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Newsletter 56


With more than 25 million orphaned children now in sub-Saharan Africa, helping all of them is never going to be easy! Indeed it might be tempting to walk away from a task too huge to contemplate. But at HANDS AROUND THE WORLD we are working hard to do what we can, currently helping more than 2000 vulnerable children and fayoung people every day, along the lines of the mous 'Starfish on the Beach' story*. to offer practical HANDS AROUND THE WORLD sends volunteers centres, and strives help, skill-sharing and friendship at our partner d for, for happy, healthy children who are safe, care ol. listened to, well fed, clothed, housed and in scho ul, enthusiastic We run a slimline operation with lots of wonderf We couldn't do volunteers giving of their time, skill and energy. it without them! , in the UK or overThere's always room for more volunteers to help team, why seas, so if you aren't already part of the special not join? rs too, and I'd espeOf course there's always room for new supporte Hand' cially like to encourage you to join our 'Hand in scheme described below.

Please sponsor a child in school or training! Maybe your family and friends could all chip in? Our HAND IN HAND scheme allows you to sponsor a child at one of our partner projects in Africa or India. For just ÂŁ10 per month (that's one cup of coffee in Costa per week!) you could make a real life-changing difference! We'll send you details of one (or more) of the children and keep you updated about their progress, and the centre they attend. Because we want to support the education and care provided by each centre, make the teachers feel valued and help them achieve a consistently high standard, we are very keen that all children who attend should be supported. So please tell your friends, and encourage clubs, churches, schools and others to help too! Kindly use the enclosed form. If you have any queries, please ring David on 01600 740317.

David Steiner

*You can read the Starfish story here: &id=175


children benefit from the work of hAtw

every dAy


in AfricA, indiA And brAzil

HANDS A AROUND ROUND THE WORLD seeks tto o help vulnerable child children ren a around round the w world, orld, encouraging enthusiastic and w well-prepared ell-prepared v volunteers olunteers tto oo offer ffer practical help, skill-sha skill-sharing, ring, suppo support rt and ffriendship. riendship.


uganda zumbo

In our last newsletter we started to introduce you to our project co-ordinators – volunteers passionate about ‘their’ project who give of their time and hard work to develop the links with our project partners. Nigel Sampson has this role for the Paluoc Carpentry Training Workshop in Kisumu Kenya, and here he describes his work:

Our team members from Jersey who visi to build classrooms have just returned:

My connection with Paluoc began shortly before the visit I made with a group of 3 others on a HATW building project in Jan/Feb 2011. The plan was, and still is, to help create an eventually self-sufficient carpentry workshop which will be able to give useful carpentry skills and qualifications to local disadvantaged youngsters, some of them street children who would otherwise be unemployed. The person directly in charge of the project is Paul Ochieng, and his wife Lucy, two charming, energetic and desperately hardworking individuals. A previous visit by architect Jonathan Price had drawn up the plans, sought planning permission and set the scheme on its way. The carpentry workshop is now built and operational having taken on the first 5 trainees in 2012. The plan is to raise that number eventually to maybe 20. Initial problems included having no workbenches and very few tools. These were partly solved by a shipment of refurbished tools from WorkAid despatched fairly swiftly after I had submitted a bid to them. They were delayed for some time after landing in Kenya but eventually arrived at their destination and are much appreciated. As the number of trainees is to increase, and each trainee is to be imbued with the necessity of caring for their own tools, then a lot more tools will be necessary. Some money from a bid via HATW to Jersey Overseas Aid provided the money to buy some good quality workbenches with vices – necessary for good work. Money was also used to put in glass windows and a flat, level floor – again looking to provide every opportunity for good quality work. Finally a small salary has been provided for Paul so that he can concentrate in the next two years on developing the training rather than having to constantly seek work to feed his family. My role as Project Co-ordinator is to liaise between HATW and Paul Ochieng. My intention is to be as non-bureaucratic as possible whilst still ensuring accountability for all of the funding provided. I am still at a relatively early stage of understanding exactly what their aims are and how they plan to achieve them. I hope to clarify these issues during my visit to Kisumu in Sept/October this year. I hope to share their enthusiasm, maybe help to raise their expectations and clarify their methodology within realistic boundaries. I am keen to establish a business plan to set realistic targets but also to establish how the plans are to be achieved, and funded. In the long run they have to be successful and self-sufficient.

