The new District 6 International Service charity is the Lemon Tree Trust. The Trust is transforming refugee camps, one garden at a time. Gardening is a powerful therapeutic tool, addressing issues of isolation and mental health, producing beauty, belonging, food security, and promising economic stimulation. They pilot agricultural businesses and gardening initiatives in refugee communities, creating employment and restoring cultural identity, dignity and purpose. Their long-term vision is to expose every refugee camp in the world to garden competitions and to encourage self-sustaining ventures run by and for refugees. Through the provision of seeds and plants, they will empower social and economic change.
Members from 18 Clubs got together recently to celebrate the work being done to support International Charities. Speakers included the Chinthowa Trust, International Aid, and our Association International Service Committee Chairman, Shamim Govani. A vast array of knittted and other items was displayed before being shipped around the world to places where they would be much appreciated.
Stratford upon Avon member Valerie has been busy with distributing the huge array of items knitted by District 6 members. As well as a visit to take items to Aquabox, she helped ensure that Blankets made by members and friends of District 6 were delivered to children in Bunsanga village, Zambia by The Butterfly Tree Charity
On the 25th March I had the great pleasure of setting off to Zambia. As a volunteer of The Butterfly Tree Charity I wanted to visit and see for myself all the wonderful projects the Charity has undertaken. This was a very challenging trip as the rainy season was late starting but once commenced it did not know when to stop and actually prevented us from travelling to some of the more remote out posts. The charity initially assisted in the erection classrooms and clinics, women’s shelters and also the education together with sponsorship of children.
One of my first visits was to River View School were a new science block is being erected being one of the first by the charity. I was privileged to be present at the school giving us a welcome display. The school has over 1400 pupils at the present time. I also visited the pre-school and was able to present the pupils with puppets knitted by members and friends of District 6.
Looking forward there are six former pupils who have benefitted from sponsorship by the charity and who have now graduated. They are now attending college learning building, plumbing electrics and tailoring with the objective of running their own sustainable enterprises. This has all been made possible by the charity I was extremely impressed by this group of young people who deserve to succeed in their various enterprises,
In the last two years the charity has embarked on a very important challenge in that it has undertaken prototype projects in certain villages by the introduction of malaria prevention treatment to the houses coupled with spreading granules onto stagnant water to curb the mosquito propagation. I am pleased to say that the initial results of these exercises are most encouraging with substantial reductions in the levels of Malaria cases.I will remember for the rest of my life the gratitude of the people of Zambia for the benefits the charity has bestowed upon them. Valerie Redfern
WE DID IT! – raised the £2,830 needed for phase 1 of the Batwa Project in just over 12 months.
The Batwa Project was the District 6 international charity for 2016/17 and an enormous thank you goes to everyone who helped in any way to chieve our fundraising target. The Bees Abroad Batwa Project will be the District International charity for District 6 again this year, so watch this space to see how we can continue to help the Batwa.
Over 150 members thorougly enjoyed Afternoon Tea and a fascinating presentation at the recent International Service Rally. The main speaker was Richard Ridler from Bees Abroad, a charity which sets up beekeeping enterprises in areas of extreme poverty. District 6 is supporting a specific project to provide materials, training and equipment to a Batwa tribe on the Ugandan Border and enjoyed seeing pictures of how the project is progressing.
The International Service Committee ran a very successful Stall at the District Meeting, raising money in support of the Batwa bees project.
This will be followed up with a stall at the market in Stratford upon Avon on 28th April, an opportunity to buy some lovely goods and raise money for a worthwhile cause.
Our International Service Chairman Sandra has selected Bees Abroad as the International Charity for District 6.
Bees Abroad are a small UK-registered charity seeking to reduce poverty through beekeeping. Volunteer Project Managers assess and support beekeeping projects in developing countries worldwide. They use their expertise, working in the local community group to develop a viable project using indigenous bees and techniques appropriate for each location. Bees Abroad projects are normally self-sustaining after five years and no longer dependent on external finance and mentoring.
The project District 6 is sponsoring will support groups of Batwa pigmies living in extreme poverty who have been evicted from their ancestral forest homeland. They desperately need the income that beekeeping can provide to improve their circumstances.
The Batwa tribe were evicted from the Bwindi Impenetrable rainforest in 1980 to protect one of the only two remaining populations of mountain gorillas in the world. Until their eviction this tribe of pygmies had lived as hunter gatherers largely untouched the modern world. Amongst other things they used to hunt for and gather honey from bees in the forest. The Ugandan government provided no land or support following the eviction.
The project is expected to last some two to three years and the budget is £2,830. There is ample opportunity to extend the project once the first stages are completed successfully.
Sandra is sure all District 6 members will give their time, energy and commitment to improve the lives of the Batwa people. So let’s get busy…….
The District 6 International Charity is the Lemon Tree Trust - transforming refugee camps, one garden at a time.
The National President, Enid Law, has chosen Riding for the Disabled for her charity.