keep in touch; clearer understanding of how the Choices programme works, its benefits and limitations. Tree of Life Tree of Life are a community-based initiative in conflict resolution and reconciliation using ‘healing circles’ to heal and empower victims of torture. It brings victims and perpetrators together in intensive workshops to share personal stories and experience, using the metaphor of the tree as a living organism which can survive drought and the loss of branches and still grow and flourish. Tree of Life works mainly in the east and central provinces. Tree of Life’s remit is strictly limited to healing and personal empowerment and to enabling communities that have been divided by conflict to live together again. However, there is evidence that communities where healing circles have been established gain the confidence to resist renewed attempts at assault and division. The group attended the weekly meeting of Tree of Life’s trained community facilitators (the ‘small circle’) and the monthly meeting of volunteer extension workers from the healing circles established in the various provinces (the ‘big circle’). During a separate visit, they also met with Father Brian MacGarry, and
community worker Edward Tsango, himself a torture survivor, who use Tree of Life methods to heal victims of the Chipangano gang in Mbare. Outcome: All were impressed by Tree of Life’s work and appreciated its potential for healing amongst ZA members who continue to suffer the after-effects of torture and trauma. Conclusions and recommendations
The situation in Zimbabwe is complex and uncertain.
Zimbabwe is a very difficult, high risk, expensive country to live in, but there are opportunities for resourceful, resilient, enterprising people who are prepared for disappointments and able to be flexible.
Our visit confirmed the value of ZA’s work to date in supporting and nurturing the human resources of the refugee community with a view to their potential future return to Zimbabwe. We are perceived as a valuable entry point to the diaspora and a channel for information to and from the UK.
There are few resources available to support the re-engagement and return of the diaspora and it appears that ZA is in the forefront in actively exploring the possibilities and initiating linkages.
Looking ahead, the issue is how to position ourselves strategically to make the most effective use of this capability with our very limited resources, and without raising false expectations about what we can deliver.
Why Link? Laura Tilling is a long standing member of UKOWLA and has been a strong advocate of linking through the CaryMufulira link since 1994. Laura runs 'IntroZambia' with UKOWLA Trustee, Steve Curtis, to provide ethical holidays. 14
The Cary-Mufulira Community Partnership Trust was founded nearly 20 years ago. What a mouthful! We set ourselves up as a charity with one aim in mind – to raise funds for a student exchange between Ansford Academy in Castle Cary and Mufulira High School in the Zambian Copperbelt. We are still going strong
with a much wider brief - we have brought primary, secondary and special schools, a university, churches, a Rotary Club and Guides under our very informal umbrella. But why do we do it? Our charitable objectives still hold and fortunately we were wise enough, or lucky enough, at the start to make them cover all these links. We exist “to advance the public education of individuals (with a focus on young people in and around the area of Castle Cary and Mufulira) in particular, by the provision and organisation of expeditions, visits, tours and exchanges of an educational nature to Zambia and the UK.” Key to our ethos is reciprocity and equality – and although we could not put those words in – the Charity Commission centres on the concept of one-way help – they are implicit in our objectives, and very important indeed. Do these key concepts stop us helping our friends and colleagues in Zambia in a multiplicity of ways? Of course not. Many parents of exchange students have quietly helped the young Zambians their children have partnered, with education costs sometimes to the extent of seeing them through higher education. The Rotary Club of Mufulira and our local Rotary Club work together to draw down international funds for many projects in Mufulira. CMCPT has sent books and computers to schools in Zambia, taken art and sports resources and worked with our local churches to help them send resources over. Recently the Minor Metals Trade Association has supported us with funding that we have used both to help with linking visits and also to provide essential equipment for schools in Mufulira. As far as the primary schools involved are concerned, “advancing education” is of course central. Teachers visiting Zambia have brought back resources, information, photographs etc which have been used to increase pupils' basic understanding of a wide range of global issues – environment, sustainability, human rights, cultural diversity – effectively using Zambia and its differences from and similarities to the UK as a case study. Teachers and students visiting from Zambia have also had a very strong impact on 15
