Tanzania comes to Lowes Court

tanzania picFOR the whole of January, Lowes Court is mounting an exhibition of Tanzanian batiks. All these batiks were brought back from Tanzania on previous Rungwe exchange visits. Some of these items are being sold with all proceeds going directly to aid the Cumbria Rungwe Community Link.

Cumbria Rungwe Community Link. (CRCL) is a registered charity run by volunteers. It is often know locally as The Tanzania Link. The link is a cultural exchange that works on a two year cycle. Every two years a new group of students from secondary schools in West Cumbria hosts visitors from the Rungwe area in Tanzania. The following year, some or all of this group will accompany CRCL leaders to visit Rungwe, Tanzania.

In July 2015, a group of students and leaders from Rungwe were able to visit West Cumbria and take part in many community activities, music and drama projects and visits to local primary and secondary schools. They learned a lot about life in West Cumbria and, very importantly, were able to share valuable insight into ways of life in Rungwe.

Much fund-raising was involved, in order to make the Tanzanians’ visit a success and to benefit as many local children, families and communities as possible. Transport to schools and organisations across Allerdale and Copeland can be expensive and CRCL is very grateful to all the generous people in West Cumbria who have supported fund raising activities and to those organisations who have provided CRCL with grants, donations, or free use of premises, transport or equipment.

Currently a group of eighteen selected students and five leaders are preparing to visit Rungwe for four weeks in summer 2016. There, they will reunite with the previous exchange friends and new friends made last summer. They will visit homes and schools and take part in shared community events.

Leaders will meet with the Rungwe Cumbria committee in Rungwe to learn about progress on current projects sponsored by CRCL and to agree future projects worthy of financial support. The committee will help leaders secure use of local Rungwe labour and resources. Previous projects have included classroom building, roof repair and teacher accommodation.

The visit to Rungwe will provide an opportunity to learn at first hand how some Tanzanian students are benefiting from educational sponsorship by West Cumbria host families and friends.

Fundraising towards the 2016 visit is well under way and all monies from the sales at Lowes Court Gallery Exhibition will go directly towards this year’s visit.

For more information about about CRCL, please visit their Facebook page or go to their website www.crclink.co.uk.