Vine Trust: Connecting People to Make a Difference

Connections Autumn/Winter 2014

Posted on October 10, 2014 by Stewart.

In This Issue:

New Home Open - HRH, The Princess Royal opens our latest home in Tanzania. Page 1

Amazon Hope - 13 years, 1 million patients, an update on the project as we look to the future. Page 3

Global Student Forum - An inspiring day in Perth where senior school pupils found out why health really does matter. Page 4

School Trips - Updates from a great year of school trips with 5 schools and 129 pupils travelling to Peru and Tanzania. Page 5

Gift Cards and Calendars - Looking for a Christmas gift that makes a difference? We have lots of ideas. Page 6

Global Coffee and Cake Day - Details of how you can get involved in the day and other exciting alumni events. Page 7

We are delighted to announce that our fourth large home in Tanzania is now complete and has been officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 2nd October. This new home expands Vine Trust’s pilot project in Tanzania which began when work parties first headed out to Kilimanjaro in the summer of 2011.

These first work parties began construction of a large home for 12 orphaned and vulnerable children in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church Tanzania (ELCT) in the parish of Kimashuku. Over the course of that year, work on the home progressed quickly, and the first children moved in. Since then the number of children living in the home has grown to accommodate 24 girls, with a further 6 boys sleeping in the nearby church office.

Due to this growth and the need to provide accommodation for other vulnerable children, it was quickly evident that a new home was needed. Work began on the construction of a second home in 

2013, ably assisted by many work partyvolunteers and school trips, with teams being involved in every stage of the project, from helping to dig the foundations, to painting the walls. Everyone who has worked on the site has been touched by the welcome they have received from the children and the sense of joy and fun in sharing games and activities with volunteers.

We are delighted that the boys who have been living in temporary accommodation can now move into rooms they can call their own, and that all the children can appreciate the extra space to relax, socialise and study

This year also marked the opening of the children’s centres in Fuka and Njia Panda which now means that 126 orphaned and vulnerable children will have somewhere to live where they are safe, where they can grow together as part of a new family and, most importantly, somewhere they can call home.

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Continued from above All of this was made possible by the amazing efforts of over 270 volunteers who have headed out to Tanzania since 2011, the many people who have fundraised to support the construction, and also through the Scottish charity ‘Sarah’s Promise’, which helped fund Sarah Hardie’s House at Fuka. Thank you to everybody who has been involved in making the work with our partners in Tanzania possible. Each year new people connect with our work and are changed by their experiences. If you are interested in going out to Tanzania on a work party or fundraising to support our future projects please get in touch via

Sarah Hardie’s House, Fuka

Fuka is a great example of a church taking on the significant responsibility of looking after vulnerable children in their area.

The local community originally began funding school places for a number of children, but due to the high costs of such a task decided that it would be cheaper to start their own school – and that is exactly what they did! There are now over 400 children who attend the English-medium primary school at Fuka.

Following this, ‘Sarah Hardie’s House’ was constructed in partnership with the church and Vine Trust to provide a home for some of the most vulnerable children in the school.

Njia Panda

This parish is located in a very dry area near the border with Kenya. The church is currently looking after between 250 and 300 children in their community, providing food and clothes for them.

‘Shalom Children’s Centre’ has been built in partnership with Vine Trust and ELCT, and can accommodate up to 50 children, with the first 10 children having moved in over the summer. However, this is only the beginning of addressing the need in this greatly impoverished area.

Tanzania Work Party Dates

A Vine Trust work party provides an opportunity to make a direct contribution to the lives of some of the poorest children in the world, by helping to build homes for vulnerable children. The cost for a 2-week work party is £1,135 (which includes a donation towards construction costs), plus the cost of international flights.

