Dear friends and supporters,
As we all seek to manage in extraordinary times, I firstly want to send you and your extended family our best wishes and good health as we all find ourselves in national lock down.
As an international volunteering development charity, we are acutely aware of how fortunate we are in the United Kingdom to have an exceptional NHS and to observe the outstanding national response by over 500,000 volunteers to do all that they can to support our selfless NHS and Social Care Staff.
As a nation our focus is rightly here in the UK, but as a Trust it is also about seeking to support our colleagues in Peru and Tanzania as they too face the coronavirus and all that it will bring to their countries. At time of writing, our team in Peru is in detailed discussions with the Regional Health Directorate in direct response by them to use our ships to support COVID-19 monitoring in the Amazon river communities.
In Tanzania, Jubilee Hope likewise on its return to port will be at the disposal of the Regional Health Authorities to support their plans in support of the island communities and at Kazunzu Village of Hope, funding is already in place to continue construction throughout 2020 subject to any movement restrictions.
The closure of international borders and the automatic requirement for quarantine in both Peru and Tanzania has made our volunteering expeditions for the foreseeable untenable. A good number of schools due to travel in summer 2020 are now looking at postponement till 2021 and our medical volunteers are hugely impacted by the needs here in the UK, quite apart from the closure of airline scheduled services.
As a Trust a huge part of our income will be affected during 2020 and we will be taking all necessary steps to mitigate this for our overseas partners and UK staff and operations.
We are very conscious that many people will be facing huge uncertainty at this time not least financially but would like to invite our community of supporters to consider giving whatever they can, large or small, so that we can maintain core programmes and put ourselves in the best possible place for when this crisis passes.
Our office is operating remotely, post is being received and of course online and telephone is available during office hours, though it may take us a bit longer than usual to respond.
Kind regards and thank you for your connection with Vine Trust and the part you have played in enabling us to reach our 35th year and deliver the programmes we have achieved with our overseas partners.
With sincere best wishes for good health in the coming weeks.
Rev Willie McPherson
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