Minchinhampton Nkokoto Link - January 2021

We hope you have had a good Christmas and 2021 has begun well for all our readers, supporters and sponsors. The Covid situation is easier in Tanzania than in the UK and the academic school year is starting as normal for Vumilia Secondary School and the Folk Development College this month. Although times are difficult for us here in the UK, the Link remains committed to supporting the ongoing education of students from Nkokoto. The following is an overview of the Link's continued involvement in to 2021.

Vumilia Secondary School: Success for Nkokoto Primary School! 55 of the 65 pupils in the top year passed their exams to attend Vumilia Secondary School (33 boys, 32 girls). Therefore we have been asked for 55 bikes. Due to the higher numbers and unit cost, we have said that to spend a total of £2,750 (£50 each) for bikes is not possible at the moment. Last year Lucky, our local representative, met with the students and parents and it was agreed that any student leaving school would return their bike to the village leadership for use by new students. We have asked how many bikes have been returned before sending any money for bikes.

Continue Reading

Traidcraft - February 2021

Traidcraft0221When you live in poverty, the reality is that you survive by working together. Setting up asso- ciations and farmers’ groups is an integral part of Traidcraft because they understand that people are stronger when they unite.Together, they can demand fair prices, buy and sell collectively and build up savings.

Continue Reading

Traidcraft - December 2020

Traidcraft12202020 was such a strange year for us all and every one of us was affected in different ways because of the virus and government restrictions.

Traidcraft Exchange tried hard to keep things going but as the year progressed more and more projects had to be abandoned due to the restrictions. Traidcraft found itself using their funds to give people aid just to survive.

We, in Minchinhampton, have regularly sent donations to Traidcraft from the profits raised at our monthly Traidcraft stalls and events. Last year we feared that this would not happen. We haven’t had a Sunday sale since March and our usual Big Brew event and Christmas stall also were not possible. However ....due to you lovely faithful supporters, we have been able to sell most of the stock we had in store and we were able to send a donation to Traidcraft by the end of last year. We managed to send £1000 in total last year !! THANK YOU!!

Continue Reading

Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - October 2020

Nkokoto1020AThere is a dwindling number of countries in the world where the UK has influence and does genuine good. The Dept for International Development (DfID) is among one of the world’s most effective aid agencies and has turned the UK into a global force in development. Tanzania is one of the African countries that has benefitted from British Government aid. The independence of the DfID has protected overseas aid from becoming politicised; it was set up after the Pergau Dam scandal in the 1990s when development money for Malaysia was revealed to be linked to weapons sales. But during the summer months, Boris Johnson announced plans to merge the DfID into the Foreign Office, to better align the £15 billion overseas aid budget (0.7% of our GDP) with UK foreign policy. This move was condemned by previous Prime Ministers David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. Boris Johnson said that recipient nations treat the UK like “some giant cashpoint in the sky” (and he threw in the glib comment that their leaders take the money then “cut off the heads of their political opponents.”) This is a worrying, baffling and distressing attitude by the Government. Aid is not a cashpoint in the sky – it is a lifeline that provides medicine, food and shelter, vaccines, mosquito nets and clean water around the globe. Johnson also complained that the UK gives as much aid to Zambia as to the Ukraine, when the latter is crucial to our security. But aid is about giving to those in need.

Continue Reading

Traidcraft - September 2020

In the last few months, we in the UK have stayed at home and avoided contact with others wherever possible. However, being able to stay safe by socially distancing is a privilege, made possible by financial stability and government support. For many people across the world, it’s simply not possible.

When you live in poverty, the reality is that you survive by working together in communities, not by retreating into isolation.

That is why setting up associations and farmers' groups is an integral part of how Traidcraft Exchange helps people in poverty to recover from this crisis – because people are stronger when they unite. At the moment, the practical side of this may look a little different – smaller numbers and outdoor meetings – but the aims remain the same.

Continue Reading

Marah Trust during Covid-19 Update July 2020

After almost 4 months of pandemic restrictions, Marah is still going! We are still serving hot food in takeaways from the scout hut and our guests greatly appreciate the meals. We are also grateful to the many people who have baked cakes for us to give out. Waitrose and Tesco have been great at giving us their dated fruit and bread which we also give out to supplement our guests’ diets. The food bank let us have food parcels for distribution which keeps the most needy going throughout the week. Our guests can also request milk, tea, coffee, sugar, toiletries, toilet paper and washing pods.

Continue Reading

Box Art Group News 2020

The Box Art Group has been unable to meet for our Thursday afternoon sessions for the last 9 months, but we have been able to foster a positive way forward BoxArt1through our weekly newsletter, The Rainbow which is a weekly compilation of members’ contributions, generally in the form of articles on techniques, artists, and visits, and photographs of recent paintings and sketches. Several challenges have been set over the period, such as ‘view from a window’, ‘a portrait’, and a ‘five minute challenge’. One of our more fun challenges was to draw a picture of your face in the mirror while not looking at the paper. We had some interesting results!