2015 Dates

18th Feb-4th March - Kilimanjaro Half/Full Marathon or 5K Fun Run and Work Party

2nd-17th April - Work Party

23rd July - 6th August - Work Party

5th-15th October - Kilimanjaro Trek

8th-22nd October - Work Party

2016 Dates

1st - 15th April - Work Party

29th July - 12th Aug - Work Party

4th -14th October - Kilimanjaro Trek

7th-21st October - Work Party

To book your place, email
or click here

Peru Maintenance Trip

Maintenance trips offer the opportunity to see the Girasoles street children’s programme first hand. Whether a skilled construction worker or an enthusiastic volunteer, anyone, young or old, who can hammer a nail, learn to make bricks or wield a paintbrush is welcome to apply. If you would be interested in joining or organising a maintenance trip to Peru in October/November 2015 please email

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It hardly seems credible that on 2nd October 2001, ‘Amazon Hope 1’ arrived on the Peruvian Amazon at the start of what was to become the Amazon Hope Medical Project

Thirteen remarkable years later, and having been joined by her sister ship ‘Amazon Hope 2’ and the Puerto Belen Medical Clinic, I am delighted to report that the project has now officially treated its

One Millionth Patient!

As a Trust we are immensely grateful to our partners SU Peru for all their hard work administering the project, the involvement of the Peruvian Ministry of Health in helping to staff the programme and, in more recent times, the active support of Cayetano Heredia University and various other national and international agencies.

As a medical project, the programme has now reached a very exciting point in its ongoing development, with the up-coming granting of a prestigious international award focussed on the development of maternal health initiatives within the communities the project serves – which itself is a fitting tribute to everyone who has made this first million patient milestone a reality.

At the heart of all of this, however, are our volunteers and supporters, and our desire to care for some of the poorest people of Amazonia.

Quite simply, without YOU, this milestone would not have been possible, and, as a Trust, we are indebted to everyone who has helped us reach this landmark. Yes, there have been challenges and disappointments, this summer just passed being one of the most challenging in terms of ship availability and maintaining our sailing schedules. Yet despite that, we press on with great expectation to the next million patients, at the very same time as the Jubilee Hope Medical Project is launched on Lake Victoria Tanzania on 2nd October 2014 by our Patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

What will the next ten years bring? Well, with three medical ships, on two continent s, wouldn’t it be great if we could be celebrating the three million patient milestone in 2024?

“Connecting people to change lives”: it’s what we do and what we hope you will continue to help us do in the years ahead.

Willie McPherson

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GSF - Health Matters

Global Student Forum’s ‘Health Matters’ conference in Perth saw around 250 young people from across Scotland gather to learn about global disease and what they can do to help bring about change. Public health consultants shared their expertise on HIV, malaria and TB, while others, including Dafrosa Itemba from Tanzania Women’s Research Foundation (TAWREF), shared about how their work is saving lives and is campaigning for people, families and communities affected by such disease. School trips going out with Vine Trust work with TAWREF to build homes for people living with disease and disability.
Young people were not only motivated to be activists and get involved practically, but attitudes were also challenged as Waverley Care, Christian Aid and the Church of Scotland HIV Programme led seminars and workshops on the stigma of disease and the need for a change in attitude.

Staff and young people sent messages of hope, challenge and change to the Scottish Government, asking that further action must be taken to ensure an end to diseases such as AIDS, HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, and that people around the world can fully access their human right to adequate healthcare.

We asked pupils who attended GSF what they had learned...

“It is the small gestures that make the biggest impact on other lives.” “There is hope. A small group can make a difference.” “Young people DO really care!  Adults in power need to step up!” “Mosquito nets only cost £1.85 and can save a life.

And what they will do...

“I will do everything that I can to ensure that positive change will happen in my lifetime.” “Take what I have learnt back to school to spread the valuable information.” “Share my knowledge with the younger generation.”

Amazon Hope 2015 Dates

We invite clinicians from all healthcare backgrounds to join one of our medical teams as part of the Amazon Hope Medical and Dental Programme on board one of our two medical ships serving remote Peruvian communities. Medical Teams are made up of 6-8 volunteers who join the permanent Peruvian staff on one of Vine Trust’s fully equipped floating medical centres for a two-week working holiday. Previous medical team members have commented upon how they found their experience immensely valuable and fulfilling professionally and personally. To find out more click here or email

9th-25th January

19th Jan - 3rd February

6th-22nd February

16th Feb - 3rd March

6th-22nd March

16th-31st March

3rd-19th April

13th-28th April

8th-24th May

18th May - 2nd June

5th-21st June

15th-30th June

3rd-19th July

13th-28th July

31st July - 16th August

10th-25th August

4th-20th September

14th-29th September

2nd-18th October

12th-27th October

6th-22nd November

16th November - 1st December


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School Trips 2014


What did you do on your school trip to Peru/Tanzania?

