The Link keeps in regular, usually weekly, contact with Stima, our local rep-resentative in Urambo and, just before Christmas, he sent an appeal to the Link: the primary school’s toilets, which are simply pit latrines, had collapsed and could we finance the rebuilding of a new set of toilets? Without toilets the school would not be able to open on January 8th. The estimated cost for the Link to provide was 2,080,000 Tanzanian shillings (£693). We readily agreed to fund this and also to fund the completion of the new toilets that I saw being built when I was in Nkokoto recently. The picture below shows you the new toilet block completed.
Traidcraft has a long history of working in the Indian cotton sector. Back in the early 2000s, Traidcraft worked to pioneer the first Fairtrade cotton from smallholder farmers in Gujarat. They also worked with cotton farm labourers in Karnataka helping them to organize and develop a collective voice to improve their working conditions.
Members were warmly welcomed by the President. As this was the annual general meeting there was no guest speaker. The minutes of the last meeting were read out and approved. This was followed by a statement from the President concerning business matters of the WI. The Secretary gave a detailed report on events that had taken place over the past twelve months and it made members realise what a busy year this had been filled with a diverse range of activities. Finally a detailed account was given for the finances for this year. The meeting concluded with a quiz and bingo followed by tea and biscuits. Christmas lunch will take place at the Wyevale garden centre on December 14th commencing at 12 noon.
There will be the usual craft and scrabble meetings over the next two weeks together with a skittles lunch at the Egypt Mill. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 6th December at Minchinhampton library at 2pm.
Our WI met as usual at the Library on 4 October where, after the official business was completed, we sat back to enjoy a slide show and talk by Diana Wall. Her theme was Victorian Childhood and was based mainly on the children of families in this area.
Five of our members went to the Commons Edge Group meeting on 5th October. After the business we then settled down to make either a Christmas Tree or a Hedgehog by folding pages of an unwanted paperback book! The end result was amazing. I was sufficiently interested to Google it (under “book folding”) to discover a new, fascinating craft. The event was followed by a delicious cream tea to end a very entertaining afternoon. (In case you’re in doubt the photo is my attempt at a Christmas Tree!)
Plans for our Christmas Lunch are well ahead. The venue is the Bear of Rodborough Hotel. The choice of menu is excellent and we have been given a room of our own. This event is always a great success to which we invite friends and family.
Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 14th November. It is our AGM followed by “Members Time” – the activity is yet to be decided!
Meetings at Box Village Hall are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 10am business, coffee at 10.30am followed by a speaker. Visitors are warmly welcomed at 10.30am - £3 including coffee.
Geraldine Ames, President
As you know, for the last nine years, we have been raising funds for your Market House – starting with several Quality Fayres, followed by events such as:
• One/two night performances by travelling artists such as ‘The European Arts Company’, ‘La Navete Bete’, ‘Miss Haversham’s Ghosts’. All designed to appeal to different audiences.
• Specialist performances such as the illusionist, Bertie Pearce, the ‘Real Roald Dahl Show’ run by Brough Girling & Alan Vaughan with the local school children, ‘An Evening with…’ shows such as that with Steven Davis (author of BBC ‘Waking the Dead’) and Fashion Shows.
• The Literary Lunches. These have now become a regular fixture although we left the Committee many years ago.
Traidcraft Christmas Fair
I know it’s a long time ago, but the Traidcraft Christmas fair in November was a huge success ! We took almost £1, 500 (including orders). Thank you so much to everyone who came along to support us and to all the wonderful volunteers who helped on the day.
Our Traidcraft stall is held on the 4th Sunday of each month in the porch room after the 10am service. All welcome.
At our meeting in October we learnt how to make an Autumn Wreath. Unfortunately our speaker, Alison Goulding, from “Wild about Flowers”, was unable to come so Shani Wills very ably took over! A big THANK YOU to Shani! Alison had made us the basic rings and supplied some greenery. The results were amazing! (see picture) There is a lot of hidden talent amongst our WI members!
Our Traidcraft stall is held on the 4th Sunday of each month in the porch room after the 10am service. This will continue to be held during the alterations and reordering of the church.
In November we shall be holding our pre Christmas Fair on Thursday November 16th in the porch rooms from 10.30am – 3.30pm .
There will be Christmas cards, gifts, greetings cards as well as all the usual groceries. There will also be a raffle and a tombola. Tea, coffee and cakes and also soup and rolls for lunch will be available. Come along and buy your Christmas goodies and help us to help others.
Ten days in Nkokoto, Vumilia and Urambo
Mary John – one of the students we sponsored and has now qualified as a student teacher
Returning to Nkokoto puts my life truly into perspective. A visit to our friends in Nkokoto is always a humbling experience. No matter what we read and hear about life in Nkokoto village, the reality of the poverty and the struggle that faces so many of the villagers hits you hard when you arrive. After leaving the comfort of my home here in Woodchester and travelling for 28 hours via Cairo, Dar es Salaam and Tabora, you could be on a different planet, not just 6000 miles away in East Africa.
After sadly saying au revoir to Elaine Grainger, the Group’s Chair, the Autumn session has opened with several new members on the Committee who have produced an excellent programme for the coming year. Our two tutors, Roxy Jackson and Kate Williamson, will continue to provide much valued help and an outing and outside speakers will be arranged shortly.
At present, plans are well under way for our ever popular Annual Exhibition which will be held at Box Village Hall on Friday to Sunday, 13 to 15 October, from 10am to 5pm. There will also be an evening when you can Meet the Artists on 13 October and join them for refreshments. The Group also welcomes interested or would-be artists to visit us at one of our meetings on Thursday afternoons at Box Village Hall. Do phone Ann on 882552 or Hilary on 884163 for details. Why not stay for a cup of tea!
There was a very good attendance at this meeting which was pleasing. The meeting began with a summary of matters arising from the last meeting which was duly approved and signed. A list of correspondence was read out from GFWI and members were encouraged to obtain further details from the information sheets that had been set out by the president in the library. Venues were organised for the forthcoming meetings for scrabble and craft. Our guest speakers for this meeting were 3 firefighters from the Stroud brigade who spoke about fire alarms and fire safety in the home. The talk was very informative and much appreciated by the members. Many of our members were keen to sign up at the end of the talk for a free fire safety inspection of their homes by the firefighters. The vote of thanks was given by Avril.
The next meeting at Minchinhampton library will be on Wednesday 4th October. The guest speaker will be Camilla Monk who will speak about Belgian refugees in World War 1.