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NEWSLETTER NO. 49 Summer 2007 & AGM 17th October 2007

Dear Friends of Oxted One World Group.

Welcome to our summer newsletter which as usual gives news of our fund raising activities and the projects that the Group has supported. More details of our activities and projects on an ongoing basis are always available on our website.

Since our last newsletter Judith Eiloart has been co-opted onto the committee. She has spent 12 years in Africa and is a Trustee of Urban Aid.

Membership of the Group remains at just over 400 members. It is from this resource that we draw people to help with fund-raising events. If you would be willing to help with any of our activities please let a committee member know. The committee is always grateful for the support it receives, whether it be through attending or helping at events, filling tins with loose change or donating goods etc. and would like to pass on its thanks for all your support. 


HURST GREEN FAIR – Bottle Stall – 15th September, 2007.

As in previous years if you have your newsletter delivered by hand a committee member will be calling on you very shortly to ask whether you would be kind enough to donate a bottle for this event. If however you receive your newsletter by post but would like to donate a bottle we would be grateful if you could take it along to David Steele’s at 25, Detillens Lane by 9th September. Although expensive bottles are a big attraction we also need a large quantity of bottles so inexpensive ones – anything from tomato sauce to bottles of bubble bath are also needed. Last year the stall raised the record amount of �741 for the Group with further money being raised from the sale of some of the better quality bottles of wine at the Silent Auction.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING -- 17th October 2007, 8.00pm,

Red Cross Hall, Hoskins Road, Oxted.

The first part of the meeting will give members the chance to hear about the projects supported and the fund-raising activities of the Group over the past year, ask questions about the work of the Group and meet the committee members.

Following on from this there will be a talk by Mark Smith (son of Committee member Richard), on his experiences at St. Janan Luwum School in Uganda.      This will be followed by some refreshments and the chance to buy Traidcraft products (all of which are fairly traded and which therefore directly benefit their producers), as well as Christmas cards & wrapping paper (with the profit on these going to OWG).

STREET COLLECTION – December 1st 2007 in Oxted.

This is an important way of raising our profile within the general community of Oxted and district as well as being a good opportunity to collect money. Help with another women’s group has visited to learn from them.


OWG has supported this project since the Christmas Appeal of 1998 and has financed the building of a maize mill, oxen for ploughing and the growing of pineapples, enabling the women to generate some income. It has also funded the purchase of a car to enable the women to take their produce to market. News of the success of this project which has gone from strength to strength as it has diversified has spread and another women’s group has visited to learn from them.


The Group was originally founded as Oxted Third World Group in 1982 with its first AGM being held in 1984. The Committee has therefore been discussing possible ways of marking the 25th anniversary of the Group. Its current thinking is that a celebratory event with a speaker will be held for members, possibly on April 18th or 19th, 2008. It is also planning to send out a brochure to 17,000 houses in the local area giving details of some of the projects and fund-raising activities of the Group with the idea of publicising the Group and attracting new members. Funding for this leaflet will not be taken from the funds raised for projects.

Since its foundation in 1982 the Group has raised the fantastic total of �337,300 for projects in the developing world and the leaflet will show how this has been allocated by country and type of project


POORMAN LUNCH – Saturday 14th April 2007, St. Mary’s Hall, Oxted.

The usual frugal lunch was followed by a very interesting illustrated talk by Mr Jude Machado who works with a number of projects in Sri Lanka that benefit the very poor and disadvantaged. Mr Machado, himself a Sri Lankan, has many

contacts in the country and oversees a variety of projects that deal with education, health and agriculture. OWG agreed to send Jude �1000 towards his projects.

Although the lunch was not as well attended as usual it raised �201.00 for OWG.

OPEN GARDENS – 28th May 2007, 2.00pm – 6.00pm.

Despite a bitterly cold day and almost non-stop rain the event was as usual very successful. Over 630 people enjoyed looking at six very different and interesting gardens in the Oxted, Limpsfield and Hurst Green areas. As a result �3,565 was raised from the day, including �2,386 from ticket sales, �438 from plant sales, �520 from refreshments, and �234 from a raffle held at one of the gardens. The committee is very grateful to all those who helped on the day, especially as they had to stand outside in the cold and the wet, to all those who braved the elements to look round the gardens but particularly to the owners who were prepared to open up their gardens – it involves a lot of preparatory work as well as a lot of clearing up afterwards. If anyone would like to volunteer to open up their garden next year or knows of someone who might, the Secretary or Chairman of the Group would be very pleased to hear from them.

COLLECTION AT MORRISONS-- 30th JUNE, 2007 8am - 5.00pm.

This raised the record amount for this collection of �425.55 for the Group. Thanks are due to all those who were prepared to stand and collect for an hour.