“We set out to make a significant contribution to some of the poorest and most marginalised children in Peru.  We dug the foundations of a bridge, built a shelter for the rainy season and dug a septic tank in Kimo in the jungle, and delivered water to a shanty town in the desert.  We visited boys’ orphanages around Peru and learned about their culture and how they live” Freya Hoppe - Earlston High School, Peru 2014

“In Peru, I visited Ica, Kimo and Urabamba and everyone that I met was so welcoming and the boys were so friendly. On the trip our group got on amazingly well and I made some real friends for life and I have never felt closer to a group of people than when I was in Peru.” Heather Jeffrey – Earlston High School, Peru 2014

Who did you meet and what were the people like?

“We met inspiring families whose hope never failed to amaze us. Other volunteers from Tanzania, local students our own age - they all lived up to the Tanzanian reputation of unquestionable hospitality and genuine kindness.” Natalie Peteranna – Culloden Academy,  Tanzania 2014

What was the most inspiring part of your trip?

“For me, the most inspiring part of the trip was the kindness of the people that we met in Peru, both the boys and the house parents and staff. We were made so welcome and the farewell thank you speeches that were made to us were deeply touching and I'll never forget the kind words that were said. Also, listening to the boys praying and singing before each meal was really special.” Heather

How did the trip change you?

“I realise now that there are some truly amazing people in the world who are grateful for what they have, though they don't have much and life hasn't been fair to them.  I also learned how awful some children's situations are and how badly they can be treated, and that they can cope with that at such a young age.  My experiences in Peru have shown me how lucky I am and my trip has motivated me to be a better person and always be grateful for what I have.” Freya

“I learnt that we all have a global responsibility and to embrace similarities before differences. Now I've realised I can help change to happen and I can't wait to start!” Natalie

“The trip has changed me in that I now have a new perspective of the world and can see beyond my own everyday life. I have seen the struggles faced by individuals in other countries and it has motivated me to work hard at helping those who are in need. I have also gained a massive amount of independence and confidence from both fundraising the money for the trip myself and travelling so far away without my family, not to mention gaining so many incredible experiences that I will always remember and wonderful new friends.” Heather

How to get involved

Our school trips offer a unique way for pupils to experience a different culture while also making a real and significant difference to some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. If you would like more information about how your school can get involved and details of the immense educational benefits contact our education development worker Michelle Livingstone: Email:, Tel: 0131 555 5598

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Christmas Gifts, Cards and Calendars

Planning for Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year. To help you with this, we have a number of ways you can give a gift that helps to change the lives of vulnerable people in Peru and Tanzania.


Each year we publish a calendar of beautiful photos taken by volunteers and staff while visiting our projects. The photos below are a small selection from our 2015 calendar.

Order yours here Cick Here


As the pictures below show, our online store has number of unique gifts that are sure to go down well at Christmas.

Kilimanjaro Tea

Grown on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, we have a number of different flavours of tea.

£3 for 100g

Gift Aid Cards

We also have a number of gift aid cards that help support our work. Each card has a different photo on the outside and a story on the inside. An example picture and story can be seen below.

Kilimanjaro Coffee

Arabica beans grown in Kilimanjaro are prepared, roasted and packaged by a local widow in Moshi called Mama Rose.

£3 for 250g

Mum at Fourteen

Caring for 3 younger brothers, whilst grieving the loss of your mum to AIDS before your 14th birthday is sadly not an uncommon story in sub-Saharan Africa. The pressures are immense and made worse when the shack you are living in begins to collapse…

...This card helps us support mums like Neema with a home and a future as she lives day in and day out with HIV and its impact on her and her family’s life.

Beaded Bracelets

Handmade elasticated bracelets strung with varnished beads made from rolled recycled paper.

£3 each

Carved Stone Hippos and Stone Hearts

All individually hand-painted and decorated. No two the same

Hippo from £4
Hearts from £2.50

Order your gifts online at

Thoughts from a UK Volunteer

To volunteer with the Vine Trust you don’t need to go on one of our trips to Tanzania or Peru. We have many volunteers who help us with a wide variety of tasks here in the UK, from helping at events, to re-painting our barge, and everything in-between. Below are some thoughts from one of our volunteers...

