East African Commissioners visit Wales 

15 March 2016

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The High Commissioners of Kenya and Tanzania will visit Cardiff this Thursday and Friday (17th & 18th of March 2016) to discuss Wales’ relationship with the East African region, including international development, education and trade links.

Their visit to the capital will see them meet a range of organisations and institutions, including Hub Cymru Africa, the Sub Sahara Advisory panel in the International Development sector and the Vice Chancellors of Cardiff University and the University of South Wales. They will also meet with the Welsh Government and be received by the Mayor of Cardiff.

Cat Jones Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “Welsh-African diaspora communities are a key component of the International Development sector in Wales.

“From within these communities, groups and individuals often play an important role in giving back to their local communities in Wales as well as their countries of origin.”

Hub Cymru Africa is currently funding 7 projects in Kenya and Tanzania and supports 15 Wales based organisations who work in the region. These projects and partnerships deliver a wide variety of activities from environmental educational links between Wales and Kenya to vocational training and skills sharing with communities in Tanzania.

The visit will finish with a public social event at the Temple of Peace where the Commissioners will meet with Charities and people from the diaspora community.

For more information visit: 

Hub Cymru Africa is funded by the Welsh Government and hosted by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2016

29 of February 2016

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“Sit down for breakfast, stand up for farmers!”

Millions of farmers in developing countries who produce everyday foods for UK consumers are themselves still going hungry and struggling to feed their families, the Fairtrade Foundation and Fair Trade Wales has warned.

At the start of Fairtrade Fortnight (Feb 29 – March 13) the organisations highlight that, while we sit down to a breakfast coffee, the periods of food shortage are so acute for some coffee farmers they’ve acquired their own grim names such as Chulga (food suffering) in Ethiopia, or Los Meses Flacos (the thin months) in Nicaragua.

Despite our dependence on farmers and workers for the foods, drinks and products that we love, about 795 million people are undernourished globally.

Elen Jones of National Coordinator at Fair Trade Wales said: “It’s a scandal that the people who grow the food we take for granted can’t always feed their own families. We can support farmers and workers to put food on the table for their families by harnessing the power of a Fairtrade breakfast.”

When people are paid a fairer price, they can have more control over their lives when times are hard, and worry less about how they will feed their families. Whether it’s the extra cash in their pockets or being able to expand their farms to grow more food to eat, Fairtrade means many farmers and workers are able to fulfil a basic human need – to put enough food on the table for the people they care about, all year round.

During Fairtrade Fortnight, we will be encouraging the people of Wales to inspire a multitude of Fairtrade breakfasts in their community – and wake others up to the challenges facing farmers and workers in Wales and beyond.

This year we are looking forward to welcoming Nimrod Wambette to Wales for Fairtrade Fortnight a coffee farmer in Konokoyi, Uganda. He will be sharing his stories and experiences of working on a Fairtrade cooperative at over twenty different events all across Wales over the two weeks.

Nimrod said: “I was very pleased to hear that Wales was designated the first Fair Trade Nation, supporting Fair Trade means that cooperatives like the one I work on are able to be far more sustainable and resilient to the pressures of climate change.

“By choosing both locally sourced and fair trade products you are able to support food producers locally and internationally.

“Fair trade doesn’t just mean a better price for us as farmers, choosing fair trade means choosing a better environment, sustainable growth, education and much more.”

Fairtrade Fortnight in Wales is being supported by the Welsh Government and Hub Cymru Africa.

Donkey Ambulance to the rescue!

21 December 2015

A small company in north Wales have invented an inflatable saddle that could have made Mary’s journey to Bethlehem a lot more comfortable.

SaddleAid, who are based in Tŷ Croes on Anglesey initially designed and piloted the inflatable saddle in 2012 to help transport women in labour in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan after reading a story online.

Peter Muckle of SaddleAid said: “Using our donkey ‘Queenie’, we have been adapting and improving the saddles over a long period of time so that they can be used for a range of different activities from carrying women who are in labour to the nearest medical facility to using the saddle to enable people with mobility issues to experience horse, pony or donkey riding.

“Our Hub Cymru Africa grant means we will now be able to trial the saddles through a partnership with The Simien Mountains Mobile Medical Service in northern Ethiopia to see if they are able to help more people in these mountainous rural areas get better access to medical facilities.”

The fully inflated saddle with all the attachments weighs around 8kg, and works by providing a stable, comfortable frame in which can be sat in.

The frame also has a quick release mechanism with bamboo sticks at the front and back which can be pulled out to make it easy to get off the donkey.

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “Child mortality is a serious issue in many countries across sub-Saharan Africa, where every minute counts for a woman in labour. “The time to get to the facilities can often put both the mother and baby at risk, so a device like this can make a real difference when access to roads and vehicles is often not possible, but where many families have access to a horse, pony or donkey.”