pupils' understanding. Over the years, the development of mobile phones, email, and now Skype have made keeping in touch easier and brought pupils from the two countries closer together. As pupils gain knowledge of Zambia, they soon not only understand that there are similarities and differences, but that poverty and disadvantage are in many ways vastly greater there than here. So they want to help, and many schools raise money for their link schools in Zambia – for books, for equipment, for school fees for the poorest students etc. This is charity with understanding rather than just “feel good” charity. For the community groups involved – the churches, Rotary Clubs etc - things are a little different. Their central aim can be aidfocussed – they want to help - while CMCPT's aim remains educational. However, by involving members of the these groups with visitors from Zambia, arranging talks and activities for the community (often in conjunction with GLADE, Somerset's Global Learning and Development Education Centre) CMCPT, and above all encouraging members of these groups to join our visits to Zambia, we can “educate” the adults just as we educate the children. I don't encourage linking out of pity for other people's poverty; I don't visit Zambia out of a sense of adventure (I am not in the least intrepid!). I do it quite simply because I find it endlessly fascinating to see the differences between Zambia and UK, and how both countries constantly change and “develop”. I have many friends in Zambia and enjoy the opportunity to meet up with them again, and explore the everyday issues facing both them and us here. Linking makes us think!
UKOWLA York Conference Report— Enterprise in a time of Austerity - Learning from Africa York One Day Workshop, March 16th 2013 Averil Newsam is Chair of UKOWLA
This event was a partnership between UKOWLA and the York One World Linking Association, YOWLA, working together with local suppliers and entrepreneurs to develop a really memorable day.
Hugh Bayley, MP, welcomed us to York and talked about his work on the Cross Party International Development Committee which published its annual report in May this year. He took questions from participants, which reflected some of the issues our partners face, and commented that the biggest changes for the world’s poorest people will be seen when world leaders begin to peer review each other’s standards of governance.
Rob and Nikki Wilson’s book, ‘On the Up’ (isbn: 978-0-9572027-0-2) was the result of their ‘big trip’ after meeting and marrying soon after University. In 2005 they set up READ International, collecting school books from the UK for schools in the Singida province of Tanzania. They won Best New Charity in 2007 and Best International Aid and Development Charity in 2007 but after sending the one millionth book to Tanzania 16
in 2011 they decided it was time to move on. Their experiences, which we read in their book, were the inspiration behind this event and they were very keen to come to share the stories with us. Like that of Betty Makoni, founder of Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe, set up in 1998, ten years after Betty’s own experience of being raped and seeing her mother beaten and killed by her father. She has set up more than 700 girls clubs across the country, empowering more than 300,000 girls through story-telling, leadership training and girls’ rights education, with the result that she has changed attitudes towards girls and women. There are many more stories, from the Cape to Cairo, in their book, which really is a good
Winfred Gelli is the founder and head of the Elikem Organisation and Head Teacher of the Elikem Youth Group and School. It all started in 1998 when people from the Volta region in Ghana were displaced to the city when Lake Volta was created. A visit to the UK in 2001 and The Jack Petchy Youth Award led to support from the Brightlingsea Woodcraft Folk. By 2007 a Farmer Cooperative growing Fair Trade certified cocoa beans, chillies and pineapples was in operation. However, a memorable discussion revealed the difficulty faced by the organisation in finding outlets to sell their produce in the UK, a problem not encountered in other EU countries like Switzerland, Belgium or Denmark.
The day enabled us to catch up with some of the wonderful linking activities represented through displays and stories displayed around the room. Amongst them were John
and Mary Wood from the Burley-Tereli (Mali) Friendship Trust (http://www.btft.org.uk) and Val Wilson from Team Kenya, (http:// www.teamkenya.org.uk) as well as Fair Trade crafts and produce from Fairer World (84 Gillygate, York). Despite the event being reduced from two days to one day, to ensure a good turnout, this did not affect its success. As a model for working together, it showed how we all enjoy the opportunity to meet and learn from each other. This day just buzzed with ideas and enthusiasm to keep in touch.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to and attended this conference.
