Tackling Sanitation as a barrier to Education in Uganda

Tuesday 13 March 2018

North Wales charity Teams4U have been in rural Uganda upgrading toilets and installing hand-washing stations across ten schools as existing facilities meant that many children missed school due to avoidable illnesses.

Sarah Sankey, from Wrexham, who has been volunteering for Teams4U in Uganda said: “In these rural schools we visited, some of the younger children had never even seen a tap before let alone washed their hands. We met so many children who were frequently sick from diarrhoea and stomach bugs and on one extreme occasion met a young girl who needed rehydration medicine to get better.”

“It was therefore essential that we improved the access to clean facilities and worked with children to teach them about the importance of personal hygiene, especially how taking simple steps like washing your hands can vastly reduce the cases of illness.”

The team met with over 6,000 school children teaching them using a character called Ekilai who had to wash her hands after playing in the river, after touching and looking after the animals, after helping in the kitchen, before eating and after going to the toilet. “We tried making Ekilai as relatable as possible to the children and they were really engaged when we acted out the story”.

Whilst the team stressed the importance of good hygiene with the children, the charity also fitted a station for hand-washing in each school and upgraded each school toilet with a sealed, pressurised cover over the pit to prevent fly infestation, odour and to help make the toilet floors easier to keep clean. The older children were also shown how to make their own simple hand-washing device for their homes.

Sarah Sankey added: “The children and their teachers were so excited to see the place to wash their hands and use it for the first time! Their teachers hope is by continually promoting good hygiene practice in the schools, there will be a lot less absence and the children can be enabled to pursue their education.”

The project was supported by Hub Cymru Africa who are funded by the Welsh Government.

Cat Jones from Hub Cymru Africa said: “The effects of poor sanitation in developing countries are felt most by children, particularly girls, who are often responsible household chores of walking miles to fetch clean water or are impacted by the lack of clean and separate washing and toilet facilities in schools, causing them to drop out.

“Creating an environment with good sanitation plays an important part in ensuring that they have fairer access to an education which will help them succeed in life as adults.”

Swansea hospital staff improving respectful maternal care in Zimbabwe

Tuesday 6 March 2018

A team of an obstetrician and a midwife from Singleton Hospital in Swansea have joined forces with the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Zimbabwe to train midwives and obstetricians in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Unfortunately, the standard of hospitals in Zimbabwe mean that many women in labour are not treated with the respect they deserve. This means that some women prefer not to access healthcare as they feel they will be treated better at home. This partially results in three in every ten births taking place unassisted at home, leaving women who experience complications at risk, without professional help.

Even though rates are improving, an estimated 3000 women die every year in Zimbabwe during child birth.

The workshops, which are part of a pilot scheme, worked with midwives and obstetricians who kept journals of their practice and experiences and brought them together every fortnight for further interactive and reflective activities, role-play, and case-based and evidence-based discussions.

Myriam Bonduelle, Clinical Lead Obstetrics and Gynaecology Singleton Hospital who was part of the Welsh team said: “The enthusiasm of the participants has been really encouraging. Despite working in very difficult circumstances the participants have been willing to examine their own attitudes and are gradually changing their behaviour. Interestingly they are also more aware of negative attitudes in other members of staff who did not have the chance to be part of the workshops.

“We really hope that this will lead to a sustained change in behaviour so that labouring women will feel supported and will access the healthcare they need.”

If successful, the intensive training could be scaled up to across the whole country, helping to protect the lives of babies and expectant mothers.

Myriam added: “We want to develop a programme so that existing professionals in Zimbabwe are able to share best practice and work together with our support to manage and improve maternal healthcare across the nation.”

The project was supported by Hub Cymru Africa with funding from the Welsh Government.

Hannah Sheppard, Grants Manager at Hub Cymru Africa said: “The Welsh team have benefitted from developing and planning a wide-ranging training programme in a challenging environment.

“They have returned to Wales enthused and motivated and with a lot of practical skills and lessons they can now share in their own practices.”

Charities commit to principles to ensure zero tolerance of sexual exploitation

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Today, we joined some of the UK’s leading charities met at Bond’s offices to discuss zero tolerance of sexual exploitation across the international development sector. The sector is committed to responding to the justifiable anger felt by the communities we work with, the British public and colleagues.

Every day, the international development sector works to meet urgent needs and solve global poverty issues, but we recognise that in some cases the sector has fallen short and let down the vulnerable people we work with. We are committed to meeting the high standards expected of us and we acknowledge the need for improvement.

