Self catering,getting lost…loving every minute

Dave & Shelagh
Great newsy journal update from Dave and Shelagh who are now into their third week at the Living & Learning project in Rio.

First Week.
Arrived tired but safe to be picked up at the airport by Beth. Lots of hugs. 4 big bags packed with teaching resources and some musical instruments for Tom (much much cheaper in the UK than Brasil). One bag weighed 28 kilos – good old TAP. Drive to the house in Santa Teresa to meet the landlady – a friend (and fellow Psychologist) of Beths. Quick Beer at midnight at the local bar then straight to sleep- very hard bed but made no difference ! ! Have our own shower/toilet and share kitchen, living spaces with 4 others – Richard (English), Anna (half English/Portugeuse), Sylvain (French) and Hamilton (Brasilian).

Dave up early to go to shops for bread. Took a wrong turn out of the gate and…. Continue reading

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A gift from Longridge High


Young people at Longridge High have been supporting Neto and his family in Cristino Castro with a micro loan to build chicken sheds and rear chickens. When they heard that Rosalba and I (Joe) were going to Cristino on a project visit in November they seized the moment to send Christmas gifts. The spirit of Christmas has arrived early in Longridge!

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Where is Africa….sadly not where it should be

Africa = 15% of world’s population + 20% of world’s land mass + diverse and substantial natural resources = the poorest people on the earth ?

Merrill Cook of has developed an interactive map that enables country to country comparison in seven key areas starting with health, economics and education. When using the map it is important to bear in mind that the numbers have gone through a series of averaging and scaling and that the data for conflict is based on the last 40 years. However the graphic does highlight the huge inequalities that exist, the chronic lack of basic services that people endure, poor government but on a more optimistic note the progress that some countries are making. Its not all war and famine but we know that much more could be done through reforming the structures of international trade and taxation.

Scoring Africa

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Volunteers greeted by friends old and new

Dave and Shelagh return
Volunteers Dave and Shelagh received a wonderful warm welcome from all involved in the Living & Learning project when they returned last week for a further two months.
As you can see, Shelagh has already got busy making masks ready for the Halloween party.

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Great start with a VinB micro loan


As you can see brothers Valdglan and Valdgley have  wasted no time in using their  VinB loan to get their chicken rearing unit  up and running. Martin ( VinB loan co-ordinator) visited them recently and it is good to know that the brothers are getting support from the local agricultural college and have set a high standard for the welfare of their chickens.

It’s wonderful to see our young entrepreneurs with smiles on their faces!!

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Sugar and land grabbing not a sweet issue

VinB has raised the issue of ‘Land Grabbing’ many times, usually focusing on the injustice suffered by indigenous peoples who are forced from the land they have lived on for generations. Often because they cannot produce documented proof of ownership and lack the resources to fight complicated protracted legal battles.

Pepsi-Cola, PepsiCo and the giant retailer Associated British Foods plc whose ‘Silver Spoon’ label is a UK brand leader, are buyers of sugar supplied by growers involved in ‘Land Grabbing’. Oxfam cite ‘slack policy’ as an issue and are leading a campaign to persuade these giant retailing companies to tighten up policy and take responsibility as some of the world’s biggest buyers of sugar to ensure that sugar growing does not lead to land grabbing.

Sign the petition and let the companies know the strength of public feeling;they care what the public think because we buy what they sell.

You can find out how your favourite brands score on workers rights and conditions in Oxfam’s excellent ‘Behind the brands‘ campaign.

20-10-2013 08-39-08

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Have more pay gone mad

Before reading this I knew that people in poverty do not have enough money to feed themselves adequately.

How much do you spend on food

But I now know the shocking fact that that those with the least money spend disproportionately more of their income on food than those with the most money. Relatively speaking that’s you and me.

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Grieving children…you can help


Just recently an email from a friend asked me to help to secure funding by voting in the Lloyds Community Funding scheme. Rainbows does tremendous work in supporting children and young people through the grief and loss of significant family members.
I thought you might want to help by voting and you can do this in two ways and each vote will be counted by:
Texting VOTE KQJD to 61119 or go online to:
Lloyds Community Fund and enter Rainbows Bereavement Support GB in the space provided.

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Storms in Cristino

Boa Esperanca storm damage

Storms brought havoc to Cristino in N.E. Brazil earlier this week. Causing damage to VinB’s volunteer accommodation and agricultural building.

Miguel's cows

A stark reminder of the weather extremes that farmer’s battle with.

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Living in a fair country

How should wealth be shared in our country and how do you think it is shared ? These questions were asked in a recent poll. What is your view ?

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Not quite the fair country you thought. Inequality is one of the main causes of poverty!

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