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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These are our children

Syria Chrismas appeal

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Meeting the basic needs of food and shelter for the children and families of war torn Syria makes uncomfortable reading when contrasted with the wants generated by our capitalist consumer driven economy.
Keynes  predicted that by 2030 technology would have developed sufficiently to take over the burden of production and provide sufficient earnings from a few hours of work to live the ‘good life’. Capitalism would have served its purpose ! Sadly  it has not worked out that way, instead capitalism  has become the master persuading us that  the  ‘the good life’ is to be found in consumerism and effectively confusing and conflating  wants and needs.

Our task is to work out what the universal features of a ‘good life’ are and how to achieve them for all.  It is heartening that  out of the disillusionment  with  the current economic systems  there is an groundswell of  interest and thinking about  what constitutes a ‘good life’.

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A stunning image

that had to be shared…thanks to Dave.

Inspired by Tom Ash

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Wow Samba Band on TV

I think you will agree that the film captures beautifully, the joy, the enthusiasm, the pride, and dedication of everyone involved with the band.

Beth hopes that from watching it we will get the same thrill as they. I certainly felt the thrill of it and also an immense sense of pride in those involved. What a confidence builder for the children to have their achievements recognised by the wider community

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Tom and his samba band hit the high notes

A couple of years ago Beth was lamenting the fact that she had a good collection of  musical instruments but no musician to  engage  the youngster in playing them.

Along came Tom a professional musician  from Doncaster UK to excite and  inspire  the children with his patience, sense of fun and huge talent to persevere through the  early stages of learning an instrument, to discover the fun and fulfillment of playing as a band.

With performances, articles in  local papers the band is going from strength to strength.

Tom Ash and group

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The feel good factor of true partnership

See Similde(red top) and Fabiana(purple top) in the opening shot selling their produce. They used a VinB micro loan to install a mechanical irrigation system, and when Joe visited them, during his stay in Cristino, they were full of praise for the partnership and full of ideas for future development.

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Living in Rio and never been to the beach

Dave our volunteer in Rio has added a little more detail to the beach trip.

fin At least 2 of the children had never been to a beach before and most never that close to Sugar Loaf mountain. The hardest part of the day was getting them out of the sea when it was time to leave. Any doubts we may have had about the value of these trips out  were quickly dispelled. It was great to see the children allowed to be children for a short time Dave

I was shocked to learn that some children had not visited the beach despite  living so close, but more shocked by  the assumptions I make about other peoples lives.

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