I am sitting on the Vine Trust Barge, eating homemade cake and drinking coffee! Yes this is what a volunteer does!  I have now been a volunteer for a year and I love doing it.  The staff are all very friendly and are a pleasure to work with.  They all work extremely hard, and are a very dedicated team.  Each week as I walk down to the barge, I wonder what they will ask me to do!  I have typed letters, added up figures, filled hundreds of envelopes with Connections, stuck labels on envelopes, folded and also guillotined dozens of newsletters.  I’ve photocopied, cleared out

cupboards, made endless cups of coffee, proofread some documents, and then I go home feeling what a privilege it has been to help with such a worthy cause. 

When one of the staff comes back from a trip to either Peru or Tanzania, you realize that they also find it a privilege to serve in this way. I hope to continue doing my small part for a little longer.  So thank you Vine Trust staff for putting up with me!

Sheila Scougall

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Hiring The Vine Trust Barge

Beginning life as an oil barge, the Vine Trust barge has now been  renovated and recycled to become a centre for the work of the Trust in the UK, winning the 2011 GIA architecture education award. The barge is also a unique and inspiring location and space for groups to hire for a wide range of meetings, activities, events or functions.

The Vine Trust barge has a variety of rooms to suit many different needs. The glass room has panoramic views around the docks a sound system, projector and screen. Our cinema for 20 people is a brilliant and unique facility,

allowing for increased potential in group entertainment, education or training. The board room can cater for up to 8 people with a wonderful view across the docks. A plasma screen, webcam and microphone for video calling are available. We also have an education room that is a versatile space for group work, with access to a smart board and projector. This room opens onto an outdoor performance area.

To find out more about hiring the Vine Trust barge, email or call 0131 555 5598. All proceeds from hiring the barge go to support the work of Vine Trust.

Vine Trust Alumni Programme

May 2014 saw us launch our Vine Trust Alumni Programme, providing further opportunities for our dedicated volunteers, fundraisers and supporters to ‘connect with people to change lives’.

So far we have held an alumni ceilidh in Edinburgh, along with events across Scotland that enabled past volunteers to find out more about our work by connecting with the Executive Director of one of our partners in Tanzania, Dafrosa Itemba.

Our next alumni event is Vine Trust’s Global Coffee and Cake day on 29th November. There will be coffee mornings and days held all over 

the world by our supporters and we want to encourage everybody to host an event or to invite  friends, family and colleagues along to any events near you. We will be hosting our own coffee and cake day on the Vine Trust barge in Edinburgh between 2 and 4pm, so come along to connect with our work meet past volunteers and browse the Christmas market.  If you would like to host you own coffee and cake event, please email

Next year we will be holding our second annual alumni ceilidh in Perth, on 14th March, so save the date for this fun evening and enjoy the chance to connect with other Vine Trust volunteers and hear updates of our latest work.

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Making a will is a wise and fulfilling decision. It is one way to give your family and loved ones long-term piece of mind. But will-making also provides an opportunity to express the compassion which has marked your life. Remembering Vine Trust in your legacy enables us to continue our work with marginalised and vulnerable lives.
A legacy to the Vine Trust won’t cost you much now, but could become the largest gift you ever give. Legacies can transform possessions into hope for many people and play a priceless part in our work.
You may wish to give your legacy to Vine Trust’s work as a whole, or there may be a particular cause or project that is on your heart or one you have been directly involved in. This could be towards any aspect of our work, from building homes in Tanzania to providing a primary healthcare service in the Peruvian Amazon. Any donation will make a difference and help us reach our goals of improving the lives of those we support.

You may also wish to give to the Vine Trust in memory of, and as a tribute to, the life of a loved one. This act of giving can be viewed as a celebration of their life, and one that can also make a huge impact for good.
If you would like to speak to us directly as you go through this process, we would be happy to help. Please contact Willie McPherson on 0131 555 5598 or

New Finance and Office Administrator

Welcome to Heather Bingham who joins the Vine Trust as our new Finance and Office Administrator. Growing up in Papua New Guinea, Heather has recently been working in finance in Northumberland for a refurbishment company dealing with listed properties. To contact Heather, email

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