Elsewhere in this issue, you will find an informative and interesting article from Jo Smith about her visit to Masasi, Vumilia and Nkokoto. The Link is grateful to Jo for making contact with Stima, Nkokoto villagers and the primary school during her hectic travels in Tanzania and for bringing back news of happenings in the village.
I have been in contact with the Headteacher of Nkokoto Primary School, Mr. Michael Theodos (pictured below, in the striped shirt). He took over the headship of the school when Joyce retired in 2017. He is a relatively young man and had been at the school for several years before being appointed Headteacher. We were thrilled to learn that Nkokoto School is one of the highest achieving primary schools in the Urambo District. We were also very pleased to learn that four of our students, whom the Link has sponsored in the past, have passed their exams and have moved on from Vumilia Secondary School to High Schools to complete their A level exams. The Link did not hesitate when asked to pay their fees and accommodation costs.
We had an excellent meeting in July when Jon Mason of Highfield Nurseries came to speak to us on perennials, giving advice on when to buy and plant them. He filled three large tables with a lovely selection of plants. The most interesting fact I learnt was that water from the Duck Pond at Highfield was used (after filtration!) to water all the plants in the Nursery – under normal English summer conditions!
Many of you will have seen (and bought!) some of the lovely wax candles that are sold through Traidcraft. Wax Industri Nusantara are based in Ngawi, East Java in Indonesia. It is a smallish factory employing 50 workers, mostly women, in an area where unemployment is high. Rather than investing in machinery, they deliberately employ local people to make the products by hand even though using machinery would make the factory more productive.
Besides providing job opportunities, there is a programme of training for staff, good working conditions , fair wages and free health care benefits.
The factory has also installed solar panels to produce electricity and they collect rain water to use in the production process.
Wax Industri are advocates for handmade products. Handmade means more hands, more artisans, less unemployment and a happier village.
All their products are made from 100% natural palm wax, which contributes to the sustainable production of palm oil. The candles have a pure cotton wick, a solid colour wax , a clean burn and no artificial fragrances . Look out for the candles on our stalls.
Our next stall is Sunday July 22nd after the service in the Porch Room.
If you forget your money or maybe you will be on holiday, then download an order form.
Jackie Natt 01453 731018.
Our June meeting was well attended and we soon dealt with the business details so that we could listen to our speaker Mr Pete Tiley.
Pete is our local Neighbourhood Warden who, having set out a table full of "goodies", proceeded to talk about personal safety and his role as Warden. He told us of the numerous problems he covers. He liaises with the Police as well as the Dog Warden and relies on the public to contact him about local problems. For example - abandoned cars, dog fouling which can carry a fine of £75, litter again with a fine of £75. Fly tipping is also a large problem and this carries a greater fine. He also deals with low level anti-social behaviour and drug use, bogus callers, hate crime and bullying and many more problems.
We have had a very enjoyable year at the Art Group and there was a big change after the departure of our Chairman, Elaine Grainger, who moved to Wales. Several of the more recently joined members joined the committee and Sue Dixon and Jill Harwood became joint Chairmen, backed up with a very enthusiastic team. We were grateful that the former Chairman, Brian Dowling, volunteered to remain on the Committee, as his years of experience were very valuable.
On the shores of St Helena Bay, on the west coast of South Africa, lie the vas salt pans of Velddrif. Underground there is a layer of water bearing permeable rock called an aquifer and natural sea water is pumped up from this to the surface and through 12 pans. The intense heat of the sun and the warm breeze do the rest and, when the water reaches the final pan, then the salt content is so concentrated that natural crystals form which are then harvested by hand.