Continue Reading

Marah - January 2021

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who gave gifts of food, toiletries, clothes, chocolates and , of course, money during 2020. Marah is a charity for the homeless and vulnerable people of Stroud.

We used to run regular drop-ins at lunch times on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in Stroud, but last spring everything changed due to the pandemic. After March we could only serve take aways, but we kept Marah open and we saw the numbers steadily increase. From about 40 meals in mid March, we were serving around 100 take aways by the end of the year.

Our guests are vulnerable men and women (mostly men) who often have alcohol or drug addictions and some have mental health issues. By the end of the year we were finding that we were getting many people who were new to Marah who had fallen on hard times due to COVID.

Throughout last year our volunteers kept Marah open and still offered a smile, a welcome, a hot meal and support where necessary. We are extremely grateful for all the help given to us by our supporters.

I am constantly finding coffee, sugar, milk and other items in the Marah box in the porch room!! Every item donated is used and gratefully received. You are so very kind!! and we couldn’t open without your generosity.

On behalf of these vulnerable people, thank you.

Jackie Natt

Traidcraft - November 2020

Traidcraft1120AIt has been a very difficult few months. Coronavirus has changed the world as we know it and continues to impact on the ways in which we live and work.

In India and Bangladesh, factories have closed causing a huge number of people to migrate across the country and return to their family homes. Some UK fast fashion brands are still refusing to pay for orders to garment factories leaving millions of workers facing starvation. Farmers have been unable to harvest their crops and, across the world, markets have closed.

Traidcraft is all about long term, systematic change…building livelihoods through trade not aid. However over the last few months, Traidcraft has been supporting communities with food, soap and other basics to get them through this crisis. The long term impact of this crisis is yet to hit …and the economic and political consequences will be devastating for people living in poverty.
Traidcraft1120B

Recovery isn’t just about surviving the restrictions…it’s about coming together to build a radically different world where we face up to exploitation and global inequality and demand justice for the most vulnerable. If you would like to help go online to the Traidcraft website

At the moment and for the foreseeable future, we are unable to run our monthly Traidcraft stall in the porch room. However, we are taking orders.

If you would like to order anything, please contact me or Deborah Smith. (01453 883611)

Jackie Natt 01453 731018

Traidcraft - October 2020

In the last few months, there has been a lot of working from home in the UK , thanks to the changes that coronavirus has made to the way we live. Balancing working from home with childcare has been very difficult for lots of people. For thousands of women in India, working excessively long hours from home while looking after children and running a household isn’t new....it is how things have always been for them.

Continue Reading

Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - September 2020

Whilst we have been in isolation, Nkokoto has not suffered so much; all schools are now reopened and the Uhuru clinic is fully operational. Alison and Rod met regularly and felt that it is important that we continue to meet all commitments, which we have done. Fortunately, our bank balance has allowed the Link to make good on all commitments. Charles Mswima, the Urambo Government representative has also provided us with updates regarding government funding, so this is have included for your information.

SUPPORT FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE: We were asked to support the clinics in buying supplies and in May we sent 750,000 Tsh, (£250.) Because there were some excess funds from the Uhuru clinic building works, a total of 1,019,000 Tsh (£335) was used for buying hand washing soap and masks for Nkokoto and Uhuru clinics. In June, Charles Mswima reported that there were no deaths reported at Nkokoto and Urambo District at large. Only four patients were quarantined and they all recovered.

Continue Reading

Traidcraft - July 2020

Imagine if no matter how hard you worked today, you couldn't afford to put food on the table.

For millions of people around the world, that's the reality they face. A fair income gives you freedom, security and hope for the future. It allows you to feed your family and educate your children. That is the power of trade done well.

But unfair trade amplifies poverty. It makes the rich richer and leaves the poor behind. Traidcraft Exchange exists to do two things...
To support people to harness the benefits of trade
To fight against injustice in global trade
It's a simple mission, but it is changing lives all over the world.

Development Programmes
Traidcraft Exchange run programmes in developing countries, supporting poor and vulnerable people to get a better deal from trade.

Campaigning
With our support, Traidcraft Exchange campaign to transform the way trade works - aiming for high-impact, sustainable changes.

Policy and Advocacy Traidcraft0720
Traidcraft Exchange advocate for better trade policies and better business practices in the UK.

If you feel compelled to take action, please, consider a donation, or get in contact with Traidcraft for ways you can support them from the safety of your own home.

At the moment and for the foreseeable future, we are unable to run our monthly Traidcraft stall in the porch room …

however, we do have some items for sale that we are now reducing .
If you would anything, please contact me or Deborah Smith.

Jackie Natt
01453 731018