NGO's have committed to the following principles: 

  • Ensuring that the culture within our organisation provides a safe and trusted environment that encourages those affected to come forward and report incidents
  • Assuring the regulatory bodies that they have full disclosure of all safeguarding concerns at the earliest opportunity
  • Sharing with the regulatory bodies the safeguarding policies and practices already in place, as well as how incidents and allegations are handled when they arise
  • Where not done already, sharing the details of any incidents with the regulatory bodies
  • Increasing investment and resources towards safeguarding and protecting the most vulnerable
  • Ensuring that the highest safeguarding standards are applied throughout our programmes and that best practice is shared across the sector
  • Carrying out work, which is already underway in collaboration with DFID, the Charity Commission and global bodies, to explore and develop a system of passporting, registration or accreditation of  humanitarian and development practitioners which will be accelerated under the leadership of UK NGOs in the hope that it may influence the practice and standards of the global aid community

At Hub Cymru Africa, we have always taken safeguarding seriously. Anyone funded by us will be familiar with our code of conduct document which all our partners and grants recipients sign. This helps us minimise the risk of anyone falling short of the high standard of care and respect we expect to see maintained in the partnerships we support in Africa. 

Our code of conduct is open source and available for anyone to modify for their own organisations. Our team is on hand to advise anyone who wants more detailed guidance on putting this into practice and we aim to be rolling out safeguarding training in the Spring.
For more details please contact us:

Welsh theatre charity launch pioneering learning disabilities project in Lesotho

Wednesday 31 January 2018

(Hijinx staff on their initial scoping visit to Lesotho)

Award-winning theatre company, Hijinx, is taking a group of learning disabled actors and staff to tour the landlocked country of Lesotho from 10-25 of February, in a ground-breaking performance project called Able to Act.

During an initial scoping visit to Lesotho in 2016, Hijinx found that learning disabilities are widely perceived as a curse, with many disabled children abandoned in orphanages by their parents. Through the Able to Act project, Hijinx aims to present a positive view of people with learning disabilities in a way that has never been done before.

Four specially trained professional actors with Down’s Syndrome from Hijinx’s performance training Academies in Wales will be undertaking the trip - Justin Melluish, Gareth Clark, Laura Tilley and Victoria Walters.

During the trip, they will be partnering with local students from the Machabeng International College to train learning disabled children from the Phelisanong orphanage to rehearse a new piece of creative theatre, which has been initially developed in the Hijinx Academies across Wales.

One of the actors, Victoria Walters said: “This will be my first visit to the African continent and I feel excited about the challenges we face and the positive impact we can make.”

Local participants will be performing the final production, titled ’KE LABALABELA HO BA….’ (I aspire to be) alongside the Hijinx Actors in a series of open-air performances. This will be a totally new experience for the actors from Wales and everyone involved in the production. Its’ ambition is to highlight to the local community that not only can people with learning disabilities achieve far more than they think, but they can also work alongside people without learning disabilities as equal partners, and make a valuable contribution to civic life.

‘We want to work with the local rural communities in Lesotho to help them recognise the value of giving aspiration to people with disabilities’, said Jon Dafydd-Kidd, who heads Hijinxs’ outreach programme, ’to this end we are devising a new production that will involve young people from a Machabeng College in Maseru and children from the Phelisanong Orphanage.’

The Able to Act project has been made possible through funding from Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme through Hub Cymru Africa, the British Council, and in association with Machabeng International College and Dolen Cymru.

Hannah Sheppard, Grants Manager at Hub Cymru Africa said: “People with disability are often the most excluded and discriminated against in any society, and I hope that this project can begin to change the way that people see disability and how learning disabled young people view themselves and their own capabilities. It’s an exciting project for everyone involved and I look forward to seeing the results.”

Celebrating International Development and Fair Trade

Tuesday 30 January 2018

(Overall Impact winners Bees for Development)

Yesterday (Monday 29 January 2018) over 160 people gathered at the Wales for Africa awards ceremony at the National Museum, Cardiff, to celebrate the work of International Development and Fair Trade organisations groups.

The awards were presented to winners of 10 categories including: Youth Leadership, Innovation, Sustainability, Partnership, Inclusion, Shoestring budget, Fundraising Communications, Campaigns and Overall Impact.