A total of �935.00 has been received for OWG from Hazelwood School recently. Of this �585 came from the parents of year eight leavers who wanted to make a donation to a schools project in the developing world from which the children would get feedback detailing how the money had been spent. Our Chairman Tony Stanton gave the pupils a talk about Genesis (Kenya) and Joshua (Malawi), school projects which OWG has supported over many years and which showed the vast difference between schools in the UK and in Africa. The money raised has been divided between these two schools with �500.00 being sent to each of them. The OWG committee has agreed to add a further �500 to the total for Genesis School so that �1000 will be sent to fund the renovation of temporary buildings, teachers’ salaries and the purchase of food and educational supplies for the orphans and poor children.


Urban Aid, which has already supported OWG, hopes to be able to donate �2,500 every six months to OWG for a period to support appropriate African projects, namely ones involving health care in urban situations. Urban Aid may also approve a larger sum for any suitable larger projects which OWG may wish to support but which would be beyond the normal resources of the Group.



Earlier in the year OWG was able to send �9,577 to this project as a result of the Christmas Appeal. The money was used to build a house for orphans as well as funding food and medical care for the orphans. The charity which caters for the poor, disabled, destitute and underprivileged, particularly children, women and the aged, is in the process of developing a new campus called Snehalaya (which means the ‘Home with Love’), on a greenfield site of 15 acres. The development will include a primary care hospital as well as the orphanage and will enable an integrated development care programme to be started. This will achieve sustainable development in the surrounding villages and will include hygiene, health, sanitation, education and vocational training with employment opportunities for the people in the villages. The project will be catering for those who are amongst the most vulnerable people in India. 


This project which deals with AIDS education and support has sent a very good report of how the first �1000 that OWG sent has been spent. Workshops with young

girls and unmarried mothers have been organised to give basic information about AIDS and its prevention. The project has found a lot of demand so OWG has just agreed to send a further �1000 to support the educational work in AIDS awareness and prevention.


Joshua was started in 1998 to feed orphans in a community that could not cope due to the ravages of the AIDS epidemic. Feeding is still a major concern with Joshua feeding several hundred children daily in pre-schools and feeding centres but with the support of OWG, a Scottish charity and Mary’s Meals, Joshua has been able to devote more attention towards longer term care, particularly in education. As a result Joshua has built two primary schools, (and is about to start a third), and one secondary school. In the Spring of this year OWG sent �1000 to Joshua. This has been spent on classroom furniture for their secondary school. The students in forms 1 and 2 had been sitting on the floors on mats which wasn’t very satisfactory but they are now able to sit on chairs at proper desks.

The secondary school is now expanding -- a second classroom block has been built and an old house has been renovated to provide a staffroom and headteacher’s office. More latrines have been built for both staff and students and plans exist for a block that will provide a Science lab., library and possibly a computer room. It is hoped that rumours of electricity becoming available turn out to be true as this would make a huge difference to the functioning of laboratories and extra classes after school would become possible.


News has been received that as a result of the educational programme that OWG funded the AIDS orphans who had been dropping out of school because of discrimination are now rejoining schools. FOCI now want to start a programme of teaching the orphans life skills such as tailoring, mechanics and modern farming so that they can earn a living when they leave school. OWG has recently agreed to send �1,1000 to this project to fund the purchase of 15 sewing machines for the tailoring classes.


In May OWG agreed to send ACEP, which is run by the Union of Women against HIV/AIDS in Northern Uganda, �1,000 to cover the cost of training materials so that local people can be educated to prevent the spread of AIDS.


In 2005 OWG funded the purchase of a Slit Lamp for the CBM hospital in Dar es Salaam from the proceeds of the 2004 Christmas Appeal. This enabled Dr Richard Bowman, a Paediatric ophthalmic surgeon to set up a children’s eye clinic so that children could be seen separately from adults. In July this year while on leave in Oxted with his wife and family Richard gave an illustrated talk about his work in Tanzania. He reported that as well as working at the main hospital in Dar es Salaam in June he and his specialist medical team had travelled out to one of the more remote parts of Tanzania, taking their equipment with them, so that they could perform operations on children nearer to their own community. In the space of two weeks they operated on 85 eyes on 60 children, performing life changing cataract operations that should prevent a lifetime of unnecessary blindness, enabling the children to earn a living more easily when they are older.


RUSH (Reaching the Unreached through Self-Help), was originally set up in the slums of Nairobi but is now expanding its activities on a plot of land in the Western Province where it has built an orphanage. It has feeding and educational programmes as well as promoting AIDS awareness. OWG has recently sent RUSH �1000 towards the cost of a ‘Medical Day’ when over 2000 people can be treated for malaria, typhoid, ringworm and less serious ailments at an average cost per patient of less than �1.00. Local pharmacies and hospital staff give their services free for the day. The money that was sent was part of the money that Urban Aid had donated to the Group.