SaddleAid’s goal is to train local people to make the saddles, in co-operatives, at home or in small workshops, at low-cost and using easily available materials, to a culturally appropriate design. They are also working on additional support designs to carry people with broken legs, and people who are unconscious.

The project is supported by Hub Cymru Africa which is funded by the Welsh Government.

Young people in Wales go global!

30 November 2015

Next Friday (4 December 2015, 10-16:30) young people interested in international issues will descend on Cardiff Bay for the first Youth International Development Summit in Wales.

The day kicks off with a youth conference at the Urdd Centre, where participants will find out how to get involved in international development, lead global youth work, influence AMs and MPs and volunteer in Wales, Africa and beyond.

Fadhili Maghiya, Inclusion Officer at Hub Cymru Africa said: “It’s a great opportunity for us to speak with young people in Wales about how they can engage in local and international issues.

“It’s an important time to get people involved as 2015 has been a big year with lots of changes in International issues, from the new Sustainable Development Goals to the upcoming Climate Change talks at CoP21 in Paris.”

The event culminates in the final of the Welsh Schools Debating Championship, sponsored by the Jane Hodge Foundation at Tŷ Howell. Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg will go head to head with St John Baptist CIW High School after regional rounds across Wales.

This Year’s motion will be set on the new Global Goals: “This House believes that global goals are an indispensable tool for ending poverty” The winners of the final debate will go on to represent Wales at the International Mace in 2016, which brings together the winners of national debating tournaments in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Following the Championship, we will also be selecting 4 debaters to represent Wales at the 2016 World Schools Debating Championships, taking place in Stuttgart, Germany next year.

Manon Defis, Education and Events Coordinator at the Welsh Centre for International Affairs said: “Debating is a fantastic way to develop skills in literacy, critical thinking, working with others and communicating.

“As an educational charity we encourage the use of debating as a tool to further understanding of global issues throughout the curriculum.”

The events on the day are being delivered by Hub Cymru Africa, Youth Cymru and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.

The final of the Schools Debating Championship is kindly sponsored by Julie Morgan AM.

Welsh technology reaching Zambian children

26 November 2015

Welsh technology reaching Zambian children Giakonda a Swansea based IT Company, is using the Welsh manufactured Raspberry Pi computer to support education and IT development for schools in the Siavonga region of Zambia.

Raspberry Pis are credit card sized computers that were designed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of computer science to students who wanted to study it at university.

Howard Kirkman, Technical Director at Giakonda said: “The Raspberry Pi is a great piece of kit it is easy to teach the basic of computer science and programming along with Office applications like word processing and spreadsheets. We are installing useful educational software which even illiterate children are able to easily understand and learn from.

“We are also learning a lot, both culturally and technically as we are installing equipment in a much more challenging environment, but it’s very worthwhile, especially when you see how quickly the children here adapt and embrace the new equipment.”

In order to overcome the challenges of irregular electricity and poor lighting in the classrooms, Giakonda are installing solar panels to the roof of the building which will then be used to power LED lighting for the classes, as well as provide a sustainable power source for the IT equipment.

Chali Mangilazi, who works as an IT teacher at the local high school where the facilities are being developed said: “Our school will now act as a central IT learning centre for the Southern Province helping schools, teachers and the communities in the area to access the equipment.

“Using the skills I have developed, along with the team here I will be able to deliver a better quality of education and help develop practical IT skills for people in the region.

“One of the unexpected benefits has been that some of the local women in the area that sell at the market have been able to set up accounts to track their sales during IT classes, helping them set projections for sales and improve their businesses.”

Cat Jones, Partnership Manager at Hub Cymru Africa said: “It has been great to see the passion of Howard, his wife Wendy and the team at Giakonda, they are dedicating a lot of their own personal time and effort into this project.

“Projects like this one have allowed the Wales based staff at Giakonda to develop new skills as well as share their expertise with partners in Africa. In Zambia, skills are being passed from the teachers to the children, to the community, so everyone is benefitting.”

Giakonda will be showcasing their work at the Hub Cymru Africa European Funding and Development Innovation event in Cardiff on the 2 December, for more information visit:

The project is supported by Hub Cymru Africa which is funded by the Welsh Government.

Final weekend of the Wales African film festival

17 November 2015

Final weekend of the Wales-Africa Film Festival This year’s Wales Africa film festival Watch Africa 2015 will come to an end this weekend at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.

The culmination of this years’ festival will include 5 screenings which will be combined with discussion and Q & A sessions throughout Saturday.

Films to be shown include the children’s cartoon ‘Zarafa’ about a boy and an orphaned giraffe, ‘Lamb’- a story about a young shepherd and his friendship with his lamb and ‘Stories of our lives’ an inspiring anthology using a series of short films to bring to life LGBTI issues on the continent.