The event was attended by First Minister, Carwyn Jones, who met with the award winners.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “These awards are a opportunity to celebrate the many ways in which people in Wales are making the world a better place.

“Wales is making a fantastic contribution to development in Africa thanks to the dedication and hard work of thousands of volunteers.”

Nicola Bradbear of Monmouth based charity Bees for Development who won the Overall Category for their work training beekeepers in Africa said: “We are delighted to have received this award for our work. Our projects are focused on helping individuals and communities to develop skills and means of improving their own lives.

“As well as the obvious benefits of beekeeping, the beekeepers we have supported have noticed that having bees also increases the yields of other crops as they are better pollinated. This is of critical importance in regions where communities rely heavily on subsistence farming and local trade of crops. In addition, honey is incredibly nutritious and delivers key health benefits to the beekeepers and to their families.”

Other winners on the night included Cardiff based Dolen Cymru, South Wales -Sierra Leone Cancer Care and Somaliland Mental Health Support Organisation, the Swansea Siavonga Partnership, Swansea based Giakonda Solar Schools, the Brecon Molo Community Partnership as well as Pembrokeshire based Fairtrade in Football Campaign and the Barry Town Council Fairtrade Committee with another 14 organisations/groups being highly commended for their efforts.

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “This celebration was all about the huge contribution individuals, community groups and small charities in Wales make to tackle global issues.”

The event was coordinated by Hub Cymru Africa with funding from the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.

Improving midwifery skills from Wales to Namibia

Monday 15 January 2018

(Grace Thomas delivering training in Namibia ©Paul Crompton)

Last year a group of senior midwifery professionals from Cardiff University visited Namibia as part of a programme to improve skills among midwives in the rural north of the country.

The Phoenix Project at Cardiff University initially set up the connection with the University of Namibia in 2014 and a significant part of the work involves overcoming the challenges faced by health professionals in the country.

On this occasion, the focus of the visit was to deliver practical clinical skills updates and simulation training for both midwifery educators and clinical midwives from local hospitals. Topics included emergency skills such as newborn resuscitation, suturing and needle safety, and how to deliver a baby in the breech position.

Grace Thomas, Lead Midwife for Education & Professional Head at Cardiff University and one of the trainers on the trip said: “One of the things that impressed me most about the Namibian midwives was their passion for their work and their ability to cope with difficult situations in a limited resource setting.

“The experience was really special; as well as supporting or colleagues there to update the skills that they identified as challenging, I felt that I and the team were also able to learn a great deal in return.

“One particular highlight was being able to visit one of the rural maternity units at Onandjokwe State Hospital, that is responsible for the delivery of around 7,000 babies a year and to see the direct impact our training is having.”

One clinical midwife who received training from the Cardiff team said: “The course was so much useful and relevant, wish all nurses/midwives could go through it so it builds their confidence in dealing with daily maternal challenges.“

The work was part-funded by a grant from Hub Cymru Africa who are supported by the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “Supporting partnership working and skills sharing is a key part of the work we do.

“The training skills and working in challenging environments that many of our health professionals are able to develop through experiences like this will serve them well on their return to Wales and help us develop a motivated and resilient experienced workforce in our health services.”

The visit was part of an ongoing partnership between Cardiff University and the University of Namibia to reduce poverty and promote health.

Welsh charity refurbishes old tools for Tanzanian workers

Monday 20 November 2017

(Buriga Women's group in Kiabakari, Chairwomen Lucia Jackson (on right) with a new sewing machine)

Tools for Self Reliance (TSFR) Cymru has been working with partners in Tanzania for twenty years, supporting people with access to affordable tools and training in artisan skills such as blacksmithing, tailoring and carpentry.

Their model helps people in rural Tanzania lift themselves out of poverty using their own initiative and skills, whilst also developing the skills of volunteers here in Wales who are involved in the refurbishment of tools which are then shipped to their African partner community.

Tony Care from TFSR Cymru said: “One of the things we realised when working in Tanzania was that many people are very skilled, but often lack the equipment and funds to get started and set up their own business.

“We find that even the people who don’t have the skills are quick learners and following our training sessions are soon making garments or carpentry products.”  

Some of the equipment that is donated can be very old; as sewing machines are coded, staff and volunteers at TSFR Cymru are able to date them.

Tony added: “It is not uncommon for us to be given mechanical sewing machines that date back to the 19th century; being able to repair an old machine rather than buying a new one or send it to landfill and knowing it will be well used afterwards is particularly satisfying. The shoe menders especially like these old machines as they are stronger than the newer machines.”

