Bristol Link with Beira

Our Programmes

BLB has been involved in projects in Beira for many years, and aims to continue project support in the fields of:

 
BLB is targeting SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals.

BLB also raises awareness in Bristol about Beira, as an example of the effect of Climate Change on Sub-Saharan Africa, whilst promoting positive images of a city in a least developed country. BLB has provided presentations for various organisations, illustrated panels for the Beira Room in Bristol’s City Hall, and a Learning Pack about Beira for schools.  BLB holds events aimed at both awareness and fundraising. 

Current Projects

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Sharing Knowledge about Reproductive & Sexual Health, Citizenship and Participation

ADS (Associação para o Desenvolvimento Social), financed by the Coles-Medlock Foundation, have engaged young women as mentors, and arranged workshops to examine issues, generate themes and take part in panel presentations. The facilitator encourages the girls to have fun while they discuss serious issues in a sociable setting. Themes discussed included human rights, political participation, gender-based violence (including electoral violence), early and unwanted pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health, sexual harassment, forced and premature marriage, sexually transmitted infections, and economic empowerment of young women. These workshops inspired the young women to further research, speaking out and activism. The young women are now spreading the word informally in their neighbourhoods and signposting helpdesks. Through additional sessions at girls’ clubs, many girls can use the information to make responsible decisions regarding their lifestyles and actions. One girl expressed her appreciation of the programme: “Because I didn't know what to do, I had to go to someone ……. we went to court and won. This happened because I didn't stay silent…….. Thank you.”

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Social Protection through the Arts at the Casa de Cultura

In the safe environment of the recently refurbished Ballet Studio at the Casa de Cultura, the dance teacher provides performing arts training, organises cultural events, and hosts discussions on relationships and sexual health. This provides the young people with greatly needed formal and informal support. They form new friendships and can envisage a different vision for the future. Participants meet people who have already benefited from this project, stabilized their lives and developed personally – and some professionally - through participation in the performing arts. The dance teacher, has shown that vulnerable teenagers who attend regular dance classes and feel part of a team, can turn their lives around, become included socially, and subsequently avoid criminal and unhealthy lifestyles. Young people can use dance as a method of social support, stability away from crime and an opportunity for social integration. BLB have arranged for Rotary to fund the costs of this programme for six months. Your financial support to extend this project will be very much appreciated. Have a look at the video on our GoFundMe page, and add the comment ‘dance’ to your donation. The dance teacher updated: ”the project is underway with great pleasure and enthusiasm .... with your support you are doing great good for our city and our neighbourhoods. This benefits each student and their families .... we are receiving many congratulations on the programme.”

Long Term Projects

Matacuane Primary School

Matacuane Primary School in Beira was badly damaged during Cyclone Idai in 2019. Bristol Link with Beira has been working with the school for over 10 years and used its fundraising to repair toilets and install a drinking water stand after Cyclone Idai. A team of volunteers from REACT Emergency Response spent 3 weeks in Beira supervising construction works. In 2022 we purchased equipment for their staff room, and this year we have provided IT equipment and training.

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Amai Mussananhi

ACSTA (Action for Southern Africa) supported Amai Mussananhi "Women Helping Women" to procure premises as a secure environment for its work with orphans and vulnerable children; and a classoom for rent. After Cyclone Idai in 2019, BLB raised funds for building renovations. During Covid, to BLB provided materials for making facemasks, and sewing machines which are now used for income generation. This year we have provided catering equipment and training to support their pre-school meals.