Nkokoto and Masasi: Minchinhampton Links in Tanzania

TanzaniaWhat do you know about Tanzania?

Tanzania is 6,000 miles from the UK and has a fabulously varied culture. Kiswahili is the common language, English is the official language of government, but many people living in the rural areas of Tanzania away from the main cities speak their own tribal language too. Here are some facts about Tanzania that might surprise you and could have been useful for the after dinner quiz on Christmas Day:

Dodoma is the capital city, not Dar es Salaam. Tanzania has borders with eight countries - Kenya (to the northeast) and Mozambique (to the southeast), Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

Tanzania is made up of three geographical regions: the islands and coastal plains in the east (where Masasi is), a saucer-shaped plateau in the centre and west (where Nkokoto is), and the highlands in the northeast.

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa standing at 5,895m, lies in these north-eastern highlands. Another special geographical feature is the Great Rift Valley, which cuts through the centre of the country.

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Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - December 2018


The school year is coming to an end (the school year in Tanzania is January to December – much more sensible than the UK system!) – and the fourth year students that the Link has sponsored – Julius, Senga, Yona, Dekasi, Bertha, Edina, Irene and Judith - will be leaving Vumilia Secondary School.

Hopefully, some may move on to higher education to complete their A levels. I will contact the sponsors of these eight students to ask whether the sponsorship can be transferred to one of the new year 1 students who will move from Nkokoto Primary School to Vumilia Secondary School in January.

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Minchinhampton Country Market - December 2018

Arriving upstairs at the Country Market on a Thursday morning, the customer finds an almost bewildering array of goods, all home made and locally sourced in one way or another, from individually crafted and unique greeting cards, to colourful toiletry bags; from Seville marmalade to hearty casseroles; from Gloucestershire honey to baskets of hyacinths; from buttery mincepies to home made Christmas cakes and puddings; from delicious loaf cakes to savoury cheese straws.

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Stroud District Foodbank News - December 2018

A month by month breakdown showed that the unusually cold spring months contributed to this increase, whereas the warm dry summer saw numbers drop on the previous year. As we enter the winter months we anticipate that need will rise again especially amongst those facing insecure work, debt and changing benefit payments.

We are in healthy shape in the warehouse following the Harvest period, over 100 schools and churches from the district held celebrations and donated over 7 tonnes of food and toiletries. This will provide much needed stock for the colder months.

Our annual Tesco Food Collection will be held in the Cam and Stroud stores on Thursday 29th November through 1st December, this collection helps us stock up with seasonal items that will be used to make over 400 Christmas Hampers. We'll also be presenting some of the entries to our Mascot competition.

The Stroud based Tesco stores are also currently hosting the Foodbank as one of the options for the blue tokens, if you happen to shop there, do please consider supporting us! Thank You!

Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - November 2018

Tanzania Today – some aspects of Tanzanian life

Children: In Tanzania, 50% of the population is under 18 years old. The children we met in Nkokoto, Vumilia and Urambo were delightful, but not all children in Tanzania have homes in villages such as these. Estimates are that there are at least 10,000 children living on the streets of the six largest cities alone, many experiencing physical and sexual abuse. Researchers suggest that for many children the situation at home may not be a lot better where there can be a high level of well-concealed domestic abuse, which is the main reason why many children run away from home in the first place. Runaway children frequently get into trouble with the law. The police aren’t particularly well-trained to deal with these children (in fact, many questions have been asked recently about the way Tanzanian police’s authority is misused) and the child protection legislation, good in theory, is not regularly enforced due to a lack of resources. I have to say that on my visits to Nkokoto, I saw no evidence of domestic abuse at all (but then, if it was occurring, it would be hidden from me of course.)

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Box W.I. - November 2018

In September we went to the Edgemoor Inn for our postponed “summer” lunch and had an excellent meal! We all liked the varied menu and appreciated that they catered for both small and healthy appetites! In fact we were so impressed that we have decided to book our New Year lunch there for 15th January.

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Traidcraft - December 2018

As I write for this December edition, I cannot yet give you the figures raised from the Traidcraft Christmas fair…but thank you to all who attended and to all the volunteers. We have always been a super trader for Traidcraft !!

As I hinted in last month’s magazine, Traidcraft will almost certainly cease trading by the end of the year. Since 1979, Traidcraft has sold goods sourced in developing countries and has pioneered the notion of fair trade . It has sold coffee, tea, sugar, honey etc …all sourced fairly….with most products being sold in UK schools and churches such as ours. Now, however, this model is no longer viable.

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Minchinhampton W.I. - December 2018

The November meeting of the Minchinhampton WI took place on Nov 7th. Despite the wet weather, we had an excellent attendance to support our AGM. An appreciation and thank you was given to the President and her committee. The usual agenda was addressed and venues were arranged for lunch, scrabble and craft. We celebrated two birthdays and welcomed two new members to our group. Christmas festivities were discussed.

We were treated to a delightful recital of anthology by various members and refreshments were served. Do come and join us for fun and friendship. We have a very exciting programme planned for 2019

Anne Tibbles

Fish and Chip Supper and Quiz


A very successful ‘Fish & Chip Supper with Quiz’ was held in the church on November 17th—the first event of this kind to be held in the reordered space.

There were 12 teams (of varying sizes) and all enjoyed supper from the fish and chip van, positioned at the lychgate, before embarking on the 4 rounds of questions delivered by Brian with his wife, Jane, doing the scoring. There were questions relating to birds, countries, general knowledge, music and some of a cryptic nature. The winning team, who won bottles of wine, was led by Peter Lapping. There followed a raffle before the whole area was cleared and prepared for the service the next morning.

Traidcraft - November 2018


This month I want to tell you a little bit about sugar production in Mauritius. Sugar production in Mauritius is very different to the early days of Traidcraftand has had to adapt to the changing global market for sugar.  Ex- colonial countries like Mauritius had preferential agreements with the EU for many years. This has now come to an end and also the global market for sugar consumption is being challenged.

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Minchinhampton W.I. - November 2018

Our meeting took place on Wednesday 3rd October at 2pm in the Library.

Members were welcomed by the President and apologies were received from absent members. Relevant business matters were discussed; birthday cards were distributed, arrangements were made for lunch at the Ram, Bussage and a venue was set for Scrabble.

The craft session will not meet this month due to our Institute hosting the Group meeting at the Hub, where we will welcome guests from Box, Nailsworth and Woodchester. There will be a presentation from Signature Tunes followed by a Tea Party.

This month Mr Stephen Rowley, our guest speaker, gave an excellent oration about Sir Charles Wheetstone—a famous inventor from Gloucester. The vote of thanks was given by Ann Jackson and the meeting finished with refreshments.

New members will always receive a warm welcome so come and join us.

Avril Tibbles

Minchinhampton W.I. - October 2018

Our meeting took place in the Library on September 5th. It was well attended and, after the usual business matters, we were entertained with a talk about about the Bala Children’s Centre in Kenya. Mrs Maura Ferdinando delivered this presentation explaining how the centre caters for over 300 children, 70% being orphans. The excellent presentation was informative and was brought alive with photographs of the children, their surroundings and artefacts. Avril Tibbles gave the vote of thanks.

We look forward to our October meeting when we will discover about “Wheatstones Clever Tricks”. A warm welcome awaits new members so please come along and join us.

Avril Tibbles