As well as shipping tools to Tanzania, Crickhowell based TSFR Cymru also buy handmade Tanzanian tools to sell here in Wales, providing the workers who make them with a good source of income.

Following a grant from Welsh Government funded Hub Cymru Africa they are now in the process of establishing a workshop in Abergavenny, which will give them a base from which to renovate more sewing machines for Tanzanian tailors.

Liz Rees, Grants Support Officer at Hub Cymru Africa said: “The new workshop will mean that women’s groups in Tanzania will receive a lot more machines, which in turn will help many more of them to establish new tailoring businesses and take control of their own lives.

“TSFR Cymru also offers excellent training opportunities for volunteers in Wales to develop hands on skills, and this new workshop will allow them to take on even more people.”

Gifts that last - over this festive period TSFR are encouraging you all to buy a gift from them. You can send a sewing machine to a woman’s group in Tanzania for only £10, or train a carpenter for £35.

For more information visit:

Bringing a taste of African cinema to Wales

Monday 23 October 2017

This year, Wales’ only African film festival, Watch Africa is bringing you the best of African cinema.

The festival starts on the 23rd of October and runs until the 12th of November, with screenings, events and activities at venues in Bangor, Aberystwyth, Tywyn, Swansea and Cardiff.

Watch Africa Festival Coordinator, Fadhili Maghiya said: “This year we have gone for a real mix with 20 different titles; from the rare lost classics films, right through to showcasing the best that African cinema and directors have offered us over the past year with films about political activism, cartoons that tell children’s stories, films that tackle issues around witchcraft and much more.

“To accompany the films, we are also running question and answer sessions, educational workshops, storytelling sessions, music and crafts.”

One of the films which will be showcased this year is that of Welsh - Zambian director Rungano Nyoni, I am Not a Witch one of only a few British films that featured at this years’ Cannes film festival.

Rungano said: “The festival is a great way to engage people with issues across the continent and bring them to life for audiences here in Wales.

“I was inspired to make I am Not a Witch following a visit to a witch camp in Ghana, it stuck with me, so I decided to try and express different views and perspectives by exploring the practices that lead to children being treated in this way.”

For more information about the festival 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 and others.

Welsh Midwives reducing maternal deaths in Sierra Leone

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Earlier this year a group of midwives returned from Sierra Leone in West Africa, where they have been training local midwives to improve their skills with the Welsh charity Life for African Mothers (LFAM).

The charity regularly sends out midwives to run training sessions, whose attendees often go on to train others, to share information about the latest medical conditions and to bring much needed supplies.

Whilst the country is still recovering from the impact of many years of conflict as well as the recent Ebola crisis, helping to build the capacity and resilience of health workers is a key part of the commitment and drive behind the work of LFAM.

Angela Gorman, founder of Life for African Mothers said: “Friendships have been formed and practices in the UK and Sierra Leone have been enhanced by the partnership with hospitals, clinicians and the Ministry of Health.” 

“The key element of this visit was to follow up on the training workshops to make sure that the new practices were being followed and to try and help break down any barriers that were preventing this.”

As well as training, LFAM volunteers also transport key medical supplies like neonatal resuscitation ambu-bags for the hospitals and sometimes baby clothes that they distribute to some of the poorer communities in the Connaught area of the capital city, Freetown.

Angela added: “Though our volunteers often witness very difficult situations and conditions, the positive outcomes and experiences of seeing babies being delivered safely are far stronger.”

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “The shared learning that happens during these visits means that the medical professionals involved on both sides are able to learn and develop new skills which will improve the way that they work and ultimately save lives.”

The work was funded by Hub Cymru Africa who is supported by the Welsh Government.

Eisteddfod: Wales Africa Funding Launch

Monday 7 June 2017

A small funding grants pot for organisations and individuals based in Wales will be launched on Tuesday the 8th of August at 3pm on the Welsh Government stand (S01) at the National Eisteddfod.

We will be joined at the launch by Rhun Ap Iorwerth AM, as well as grant recipients - Bangor University and Anglesey Fair Trade who will discuss the impact of Welsh projects overseas.

On the stand, Anglesey based charity Saddle Aid who have also received funding will showcase their incredible inflatable donkey saddle. The saddle which is produced locally is set to go on trial in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia to help women going into labour to travel and access local health centres.

