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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News round up

It has been a hectic couple of weeks for the trustees, volunteers and the projects.

Our adventure in snowy Norway continued  with an awesome  dog sledding adventure a visit to the north Cape and  unscheduled coach journey over the mountains to the airport because the ship’s captain made the decision to change course and head south  to find shelter  from an impeding gale force 9 storm.

Very different weather conditions from Rio where temperatures

Samba band

topping 30 degrees have not stopped volunteers Dave and Shelagh  from getting involved in beach trips, parties and Samba concerts with youngsters from the Living and Learning project.

Meanwhile Joe and Rosalba up in the North East have finished the VinB business and headed back to Teresina.

Much closer to home fellow VinB trustees Mary and David have been busy welcoming a new grandson into the world and for David a replacement hip joint.

boy on beach


Just to let you know what the volunteers and youngsters are having to put up with in Rio.

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Hunting the Light

Home to five million people, thirty thousand islands and the Aurora  Borealis. With Vinb chairman  Joe and Rosalba busy  in N.E. Brazil, husband/trustee  Keith and I have slipped off on our own mission aboard the Trollfjord. A cruise/post/ferry vessel  that serves the settlements along the Norwegian coast between Bergen and Kirkenes and affords it passengers views of the  Northern Lights, though there are no guarantees! It all depends on the solar winds so our friend tells us.

Three days into our trip and already our memories will be crowded by images of majestic sombre snow dusted mountains rising from the waters, broken only by occasional coastal strips of habitable land; some affording larger town settlements but innumerable little ribbons of land that are home to communities of maybe twenty or thirty families. The days are short and grey and our Norwegian guide tells us that the people of Trondheim  are anxious for the light reflecting snows to arrive with the  distraction of snow sports.

I had not taken the possibility of sea sickness seriously and once again the sea is getting a bit choppy and I had better get to the cabin whilst I can still stay on my feet.

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News from Teresina

Teresina 2

Flying over Teresina

Rosalba and Joe have arrived safely in Brazil after a long journey – 47 hrs!!
They are now in Teresina with family and all is well. On Friday they leave for Cristino Castro.


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Boa viagem…..


A final wave from Rosalba as she and Joe (VinB Chair) begin their journey to North East Brazil.

Martin our volunteer who has worked so hard to get the micro loan project up and running is leaving Cristino Castro in the near future and returning home to the Czech Republic. Timely, VinB trustees thought, for Joe to meet the families who  have received loans, find a successor to Martin and set up a support group to oversee and develop the scheme. During the visit they will have the opportunity to assess and  oversee repairs to the storm damaged Boa Esperanca, which is used by VinB volunteers. Before making the ten hour coach journey to Cristino Castro the pair will spend a few days in Teresina relaxing and catching up with family and friends.

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Water… a right for all

Dave, our volunteer in the Living and Learning project in Rio, has spent the last few days without running water.  This is what he thought:

So – if you think that I am just a lefty, pinko, bleeding heart please move on BUT in this modern age of technology can we not ensure that everybody in the World has access to clean, safe water. Having caught a nasty waterborne parasite in India which western medicines took 5 months to cure and now we have been without water for just 3 days it makes it even more real to me as to how lucky we are with our Water system (although it should never be a private company more a state utility).

Here in Rio we at least had access to swimming pool water so we could flush the toilets and could buy bottled drinking water. I don’t think our friends in the favelas had the same privilege. On Monday most of the children were absent from the project as they had to help their parents carry water!!

Sorry rant over BUT WHAT IS A MORE BASIC NEED THAN WATER ? If you agree and have time please take a look at the WaterAid site.


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