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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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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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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One more year

We are delighted to hear that Rosie & Patch have decided to continue their work as volunteers in Newcastle for one more year.

Rosie and Patch enjoyed a wonderful weekend with Dave, Shelagh and the Trustees in the sunny but cool Lancashire and Yorkshire countryside. It was a delightful weekend of visiting cultural and historical sites as well as lots of eating and socialising. On their return to Newcastle they entered a process of discernment and decided that they would continue to work as volunteers for one more year.

We wish them well in their second year and we will do all that we can to support them.

Rosie & Patch with cakes designed around their national flags baked by Shelagh

Rosie & Patch with cakes designed around their national flags baked by Shelagh

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A quick up date from Tom


Friday, 22 January 2016

Thank you to Alison Hawthorne, Vivace Strings and Solihull Music Service

It has been said before and it needs saying again: Favela Brass has great friends!

Professional double bass player and Doncaster Youth Jazz Association alumnus Alison Hawthorn now runs Vivace Strings, a youth orchestra, as part of Solihull Music Service. Just before Christmas Alison organized a public concert and a cake sale with staff and parents to raise money for Favela Brass. The events not only raised £230, but also yielded a donation of a trumpet to the project from Solihull Music Service!

Our success as a project is totally dependent on acts of kindness such as these. All of the shows, recordings and parades only become possible if the children are receiving the tuition necessary to learn to play their instruments, which in turn requires funding: with funding we can buy in local professional teachers to cover the gaps that we can’t meet with our volunteer staff, and with funding we can also attract more volunteer teachers by offering them a better deal in terms of help with accommodation and living costs.

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Sheep or goats?

Elias, a young farmer studying at the Agricultural College in Cristino Castro, is up and running with his new project.

Like many other young farmers in the region Elias is hoping to stay on his family farm and make a living from the land.

Sheep or Goats?

Sheep or Goats?

With the financial support of VinB and the technical support of Oliveira Elias has embarked on a new venture to raise animals that can thrive in semi arid conditions.

But can you tell whether his animals are sheep or goats?

In fact they are sheep!

But many a visitor to the region would easily make the mistake of identifying them as goats. Goats are also reared in the region but they are more difficult to rear because of their ‘adventurous’ nature. Sheep are more passive and docile.

We look forward to receiving updates on Elias’s flock

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