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “In relative terms our grant funding is quite small, but thanks to the partnerships that have been set up and the dedication of the people who come to us for funding, they achieve an incredible amount, and are often boosted by their own fundraising activities.

"We have funded and supported a wide range of organisations, including health professionals delivering training such as; the Betsi Cadwaladr link with Quthing in Lesotho, Beekeeping training to help people set up a livelihood in Uganda through Bees for Development to supporting the promotion of Fair Trade in Wales through volunteer groups and combatting climate change through Tree Planting projects in Kenya through the Community Carbon Link.”

Since its launch in 2015, Hub Cymru Africa has awarded 109 grants totalling over £580,000 and supported projects in 22 different African countries.

This grants round will be a pot of £42,000 with applicants able to apply for grants of up to £15,000.

Hub Cymru Africa is supported by the Wales for Africa Welsh Government Programme.

Welsh scientific expertise to boost rural Ugandan farming

Tuesday 27 June 2017

The plant nurseries being built in Uganda

As prices for Uganda’s cash crops hit rock bottom, a Wales based collaboration – Community Enterprise Model for Plant Oil Production (CEMPOP) - are working to develop and trial a sustainable agri-business that supports local communities.

Using the expertise of Cardiff University and IGO Ltd, the project is growing alternative plants that would help producers generate a better income.

Subsistence farming is the main economic activity in rural Uganda, so the fall in the price of cash crops means that many young people move to towns and cities in search of a better future.

To try and counteract this the project is working with commercial farmers, and Ugandan based organisations Kyoga Youth and Women Community Enterprise, to engage with local communities and help develop a potential alternative to the growing of the usual cash crops, replacing them with Peppermint.

Peter Randerson a member of CEMPOP, and lecturer at Cardiff University School of Biosicences, said: “We have tried to set up the project in the most environmentally sensitive way possible, using local materials and expertise to clear an area of land to create the plant nursery.

“We are also using a variety of different methods to grow the plants to find the most efficient methods that are possible, that can easily be continued by the local community, so that they can reap the benefits.”

The production, extraction, processing and marketing of organic essential oils will create lasting opportunities for Uganda’s rural women and youth, coupled with educational opportunities for students in Cardiff.

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “This innovative project is an excellent example of well thought out partnership work, with expertise in terms of the technical elements, such as sampling and testing being provided by Cardiff University and IGO Ltd, and local engagement and practical farming skills being provided by the Ugandan partners.

“Projects like this create an environment of shared learning, with benefits for all involved.”

The Hub Cymru Africa partnership is funded by the Welsh Government through the Wales for Africa programme and is hosted by the Welsh Centre of International Affairs.

Arts Organisation improving women’s rights in Kenya and Ethiopia

Monday 26 June 2017

Bridgend based organisation Valley and Vale Community Arts have been delivering workshops and training in Kenya Ethiopia and Wales to help improve the lives of women and girls.

The project has been using creative arts and film making to give local women a voice, helping them tell their stories and discuss issues of sexual consent, female genital mutilation and early marriage.

As well as helping provide platforms for women and girls to raise their voice, the project has been working with boys and providing practical ways to help the women and young girls make a living.

In Kenya, Valley and Vale have been working with a group of Maasai widows. After losing the main bread winner for the family, one of the challenges they face is the struggle to provide for themselves and their children.

Tracy Pallant of Valley and Vale said: “Our shared aim with our work in Kenya was to find a way to establish a sustainable long term employment, so initially we worked together to set up beekeeping and cultivation projects.

“The initial plan was for women grow their own crops, whilst the bees would pollinate and supply honey and wax. The Maasai women could then harvest and sell the honey and make candles to earn a living.

“However, due to the worst drought in recent times local honey production has not been possible for a while. Rather than not use the building set aside for the candle making project, we have converted it into a sewing workshop, making washable sanitary towels for girls as well as schoolbags and uniforms, providing a new skills base and income generation for the widows.”

Helen, one of the Maasai widows said: “We have enjoyed working side by side with the team at Valley and Vale, exchanging stories and building confidence and a strong bond together. Breaking down the harmful practices as well as providing us with the means to generate some much-needed income and help us determine our own futures.”

The project will be extending its work in Wales, using theatre workshops to work with young women from the Somali community, exploring the themes around harmful cultural practices in partnership with Cardiff based charity Hayaat Women’s Trust.