Paluoc Trainees Display their first Project (A stool) however, being able to see and exploit the benefits of modern machinery offers the possibility of a big leg up in the skills market. Before I go to Kenya I am carrying out research here in the UK as to which power tools are most useful, and what is a reasonable price new and second hand for them. Whilst this may not be directly transferable it will make me know what is value for money. I am speaking to local tradesmen with relevant experience. Paul has already given me a wish list; I have asked him to provide me with some guideline prices. Paul knows that I like to check on things not because I don’t trust him, I do, and not because I want to interfere, I don’t. I do want to be able to say to supporters in the UK that, as far as I can tell, the money that they have given is being appropriately and effectively spent, and every penny of it accounted for. Communication and to some extent decision-making has been a consistent problem. I hope to be able to better understand why this is so, and if possible to do something about it during my visit. In the longer term, I hope to be able to provide some small amounts of funding to help with the day to day running of the workshop through the Hand in Hand Sponsorship scheme, and via Global Giving, and also to raise awareness of the needs of the local youngsters and the progress they are making, as Paluoc develops. All our volunteer Project Co-ordinators continue to work hard to develop the relationship with HATW's 9 overseas partner centres, all the better to help lots of children and young people. You can read their latest updates on our website

After six months preparation and fundraising activities we happily got down to putting our newly acquired bricklaying skills into practice on some of the internal walls. Soon it was time to start erecting scaffolding. This consisted of tall poles from trees cut down from the local forest, with bamboo lashed together for the platform. There was little room on the scaffolding for us all to work safely together. So we started looking at some of the existing ten year old classrooms which were in great need of attention! They were dilapidated and showing the effects of overcrowding – one morning we watched nearly 100 of the youngest pupils file into a single classroom after assembly. There was extensive damage to the walls and floors which needed patching and doors and windows to be repaired as well as basic paint work. Increasingly we focussed all our efforts on renovating the classrooms. This was where the DIY SOS programme came in. Several teachers joined us whenever they had a spare moment from lessons revealing skills at plastering and fixing. Others in the community dropped by to visit and found themselves picking up a trowel or paint brush to join in. This all helped us to fulfil the second aim of our visit, namely getting involved with the school and community and building lasting links and friendship.

I hope, with a lot of help from HATW, to raise funds for Paluoc and to make their plans a reality. I am keen not to create a dependency culture. Currently my thoughts and efforts, and Paul’s too, centre around the provision of electricity in the workshop. It may well be that skills with hand tools are the most immediately useful,

Mike Haden, Team leader The first aim of our visit to north-west Uganda for four weeks in July 2012 was to assist with building at Zumbo Primary school. In the end our project turned into something like the BBC programme DIY SOS, Ugandan-style, where a small team invites volunteers from the local community to join in for a makeover of a run down property.

Paluoc trainee with plan

We are confident that this wider engagement will mean a greater pride in both the refurbished and the newly built classrooms. Our involvement was just one part of a programme of uplift for the school which also involved the appointment of a new headteacher, the engagement of several new teachers and the construction of new accommodation for teachers. When we left Zumbo work was about to start on the roof for the new classrooms and there was some remaining external painting on the existing classrooms which was finished off

visited Zumbo Primary School in Uganda d:

The children of Zumbo by the teachers. We have since sent the school a consignment of posters, books and a large world map and we will continue to do what we can to support their efforts to improve the educational environment. As for building lasting links, we hope that another team of volunteers will return to Zumbo in two years time to help with the construction of a much-needed children’s ward for the village Health Centre. We know that the community will be delighted to see them and will be ready once again to work hand in hand together.

Zumbo Classroom before

and after

Elaine Richomme says: When we visited Zumbo to assist in the building of much-needed classrooms and offices and to support the community as a whole, one of the projects I was most interested in was a Support Group that had been set up by one of the teachers (also HIV positive) for other HIV positive members of the community.

lengths to try and teach a small group of children how to play rounders - although this did not end quite as we had hoped due to the growing number of children wishing to try and hit the ball! As our time in Zumbo was drawing to an end we happily gave the school the PE equipment to enable them to continue playing bat and ball games.

This group meets every Monday afternoon in the local clinic waiting room to discuss issues and support each other. The group consists of individuals of both genders and all ages, from babies to the elderly. When Steve and I met with the group during one of their sessions, they talked to us about how they try to remove the stigma of being tested and finding out that individuals have positive status. One of the things they do to promote testing in the community is to use drama, and offer support to those brave enough to go for the test.

Steve Turner, one of the team, writes: Due to my background as an ambulance paramedic for 25 years, I have connections with St. John Ambulance and they kindly donated to the clinic in Zumbo hundreds of unwanted sterile dressings and lots of other first aid equipment which were in perfect condition. When I delivered the equipment to the clinic I was given the opportunity to help out in the out-patients department for a couple of days, assessing the new patients with James, a clinician, and also one of the nurses. My experience of the poor and basic conditions in the clinic was a real shock to the system, and it really brought home to me the importance of carrying on with follow-up projects; there is a possibility of helping to build children's wards which are non-existent at present.