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS. These are due at the AGM in October. They remain at �5.00 per person. Please use the form on the enclosed AGM notice for paying subs. and forward the money to our treasurer, Anna Burrage, or give it to any committee member or bring it to the AGM.

GIFT AID -- The GIFT AID scheme offers a great opportunity to increase voluntary giving. If you pay tax please sign the declaration on the Subs. Form. The scheme can apply to annual subscriptions, donations, money collected in personal tins and appeals such as the Christmas Appeal. On all of these a further 28% can be claimed back for OWG from the Government -- last year OWG benefited by �2463.00 from reclaimed tax. You may only receive minimal benefits from the giving so it would not apply to tickets for events such as the Open Gardens.

BEQUESTS. Have you considered writing a bequest to the OWG in your will? In previous years the group has been fortunate to receive some bequests to help swell funds. We have also received donations in memory of people who have died, where the relatives preferred this to money being spent on flowers.

TINS FOR LOOSE CHANGE. These provide a good source of regular income –last year it was �556.00. If you do not have a tin, particularly new members, or if your tin is full, please contact a member of the committee.

NEW FUND RAISING IDEAS are always welcome.


This project which started as an agroforestry project which OWG has supported for several years is now diversifying into alternative income generating projects. OWG has just sent �1000 to finance the purchase of equipment so that several groups of farmers can be trained in integrated sunflower growing and bee-keeping. The money will be spent on the purchase of a digital camera, bee-hives for demonstration purposes at 15 sites, 5 sets of hive inspection kits ( including overalls, boots, gloves and eye protectors), sets of storage facilities, 5 sets of honey processing equipment and stationery for 50 participants at a bee-keeping seminar.

The project is also continuing to develop its activities with fruit tree seedlings and is taking part in rainwater harvesting activities which help combat soil erosion.


Earlier in the year OWG sent �1,200 to finance the building of a new kitchen and the installation of new cooking equipment at this school which educates poor children who would not otherwise receive an education. A recently received report describing how the school is developing and expanding includes a number of pictures of both the old and the new kitchen. One of the cooks is quoted as saying that the new kitchen with its stoves is much more efficient than the old one and that the new stoves do not cause a health hazard as there is less smoke in the kitchen and they are less likely to cause burns. The kitchen now caters for 980 students as the school has been able to expand from its previous number of 780 following the expansion of its sanitation facilities, also funded by OWG.

Further developments at the school include the provision of science laboratories as the Ugandan Government has now made the teaching of science compulsory.


OWG has recently agreed to send �1,500 to sponsor a new VSO, Duncan Smith, as our previous VSO had finished his tour of duty in Sri Lanka. Duncan has started work as a nursing tutor in a new school of nursing at a hospital in Kampala which provides free health care for orphanages, displaced people and victims of strife in northern Uganda.

OWG has already heard from Duncan who at the time of writing was undergoing an induction course with 7 other VSO volunteers of various nationalities. He writes that the people of Uganda are very friendly and that Uganda is a beautiful and fertile country. The induction course has included information on some of the development issues in Uganda and on some of the HIV/AIDS issues as well as language workshops so that he can learn some of the tribal language of Luganda. Duncan has learnt that nurses in Uganda are very disempowered and uninterested, lack interpersonal and management skills and often fail to carry out basic observations on patients. As a result people are dying in Uganda because of poor nursing care. Duncan’s job will involve teaching a new curriculum so that the nurses become more proficient and more motivated to improve nursing care. 

collecting is required. Please volunteer to David Steele (01883 712527), if you would be willing to stand for an hour with a collecting tin.

SILENT AUCTION – 1st March 2008, St. Peter’s Hall, Limpsfield.

Oxted One World Group AGM 2006/2007

Tony Stanton, Chairman, reported on the work of the Oxted One World Group at its AGM held last night. �34,000 of overseas aid projects have been supported during the last year. Since the Group was founded in 1982 it has donated a total of �337,000 to projects in the developing world, a remarkable contribution from our local area. However the Group is not resting on its laurels. It is planning a leaflet to distribute to 17,500 households in Oxted and surrounding areas early next year. This will inform our local community about what the Group does and will invite more people to join its 400 members.

The Committee elected at the AGM were Tony Stanton, Helen Adams, Anna Burrage, Averin Cox, Valerie Adamson, Celia Butler, Michelle Devereux, John Leslie, Karen Nicholls, Jenifer Ruxton, David Steele, Richard Smith, Judith Eiloart and Stuart Paterson.

After the AGM, Mark Smith gave an illustrated presentation on St. Janan Luwumb Secondary School at Kabalagala, a suburb of Kampala in Uganda. The school was founded in 2003 and now has 850 pupils, including some boarders. He worked at the school for several months and helped to raise standards there. The Oxted One World Group provided funding for the school's sanitation block and for a new school kitchen.

Details of the Oxted One World Group can be found on