The project has been funded by Hub Cymru Africa, who are funded through the Welsh Government Wales for Africa Programme.

Hannah Sheppard, Grants and Policy Manager at Hub Cymru Africa said: “Although there seems to be a shift in the number of women and girls who are put through harmful cultural practices like FGM, the numbers in countries like Ethiopia (74%)* and Kenya (27%)* are still far too high.

“This kind of work is an opportunity for these women and girls to share their stories, breakdown the stigma and misinformation given and to help them invest in their own futures.”

Click here to see an animation produced by the schoolchildren in Kenya about FGM.

The Hub Cymru Africa partnership is funded by the Welsh Government through the Wales for Africa programme and is hosted by the Welsh Centre of International Affairs.

Swansea duo set up keyhole gardens in Cameroon

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Natalie Danford and daughter Lizzie have been working with a local organisation and schools in the Kumbo area of north west Cameroon to build keyhole gardens.

Keyhole Gardens are an effective technique for the schools to grow their own vegetables, and even sell any excess vegetables to help the school generate a small income. They are usually small gardens that are built specially to grow a range of vegetables that are fertilised through a central composting basket which grey water can be poured into, making them highly productive even when water is sparse.

Natalie said: “We have been working with seven schools in the area to develop the keyhole gardens. As well as providing food, the gardens are also important areas where pupils can learn about food production, skills many of the families have lost since they now live in an increasingly urban environment, without the space to plant.”

The project was set out following Natalie’s training at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. She used the training to create a workshop programme and created guidance which she uses to teach about the benefits of the gardens in partnership with the locally based organisation, Self Reliance Promoters (SEREP).

The aim of the project is to also build a keyhole garden in Swansea, involving local schoolchildren who will be able to learn about growing plants as well as linking up with partner schools in Cameroon.

Cat Jones, Head of Hub Cymru Africa said: “By working in partnership with a Cameroonian organisation, training workers in the organisation, members of the local community as well as teachers and pupils, the project is able to develop a work programme which can be rolled out to more schools in the area.

“The experiences of Natalie and Lizzie can then be used here in Wales to help develop a similar project which will benefit schoolchildren and the local community in Swansea.”

Wrexham Charity keeping Ugandan girls in school

Monday 19th of June 2017

Shame around periods means that many girls in Uganda lose at least three days a month of their education as they stay home when menstruating to avoid embarrassment and bullying.

Wrexham based charity Teams4U (T4U) has set up a project working in Uganda with educators in the eastern town of Kumi since 2006 to provide underwear and sanitary goods to girls aged 12-16 in 56 schools across the region.

As well as providing the sanitary pads, the programme also includes a Sexual and Reproductive Health education focus, using the expertise of the T4U volunteers and local educators to work with male and female pupils and teachers to raise awareness of the issues faced by the girls.

Recent funding from Hub Cymru Africa (HCA) is now allowing the charity to return to these schools to monitor the impact of their work.

Dave Cook, Head of Teams4U said: “I grew up in a household with 3 daughters and I realised that even with all the support and sanitation we have, they had to overcome some difficult challenges. Seeing the challenges faced by the girls in Uganda, who are often at risk of infection and poor health due to their circumstances and sanitation, I wanted to take action.

“Using the funding from HCA, we can evaluate what we have done and use this to understand how we can improve our training and increase local capacity to improve children’s lives. A new training centre nearby will be able to increase our capacity to do this.”

As well as the ‘Develop with Dignity’ sanitation programme, Teams4U also offer vocational skills based training to help improve the employment opportunities for local people, so that they can gain employment and support their families.

Beth Kidd, Grants and Development Support Manager at Hub Cymru Africa said: “Being unable to access proper sanitary wear is an extremely important issue leading to many girls missing out on education, which can have a big impact on their lives when they later look for jobs and opportunities to develop their careers.

“The T4U approach works well as it includes boys in the Sexual and Reproductive Health sessions and it breaks down the stigma allowing the local community to look at and address the issues themselves.”

The Hub Cymru Africa partnership is funded by the Welsh Government through the Wales for Africa programme.

Prisoners take action for drought appeal

Friday 5 May 2017

Prisoner Inmates at G4S run HMP Parc in Bridgend organised a 5 a side football competition to raise funds to combat the ongoing drought in east Africa.

Matches took place throughout the day with players paying to be involved in the competition, eventually raising £200.