Festival Director, Fadhili Maghiya said: “This year’s films have explored a variety of exciting topics along our three main themes of Young Africans, From Africa with love and the North Africa Spring, if you haven’t had the chance to see any yet, come along on Saturday.

“I hope that people who have come to the screenings so far have left feeling like they have had a small taste of the challenges people are facing on the continent, through the beautiful cinematography on show.

“Thank you to everyone who has been involved, Watch Africa 2015 managed to screen more films in more venues across Wales than ever before, we look forward to seeing you again next year!”

In the main foyer there will also be some stalls with food, coffee, arts and crafts as well as information about Wales –Africa development work.

For more information visit:

The festival is supported by: British Film Institute (BFI), Arts Council Wales, Black History Month, Welsh Government, Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel (SSAP), Cardiff University and Hub Cymru Africa.

Welsh expertise tackling Mental Health in Somaliland

10 November 2015

Hayaat Women Trust, a women led Somali diaspora organisation from Cardiff are working to tackle the challenges of treating mental health in Somaliland.

The Hub Cymru Africa supported project has been split into two phases, the first phase will raise awareness of mental issues involved producing messages which were placed on billboards in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

During the second phase Hayaat Women Trust will work closely with mental health professionals in Wales to develop a tailored mental health training programme for health professionals in Somaliland to develop their capacity and expertise focusing on issues such as schizophrenia, depression and post conflict trauma.

Fowzia Ali of Hayaat Women Trust said: “We know that one of the challenges facing local people in Somaliland is access to mental health support. “By developing this training and awareness, local mental health workers will be able to better support local people and meet the challenges they face.

“One of the things we are finding is that the experts here in Wales are also having to develop new ways and approaches to tailor the training for the professionals in Somaliland which in turn is helping them think of new ways of working.”

Cat Jones, Head of Hub Cymru Africa said: “This project has identified a need in country and is using Welsh expertise to help. Mental health issues are being increasingly recognised in the UK, and we have expertise which we can use to good effect alongside local knowledge in Somaliland.”

The project is supported by Hub Cymru Africa which is funded by the Welsh Government.

Film Festival brings a taste of Africa to Wales

22 of September 2015

Watch Africa 2015 is proud to be bringing you some of the best in African cinema with a series of films being screened across Wales, starting on Friday the 3 October 2015.

This year’s festival aims to provide viewers with an insight into some of the issues facing people on the continent, with a focus on three main themes; Young Africans, From Africa with love and the North Africa Spring.

The Young Africans theme will include 13 films, from the challenges facing a young albino in ‘White Shadow’ to ‘Finding Fela’ which looks at the important role of the musician Fela Kuti, the afro-beat movement and the revolutionary political opinions which helped bring change from the Nigerian dictatorship of the 1970-80’s.

From Africa with love will explore the universal theme of love from a truly African context. Kenya’s ‘Stories of our Lives’ explores the issue of sexuality through a series of short films. Breathe Umphemulo brings a contemporary twist through a topical reworking of Puccini’s classic opera La bohème focusing on the damage done by tuberculosis in South African townships.

Three films will look at the conditions and social movements that triggered the wave of uprisings in what we call the North African or Arab ‘Spring’. The Moroccan / Belgian film ‘Horses of God’ looks and the rise of fundamentalism, whilst ‘We are Giants’ grapples with the agonizing and universal dilemmas at the heart of all struggles; to take up arms and fight, or to advocate change through peace and non-violence.

Festival Director, Fadhili Maghiya said: “I’m really excited by the films and themes we are show casing this year. Africa is a hugely diverse continent and I hope that people who come to see the films are left feeling like they have had a small taste of the challenges people are facing.

“As well as the films we will be hosting a number of question and answer sessions with partner organisations and experts in the field to allow people to share and discuss some of the key issues. “Though Africa might feel like a world away, many of the challenges people face are easy to relate to and often much closer to home than we think.”

For more information and to see the full programme visit:

The festival is supported by: British Film Institute (BFI), Arts Council Wales, Black History Month, Welsh Government, Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel (SSAP), Cardiff University and Hub Cymru Africa.

Cardiff ‘one of the most generous cities in UK’

1 September 2015

• Cardiff one of the most generous cities in the UK with more than 50% of people giving money to emergency appeals to help the poorest in the world

• VW Camper Van Summer Bus Tour to find most charitable people in the UK, hits Cardiff

Cardiff is one of the most generous cities in the UK with more than 50 per cent of people donating money to emergency appeals to help the poorest people in the world, according to an Attitudes to International Aid Survey by leading UK membership body for international development organisations.

Just over half of people questioned in Cardiff - 51 per cent - said they have donated and would donate money to emergency appeals such as the recent Nepal earthquake. This is a really high percentage compared to people in other cities such as Brighton where only 35% of the population have given money for similar causes.

