International solidarity, and the mutual benefit of the global work of charities.
My Experience at the Welsh International Development Summit: where my interest began
By Sumayah Hussain
I am an undergraduate student doing a degree in Education and International Development. Last year as part of my degree I attended the Welsh International Development Summit in Swansea.
The summit was held by Hub Cymru Africa at Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Attending this event this got me interested in the work of the charity.
After the event I conducted internet research and found the website containing information about Hub Cymru Africa based at the Temple of Peace and its partnership with the African Community.
This blog post explores some of the things I found about the work of the charity, as well as some of the partnerships that they work with.
I wanted to know more about how they are making a significant change, and are able to strengthen future links between Wales and Africa. I also wanted to highlight recent and past achievements, and find out more about how the international solidarity that they show can be of mutual benefit to people in Wales and in Africa.
Hub Cymru Africa
Firstly, I spoke to Julian Rosser, grants and policy manager, Hub Cymru Africa. He informed me that the charity enables people in Wales to make connections to support people in Africa. The charity was started in April 2015, and it is funded by the Welsh Government.
“There is a strong desire within this community to act in a sense of friendship and solidarity: to understand that these sorts of relationships are mutually beneficial. We aim to help people act in a way which supports that ethos.”
I then spoke to Cat Jones, who is the Head of Hub Cymru Africa. In an interview with her I asked about the work carried out by the charity. I wanted to gain a better understanding of the role of Hub Cymru Africa plays in contributing towards a more peaceful world, and created this video with her:
The response I got from Julian to the same two questions were also very informative:
“Essentially, Wales is a small, poor country with a limited capacity to act on the global stage. However, the people of Wales have a long history of taking action for international solidarity and of campaigning for global peace and justice. This comes from a mix of religious tradition with organising by trade unions and co-operatives. We can see this in recent decades with the Greenham women marching from Wales, strong support for the anti-apartheid movement from Wales and Welsh efforts to lead the fight for sustainable development.
We hope our work can help create a peaceful world by bringing people of different cultures together to share understanding, grow to love each other and learn that we have so much in common.
Hub Cymru Africa has achieved a lot of success over the years. We host an annual small grants scheme with a total of £180,000 from small-scale events and Wales – Africa projects. We also organize the Wales Africa Awards and support Fairtrade communities situated in Wales. There are many achievements that Hub Cyrmu Africa have accomplished.”
He also mentioned some of the awards schemes that they support. Awards are a way to congratulate people and recognise the success of their work carried out. For example, the Youth Leadership Award runs for people under 30 years old situated in both Africa and Wales. The Sustainability Award, is also another great example since it enables individuals to think of the long-term sustainability of a project design.
I was also impressed by all the ways in which Hub Cymru Africa has helped African communities. Some examples are midwifery training in Sierra Leone, and agricultural support for famers in rural Uganda.