G4S Custodial & Detention Services are being approached to Match the funding to reach a total of £400.

Ali Abdi, who works with young people in the Cardiff community from the visiting Cardiff Community Team (pictured above) said: “It was great to be involved, we had some really good close matches and an opportunity to speak with the prisoners about the ongoing struggle in Somaliland.”

The raised money will be donated to the Wales Somaliland Drought Appeal – essentials for those most affected by the drought.

Phil Forder, Community Engagement Manager at HMP Parc said: “Sport is an important part of the rehabilitation programme here at the prison. Many of the prisoners involved in organising the tournament are members of different diaspora communities and felt that this cause was something really close to their hearts.

“It was great to see them takling interest in a global issues and taking action to try and support those suffering in east Africa.”

To support the tournament,ethically produced Fairtrade Footballs were donated from Fair Trade Wales who are part of the Hub Cymru Africa partnership.

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “We are really proud to be involved in supporting activities like this at the prison. Wales as a nation is well-known for solidarity and support of people less fortunate than ourselves and it is inspiring to see the prisoners getting involved.”

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

Celebrating solidarity on Africa Day

Thursday 25 May 2017

We will be joined by Wales based organisation who work in Africa to hear about their projects and will also be hearing from the First Minister, Carwyn Jones about the value of Wales – Africa work.

Political representatives from all the parties will also be present to outline their views on International Development.

Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa said: “Wales has a strong history of solidarity, and should be proud of the excellent work of many of the dedicated small and often volunteer led organisations that are partnered with and committed to supporting communities across Africa.

“This event will allow us to celebrate this work and to reflect on the current challenges that are being faced by some of the world’s poorest communities.”

Let’s stand together in fight against poverty

Friday 5th of May 2017

The number of people living in extreme poverty in the world halved in the last two decades. UK aid has contributed significantly to this progress. We know aid works, but with 16,000 children under five dying needlessly each day, there’s a lot still to do.

Today, international organisations and faith leaders in Wales are calling upon Welsh political parties to maintain and extend their commitment by standing up for the interests of the poorest people in the world through supporting the spending of 0.7% of our gross national income on eradicating extreme poverty and delivering life-saving support.

Wales is rightly proud of its tradition of solidarity with oppressed people around the world. From campaigns against slavery in the 1790s, to action on apartheid and becoming the world’s first Fair Trade nation in 2008, Wales is a small nation with a large heart.

Now more than ever, the world needs Wales and the UK to stand firm in our leadership of the fight against global poverty. While life has improved for many, millions of people around the world are being pushed into crisis and poverty through armed conflict and climate change.

We think it’s important to remember all the amazing things that aid has achieved. Immunising 67 million children against preventable diseases. Providing life-saving food to more than 500,000 people affected by famine in South Sudan. And supporting hundreds of volunteers, aid workers and military personnel to fight Ebola in West Africa.

It is right that aid spending is scrutinised and done well – something that demonstrates that we keep our promises with those in need. That’s why we are calling on the next government to honour the letter and spirit of commitment to 0.7% GNI invested in aid, extending our leadership in promoting stability, fairness and prosperity around the world.

Let’s stand together.

Signed by:

Cat Jones, Hub Cymru Africa - Rt Revd John Davies, Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, Church in Wales - Huw Thomas, Christian Aid Wales - Kieran O’Brien, Cafod Wales - Veronica German, Dolen Cymru - Julian Rosser, Fair Trade Wales - Prof Tom Potokar, Interburns - Hannah Fitt, Safe Foundation - Mary Powell Chandler, Save the Children in Wales - Fadhili Maghiya, Sub Sahara Advisory Panel - Fiona Michael & Hywel Meredydd, Tearfund Wales - Kathryn Llewellyn, United Purpose - Dr Tony Jewell, Wales for Africa Health Links Network - Martin Pollard, Welsh Centre for International Affairs

Cardiff based entrepreneurs supporting Ugandan businesses

Friday 5 May 2017

The founder of the Capital City’s Riverside Market, Steve Garrett has recently returned from a trip to Uganda alongside Franck Banza who runs the Cardiff-based Centre for African Entrepreneurship.

They were there to visit a new social enterprise set up by a group of local widows in the region of Bwera, which Steve has been supporting and advising for the past five years. Alongside this, they also spent time meeting local entrepreneurs and researching the local situation to understand what kind of support they need.