Cardiff comes second for generosity, just behind Edinburgh where 52 per cent of people say they have given money to emergency appeals.

This Thursday (3rd September 2015), Bond brings its VW Camper Van Summer Bus Tour to Queen St, Cardiff from 11am -5pm to discuss the importance of international aid and development.

People from Bond and local international development organisations such as Hub Cymru Africa, as well as volunteers from Cardiff will be available to talk to people about international aid and the role we play in support people living in poverty across the world.

Ben Jackson, CEO of Bond said: “We are really pleased to be bringing the Bond 10 Day Summer Tour to Cardiff to celebrate the role we play in helping others around the world despite fierce criticism from people who question the UK’s aid commitment. It is a great opportunity to talk to people here, which our survey found to be one of the most generous places in the UK.

“2015 is an important and historic year, as the world looks back over the past 15 years of progress made to overcome poverty, and looks forward to the next 15 years on how we tackle poverty, inequality and climate change. The new global goals (Sustainable Development Goals) which are replacing the Millennium Development Goals are just as important for Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as they are for other countries.”

Bond’s Attitudes to International Aid Survey also found that people in Wales were also the most generous when it came to the UK’s role to help the poorest people in the world. Of more than 2,260 adults surveyed across the UK, two thirds of people in Wales said it was important that the UK keeps its promises to help people particularly in emergencies. Cardiff also has the highest number of conscious shoppers with 27 per cent of people saying they would boycott products for environmental, ethical or political reasons compared to just 16% of people in Brighton.

The survey was commissioned during 2015 to also mark the European Year of Development 2015 which highlights the results the European Union and member countries – including the UK - have achieved to date in tackling global poverty. The UK is Europe’s top overseas donor according to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operations and Development (OECD).

The Bond Bus is also part of the global campaign action2015 which involves over 1950 organisations around the world, all committed to fighting for a better future for people and the planet.

Wales – Africa tackling health challenges together

25 June 2015

Over the last year over 300 volunteers in Wales and over 1,700 volunteers in Africa have been involved in joint health projects, helping over 344,000 people across 13 countries.

To celebrate this work, Hub Cymru Africa is holding a Health Conference on Tuesday 1 July 2015 at Cardiff Metropolitan University, which is free to attend.

Keynote speakers include the First Minister Carwyn Jones who will open the conference, Lord Nigel Crisp who will talk about Sustainable Development and the visiting Dr Grace Kodindo, who will talk about her experiences, challenges and successes of working in maternal child health in Africa.

Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, Lord Nigel Crisp said: “Rich countries can learn a great deal about health and health services from poorer ones, combining the learning from rich and poor countries can give us new insight into how to improve health.”

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “This is an excellent opportunity to find out about the health work being done in Africa in partnership with people and organisations in Wales.

“Issues such as the Ebola virus epidemic have had wide reaching implications on a global scale in the last year. One of the event workshops will be looking at lessons learnt from the outbreak. “There will also be a wide range of other subjects to discuss, from global health in the national curriculum to why Fair Trade matters to health.”

Hub Cymru Africa brings together the work of the Wales Africa Community Links, the Wales for Africa Health Links Network, the Sub Saharan Advisory Panel, Fair Trade Wales and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) and is hosted by the WCIA at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff.

A new face for International links in Wales is launched

22 of June 2015

A newly formed Hub Cymru Africa project was launched yesterday (Tuesday 23 June) by the First Minister at the Millennium Stadium.

Hub Cymru Africa brings together the work of the Wales Africa Community Links, the Wales for Africa Health Links Network, the Sub Saharan Advisory Panel, Fair Trade Wales and the Wales International Development Hub.

Cat Jones, Head of the Hub Cymru Africa, said: “Our collective aim is to engage a wide variety of individuals and organisations in globally responsible development work that is mutually beneficial to Wales and Africa.

“We will continue and build upon the legacy of good work by linking programmes, events, campaigns, volunteer support, and continuing our policy and advocacy work.”

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones said: “The launch of Hub Cymru Africa is an exciting milestone in our Wales for Africa journey. It brings together the work of all of the projects we were previously funding and enables individuals, groups and organisations in Wales, that have strong links with Africa, to access the support they need to make a real and sustainable difference to communities who need it most.

“We may be a small country, but we in Wales certainly recognise our moral duties as global citizens and want to contribute to international development and social justice worldwide. I hope and expect that the Hub will bring an even greater number of people into the Wales for Africa community.

“It’s an exciting time for Wales for Africa, I’m sure the new Hub will strengthen the existing partnerships and inspire new ones.”

The launch will open a new £180,000 combined small grants scheme, including £50,000 ring-fenced for health, which will enable groups throughout Wales to access funding for small-scale Wales-Africa projects.

The partnership will be funded for three years by the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.