A Bicycle made for Two

Shiny and sleek, this  vintage tandem served for a number of  years as Joe’s preferred mount in ViBs  annual fund raising Cycle Marathon.                                                    Now retired we decided to offer it for sale and raise some cash to support the young people with their agricultural projects out in Northern Brazil.                                       Mary and David dusted off the cobwebs, spruced it up and advertised it.                        We are pleased to report that it has now  moved to the south and  has a proud  new owner.                                                                                                                                  Tandem

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Fire at the Agricultural College

We received this shocking video coverage a few days ago.  The fire destroyed fencing and trees at the College but thankfully no one was hurt and all the animals were rescued and taken to safety.

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One of my heroes.

Antonio Neto is  talking, with Oliveira our  man on the ground in Brazil, about his plan to further develop his fish farming venture.                                                                                        I first met Antonio during a visit to Brazil in 2010.  During that visit to his farm he  mentioned in passing a new member to the family; a little girl who was neglected by her family and was in need of love and support. I have remained  impressed by this man who  despite his stretched finances  found room for another.

Since then VinB has supported Antonio with two loans to develop his  fish farming enterprise which contributes significantly to the family finances.

Antonio Neto

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Newcastle meets Brazil

Rose & Anthony

Our lovely volunteer Rose  paid a brief visit home to  to introduce her ‘amor’  Anthony to her family and  friends in Brazil.                         Here they saying ‘Hello’ to the newest  member of  family.         Rose is coming to the end of her volunteer placement in Newcastle where she has worked with the young and not so young in the community.


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Simple beginnings

Pedro, a student at the Agricultural College in Cristino Castro, gets his chicken rearing project underway.

Many of the projects we support start in a very small way with very simple beginnings. Pedro, like many other young farmers studying at the Agricultural College, asked VinB to help him invest in his family’s small, subsistence farms. Pedro put a project proposal together. The proposal was then evaluated by Oliveira, our coordinator and Agronomist in Cristino Castro. Oliveira considered the project to be viable and beneficial to the recipient and the local community. He then sent the proposal to the VinB trustees for their consideration. After careful consideration the trustees approved the project and made the  resources available.

Pedro’s project is now beginning to take shape in very simple steps. Here are the first three that Pedro has undertaken since receiving the go ahead from the trustees.

Step one – The foundations

The foundations

The foundations








Step two – Complete the building

Building complete

Building complete








Step three – Start rearing the chickens

Rearing the chickens

Rearing the chickens










We wish Pedro well in his new project and all other students from the Agricultural College who are trying to develop their family farms.

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Thanks to all our supporters

In January 2017 the trustees undertook a review of all our work

Micro projects: We are delighted to report that we are supporting 17 micro projects in five different municipal areas in the region of Cristino Castro, NE Brazil. They range from organic vegetable production, handicrafts, fish farms, cattle, pig, sheep and chicken rearing projects. All of the projects are fully up to date with their micro loan repayment schedules. (Remember – VinB micro loans are provided by individuals and communities in the UK, they are interest free and recycled many times over – to date they are proofing to provide a virtuous circle to all involved). Sincere thanks to our coordinator, Jose Oliveira, for his expertise and dedication and for all your support throughout the year.

Favela Brass: Following the successful  involvement in the 2016 Olympics the Favela Brass project grows in strength and depth. The Favela Brass band practising in Rio

Above: Young musicians at the Favela Brass Project.

Below: the  Sandhouse Stompers raising money and support for the project. The Sandhouse Stompers completed their charity walk today

Experiential Learning: At Lee House the trustees continue to run experiential learning days for young people receiving highly positive responses from participating schools and groups.

Preparing for prayer

Experiential Learning Days








Volunteers: Our Brazilian volunteer Rosie is now well into her second year working with disadvantaged communities in Newcastle.

Rose and friends

Rose and friends




Thank you for all your support throughout 2016.

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A Child is Born

Just before Christmas Beth became a grand mother for the second time.

In September 2016 the trustees were delighted to receive Beth, Eduardo and their daughter Bia to the ‘wilderness’ of Longridge, Thornley and Chipping. Past volunteers and visitors to Brazil came together to welcome Beth and her family to the warmth of a Lancashire hearth.

In January 2017 the trustees are delighted to send Beth and Eduardo their heartfelt congratulations on the birth of their grand daughter.

At our annual review today the trustees will raise their glasses to the wonderful Sarlo family!

Beth's Grandchild

Beth’s Grandchild

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Messy Favela!

What would it be like to survive on a $1 a day?

That was what the children and families attending St Bartholomew’s, Chipping Messy Church were able to experience on Saturday afternoon. Teaming up with local charity Volunteer in Brazil the children swapped the usual craft, singing and worship of a typical Messy Church for shelter building, making water filters and cooking pancakes on an open fire. This was all part of the “Favela Experience” held at Lee House, Thornley which enables children and adults to better understand the difficulties faced by families in Brazil as they migrate from a life of poverty in the north of the country in search of a better life in large cities like Rio. During the afternoon the children and families were encouraged to act out the story of trying to build and set up new homes and communities, struggling with lack of money, being evicted from their property and trying to fight to remain in their homes through the court system. The experience ended with a short act of worship around the campfire, with prayers for those living in hardship around the world and donations were given towards the work of the charity. The afternoon was one of hundreds of Crossroads Mission events throughout Blackburn Diocese this weekend.

Rev Fiona Jenkins of St Bartholomew's helps construct emergency shelters

Rev Fiona Jenkins of St Bartholomew’s helps construct emergency shelters


The trustees  were delighted to host the event and would like to thank volunteers Agnes Bland, Dianne Ngoza and Helen Turner for their help and support.

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Tom is blown away with two appearances on the BBC in one week!

They say that lightening doesn’t strike twice but Favela Brass has featured twice on the BBC within the space of three days.

The first was playing own samba version of “Chariots of Fire right at the end of BBC One’s primetime program “Countdown to Rio”, which ran from 8:30pm to 10pm, before the opening ceremony of the Olympics:


And then the second was a piece specifically about our project this morning on BBC Breakfast, which is broadcast simultaneously on BBC One and BBC News:

It’s an amazing moment for the project and we’re all incredibly happy that the Olympics really did provide us with opportunity that we were all hoping for in terms of spreading the word about our project.

The task now is to find a way to convert all of this fantastic publicity into music lessons for our kids.

On that note, if anyone who hasn’t done so already would like to contribute financially, our Just Giving page will remain open for the duration of the Olympics. All pounds/dollars/euros donated are much appreciated and will go a long way.


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Growing together

Patricia, a student at the Agricultural College in Cristino Castro, invests in growing vegetables and her horticultural skills.

Patricia with her mum

Patricia with her mum

The trustees are delighted to be able to support Patricia with her micro project growing organic vegetables for sale in local communities.

Patricia is keen to use the skills that she is developing as an agricultural student to good use.

The vegetables that she produces will serve the local communities in and around Cristino Castro.

Oliveira, our local agronomist and coordinator of the VinB micro projects, will ensure that Patricia will get all the support that she requires.

We wish Patricia every success in her project.


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