Steve said: “Over time we have helped the widows set up a small food-growing project, and have worked with them to explore the best ways to sell the food they have grown, and identify other small businesses they could run to make an income and be able to feed their families and pay for their school fees and other essentials.”

One thing he quickly learned about rural Uganda when he first visited, was that there is virtually no welfare system of any kind, even for the most vulnerable, and all essential services such as education and health care must to be paid for, though in theory they are provided free to everyone. That why it’s been so important to work with local people to help them find their own ways to generate income.

The most recent enterprise project in Bwera has been to set up a mill to convert the maize and cassava which are grown in the area, into the flour that everyone uses as the basis for most meals. Previously, small subsistence farmers and commercial growers used to have to transport their crops to the nearest town to have them milled, which meant extra time and expense.

The new mill offers this service locally at a competitive price, meaning cheaper food for people and better income for farmers, at the same time as making a profit for the charity. The purpose of the visit was to evaluate how well the mill was doing in terms of efficiency and profitability, to offer suggestions on how it could be improved, and at the same time to meet other local entrepreneurs and see how we could support them individually as well as encourage them to work together to solve shared problems, such as with the electricity supply or transportation.

When Steve and Frank arrived in Bwera they were pleased to find that the mill was fully operational and beginning to show a small profit, at the same time as providing employment for up to four local people.

Steve said: “It has the potential to expand its level of operation significantly, but this will depend on raising sufficient capital to purchase more cassava and maize, so that turnover and profits can be increased. In particular, the mill hopes to supply local schools with flour, which will result in economies of scale and higher turnover, rather than relying on grinding smaller amounts for individuals, and to open a small shop on the mill premises where flour can be sold direct to the public.”

Steve will be keeping in touch with the mill project in the coming months to see what other lessons can be learned and shared, and to explore ways in which they might expand their operation and profits. Hopefull they can be an inspiration and a model to people in other parts of Africa facing similar problems.

The visit was supported by the Welsh Government through Hub Cymru Africa grant funding. Their visit also received support from the Sankalpa Fund.

Celebrating Wales - Uganda Links

Wednesday 26 April 2017

This week, the Ugandan High Commissioner will be visiting Cardiff as part of a celebration of Wales – Uganda links.

On her visit, H.E Prof Joyce Kakuramatsi Kikafunda will meet with businesses, charities and politicians to discuss international development, trade links and challenges and opportunities for Ugandans in Wales.

Wales has a proud history of connections with Uganda with many grassroots international organisations including Pontypridd-based PONT, Cardiff’s The Safe Foundation and Dolen Ffermio, based in Llanfyllin, having undertaken work with partners in the country.

Over the last two years, Hub Cymru Africa has supported 14 Wales based organisations to deliver 15 projects in partnership with Ugandan organisations and communities.

On the Friday (28th of April 2018), the High Commissioner will be speaking at the Hub Cymru Africa Uganda Day event in the Temple of Peace, Cardiff, alongside senior Welsh Government Minister Jane Hutt AM, who spent part of her childhood in Uganda.

The Ugandan High Commissioner, H.E Prof Joyce Kakuramatsi Kikafunda said: “We value our cooperation with Wales and I look forward to seeing how we can partner to continue implementing projects that improve the quality of lives of my people in Uganda and further develop these valuable partnerships for the benefit of both countries.”

Cat Jones, Head of Hub Cymru Africa said: “We are delighted to welcome the High Commissioner to Wales, many of the grass roots organisations we support deliver a wide range of projects in Uganda, from tackling climate change to ones that are helping people create a better life for themselves through better education and the development of entrepreneurial skills.”

If you would like to attend the Uganda Day event, you can register for free at: 

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

Installing Solar Panels in Zambian Schools – Many Hands Make “Light” Work

Monday 10 April 2017

When Cwmbrân based Giakonda Solar Schools made a recent visit to Zambia, it was a case of many hands making light work as teachers, pupils and community members joined in to install solar panels in four rural schools.

Howard and Wendy Kirkman of Giakonda Solar Schools (the charitable branch of their Swansea company Giakonda IT Ltd) have been working in Siavonga, Southern Zambia for the last three years.

By working together with the local District Education Board Secretary, they have identified twenty-six schools in the district which have no mains power. Last month, with grant funding from Hub Cymru Africa and the donation of eight solar panels from SolarPlants, they spent three weeks providing power, lighting and world class educational resources to four primary schools in the region. They also delivered computer and technical training to teachers and the community.