Were you there? Tell us what you took away from this conference. Are you organising an event based on linking? Weâ€™d love to know about it and feature it in OWL. firstname.lastname@example.org
Olympic Projectâ€”Photographic Reflection Samsara World School, India is partnered with Rockferry School in the UK. Together they completed an Olympic themed project.
Do you have some inspirational photographs to share with readers? OWL would love to hear your story or see images of your linking progress, projects and discussionsâ€”email@example.com 18
We’re Looking for Partners! Are you?
Jowena Education Centre, Uganda We are extremely happy to communicate to you. We are indeed inspired by the wonderful idea of school to school partnerships. We currently have many children who would like to establish a relationship with your children, who are between 3 years to 15 years of age from Nursery to Primary Seven. Your students will read interesting things about education in Africa and what it means to be an African Child. The experiences are different and difference may be interesting to them. An example is that we do have classrooms which are very small yet our children are very many. Inside these classrooms, some children sit down because of the limited chairs. Some classes are conducted under tree shades. Yet other children fail to attend classes because they do not have pens and pencils. But still, life goes on. It’s our wish to encourage young people to communicate and work together, the aim is to create awareness for diversity and to build a positive partnership in which we can understand each other’s culture, share our resources and knowledge with each other in appropriate ways and assist in enriching the lives of our partners however possible. We count on your positive response and we highly appreciate your time. Best Regards Shakila Huda I am coordinating a young people’s stamp club for students from different schools in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. I wish to request for affiliation of our schools’ stamp clubs in Calabar with those abroad for exchange of Philatelic materials especially stamps, letters and ideas. Attached are pictures of our recent Joint School Philatelic Meeting for the year 2013 between the students of Technical Science College, Mayne Avenue Street Calabar ( Mixed school) and Holy Child Secondary School, Goldie Street Calabar (Girls School). More of such meetings and events are in the link below. http://www.eddysstampresort.org/calabar-stamp-club.php Edet Akpan,,P.O.Box 3542, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. 540001 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenya Halo, receive our greetings. We wish to get a partner school for us to interact and learn more from each other. We are a school in Kenya, Nakuru, within the town with a population of 775 pupils. We carry out a lot of activities including care of the environment and gardening, we also have a tree nursery from which a Children’s Club sells seedlings to other schools around us. We wish to get friends from other countries to be able to know what they do and how they go about their education syllabus. Dorothy Tugee, Headteacher Baharini primary school 19
DIARY AGM & Linking Event – Why Link? kindly hosted by Cary Mufulira Community Partnership Trust 'Why Linking?' workshops will run either side of UKOWLA's AGM (12-12.30) from 10-12 and from 1.15-3.15 facilitated by Lynn Cutler, UKOWLA & members of CMCPT. There will be 4 workshops of 45 minutes each and will focus on: how linking can contribute to intercultural understanding; using Skype, blogging and social networking to continue talking with your link; your partnership journey to the future; local learning from your link. Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided, and although there is no charge to attend the event, a donation towards lunch costs will be welcome. We look forward to welcoming you at Castle Cary Primary School, Park Street, Castle Cary Somerset BA7 7EH from 9.30 on Saturday, 19 October 2013.
The deadline for the next edition is 31st March 2014 Articles, pictures, letters and comments of all kinds from members and others in the field are needed. The feature is COMMUNITY LINKS Have a thought / quote / picture that you would like to share or invite comment on? Send it to us. Full length articles can be up to 1,000 words. Email to: email@example.com UKOWLA will assume permission to use any articles and photographs in both electronic and print formats
Where pictures of young people are submitted, please ensure that permission for publication has been obtained.
Why not join UKOWLA? Subscriptions run for a year Contact: UKOWLA At The Glade Centre Resources for Learning Parkway
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