There are many challenges for the individuals who use this support group, although medication is free. One of the challenges is purely logistical, in the fact that although medication is available without cost, patients are required to travel to the local hospital (1 hour away by vehicle) every two months to receive a physical/emotional check-up and collect their drugs. Transport is not readily available to anyone in the Zumbo community and the little that there is, is costly. Travelling in the area consists of flagging down a passing vehicle (usually an open truck) and squashing yourself and any luggage you have in the truck for a very bumpy journey. The cost often prevents need people accessing their vital daily medication. Another problem is the diet, which although adequate in ‘filling the stomachs’ of the community, is nutritionally deficient in a general sense and more so for those who are HIV positive.

Helena Turner writes of her experience: I’m not a regular church goer, but one of my favourite experiences visiting Zumbo was infact being welcomed to church by all of the local people. We went to the service in English, but then when the local language (Alur) service started, we were quickly taken to the front of the church where everyone wanted to greet us. We ended up spending 4 hours meeting the local people - singing, praying and enjoying their traditional music and dancing; it was a wonderful experience that fully immersed us in their culture.

Following our meeting, Steve and I agreed to financially assist the group with transport and food costs (the money for the food being particularly important on the day they go to the clinic, as they often have to wait hours before seeing the doctor and are not fed whilst waiting). We are doing this by sending £100 per quarter to support the project. Mary Whitsey remembers the children... We arrived in Zumbo to be met by many smiling children's faces! Our relationship with the school children, and those who lived near us, blossomed during our stay. We soon found ourselves being followed home after work, and being asked for balloons, bubbles or stories. We never tired of these requests, also going to great

A group of girls singing and dancing for us, with some locals playing the ‘adungo’

BEnIn ExCITEmENT uNCoNTAINEd! Recently, a container was sent out to our ABOPHA partners in Benin who support local orphaned children. The contents included a carefully-chosen old tractor with plough, a 100 year old anvil, a freecycled church organ, 42 bikes and lots more. The container has arrived, been unloaded and amid much excitement the tractor is starting to work in the fields around Affame as you can see. A service of thanks and dedication was held in the local church. The picture shows some of the bicycles and the organ. Dick Wheelock writes: I spent most of August in Benin and will bring you up to date on developments since the container arrived in Cotonou. Usual customs formalities took several days before the final journey to Affame (a few hours’ journey northwards) where ABOPHA is based. Affame itself is a very rural town on the banks of the picturesque Oueme river and almost all the inhabitants are engaged in subsistence farming, with some money coming in from the sale of palm oil, fish, sand and firewood. One of the factors limiting agricultural output is the sheer back-breaking work of cultivating the land in an area which, up to now, has not had a single tractor in use. Thus, the donated tractor and plough were soon pressed into service. Dieu-Donne, driving, is a trained motor mechanic, while Albert is a local farmer. Both proved to be quick learners in the art of tractor operation. It is intended that the tractor be used in a training programme for the orphans, for contract work to help local farmers, to raise much-needed cash for the orphan project and for transport of building materials for the proposed orphanage.

THanK YOu! A huge thank you to Lyn Harper and friends who arranged teas and cakes at an NGS Open Garden in Penallt recently, raising the magnificent sum of £320.73 for HATW. Well done!

Lyn Harper and friends

christmAs cArds AvAilAble now

Distribution of bicycles to orphans attending secondary schools has already begun, and the organ is now playing in the local Methodist church. Many thanks to all involved in this ongoing project.

could you helP vulnerAble children in AfricA? Volunteers needed - 3 weeks to 3 months. You could help building, painting or bee keeping; help with childcare, physiotherapy, carpentry or sewing training, sports, music, TEFL, classroom support or mentoring teachers! And more... Please tell your friends too!

would you like to win A brAnd new kiA PicAnto cAr? Tickets are £2 each, or why not ask for a book of 10 to sell for us? Ring us on 01600 740317 or email NB 90% of the ticket price comes straight back to HATW as a donation!

Some of our other partner centres need carpentry hand and electric tools, bikes etc. and we have some storage space. Please ring or get in touch on if you have items you would like to donate. We hope to send containers to others before long... In association with charities 'Aviation without Borders' and 'Tools for Self Reliance' some tools have just gone out to Kenya for our friends at the Paluoc carpentry training workshop in Kisumu. We are also collecting children's shoes and wellies in good condition. Please drop them in to our office near Monmouth (directions are on our website - or post them to us at the address overleaf. If you ring us on 01600 740317 before you come, we'll put the kettle on! Thank you to Cathy Tindall who sent these beautiful shoes!

Please let us know which ones you would like. Packs of 10 cost £3.75 including postage. Wording inside reads: "May the Peace and Joy of Christmas be with you today and always"

Did you know that you can now support the work of HANDS AROUND THE WORLD by donating via text message? Just text hAtw01 £10 (or a lower figure) to 70070. Thank you!

have you visited us on facebook yet? We have lots of interesting items there. Please come and see!

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